Terra Lycos Moves to Ogilvy

BOSTON Terra Lycos is preparing to move the $20 million account of its Lycos portal to WPP Group’s Ogilvy & Mather from Interpublic Group’s Hill, Holliday, Connors, Cosmopulos, sources said.

Ogilvy, New York, already works on the Terra portal and participated in a Lycos shootout last summer against Hill, Holliday, Boston. A decision had been long delayed, however, owing to internal wrangling among client officials, sources said. Terra Lycos’ senior management in Barcelona, Spain, favored Ogilvy; some in the U.S., notably vice chairman Bob Davis, a close friend of Hill, Holliday chairman/CEO Jack Connors, wanted Lycos to remain with that shop, sources said.

A Hill, Holliday representative referred calls to client officials who did not immediately respond; Ogilvy executives could not be reached.

Hill, Holliday was hired shortly before Terra’s October 2000 purchase of Lycos, and sources have long said that some senior client decision makers have championed a consolidation with Ogilvy [Adweek New England, Aug. 2, 2001].

The IPG shop picked up Lycos in late 2000 following a review, and last May launched a TV campaign that ditched the 2-year-old “Dig into it deeper” themeline, instead urging viewers to “explore their passions.” Ads have frequently featured tennis star Anna Kournikova. Hill, Holliday in December relaunched Lycos’ HotBot offering with ads tagged, “More search. More engine.”