Partners, Carat Lose Tech Biz To Burnett Unit

New England Computer Exchange has awarded a $7 million corporate branding assignment to TFA/Leo Burnett Technology Group in Boston following a review of undisclosed agencies.
NECX, an independent distributor of computer products and components, last year assigned creative chores to Partners & Simons in Boston and media duties to Carat Freeman in Newton, Mass. NECX severed those ties before a contract was signed, said Partners official Gib Trub.
Elan Bair, NECX’s director of strategic business development, would not comment on the split.
TFA/Leo Burnett will handle creative development, with media duties falling to Burnett’s Starcom Media Services unit, which recently opened an outpost in Boston.
“What we liked about TFA was a good combination of the technical strengths and strong local execution capabilities,” said Bair, adding that the shop’s research capabilities were also appealing.
“It was important for us to have someone local who has a global presence, who can take our campaigns to the Far East and Europe,” he said.
Based in Peabody, Mass., NECX is a privately held company with two divisions: NECX Direct, an online computer store, and NECX Exchange, which sells semiconductor components and computer and networking products to companies around the world.
TFA/Leo Burnett will create create a corporate branding campaign to support NECX Exchange. The NECX Direct business will be supported in-house, Bair said.