NYT Pitch May Jeopardize Shops

The fate of several local players that create ads for the New York Times Co. Digital is uncertain. The client is holding a review for the consolidated $40 million ad account of its online operations.
The Times Co. last week named six New York-based contenders for the business and issued a statement through consultant AAR/Bob Wolf Partners that read, in part, “The assignment potentially may include work on all the Times Co. Digital brands including … Boston.com and Abuzz.”
Watertown, Mass.-based Allen & Gerritsen was hired in the fall to help launch Abuzz, an online service designed to link users seeking answers to specific questions with other people who have similar interests.
To date, the agency has created recruitment ads for Cambridge, Mass.-based Abuzz that have appeared in area newspapers. The shop is pushing ahead with “strategic” initiatives to be used as the basis for a branding campaign, according to A&G president Paul Allen.
Abuzz official Christine Mohan said A&G remains aboard for “strategic consulting projects,” but could not vouch for any long-term viability.
Boston.com, the Internet version of The Boston Globe, recently employed Blitz Media, South Natick, Mass., and Hill, Holliday, Connors, Cosmopulos creative team Marty Donohue and Tim Foley.
It is unclear if they will be retained, pending the completion of the review, said Boston.com official Lisa DeSisto. She said some marketing decisons “may stay on the local level” regardless of the review outcome. –with Angela Dawso