TiVo May Tap Goodby

$25-35 Mil. Account Had Been at C-E/West
SAN FRANCISCO–After a six-week review, personal television service TiVo is in final negotiations to award its national account to Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, sources said. Billings are estimated at $25-35 million.
A representative for the Sunnyvale, Calif., company confirmed Goodby is one of at least two finalists. Goodby executives last week said it would be premature to say they had won.
Among the California shops to pitch were Ground Zero, Marina del Rey, Citron Haligman Bedecarrƒ, San Francisco, and incumbent Campbell-Ewald/West, Los Angeles.
C-E, which handles TiVo marketing partner DirecTV, won the TiVo business about a year ago and broke a launch campaign last fall. One spot had a man being abducted by aliens; another showed a viewer interrupted by the Grim Reaper. The tagline: “You run the show.”
TiVo’s main rival, Replay TV, awarded its estimated $10 million account to Publicis & Hal Riney, San Francisco, last month. With Goodby at the helm of TiVo, industry observers anticipate a lively ad competition.
TiVo’s set-top device, similar to a VCR, allows viewers to pause and replay live broadcasts and record shows by name.
The recorders also allow viewers to strip out commercials. CBS, Disney and Discovery Communications are among the investors backing TiVo that seek to influence how such machines will handle advertising.
–with Aaron Baa