White Loses Duel for StarBand

Mad Dogs & Englishmen topped E. James White ina shootout for a three-month,$6-10 million assignment to launch a new Internet satellite technology.

Gilat-to-Home, a division of Gilat Satellite Networks in McLean, Va., is set to introduce atwo-way broadband satellite access service to consumers called StarBand.

StarBand will be first to market with a new online delivery service that will allow consumers to upload and download files over the Internet at increased speeds, said Sandy Colony, client vice president of corporate communications.

Colony said Mad Dogs’ experience with similar clients gave it the edge over the Herndon, Va., shop.

“Mad Dogs has really solid credentials in the new economy, and they have launched startups in the past,” Colony said. “They helped launch Road Runner, which is inthe high-speed space. They’re simply the best, to borrow the HBO phrase.”

According to its Web site,StarBand has “considerable investment from Microsoft Corporation, EchoStar Communications Corporation and ING Furman Selz Investments.”

The company’s president and chief marketing officer, DavidTrachtenberg, was previously at Prodigy. While there, he worked with a creative team now at Mad Dogs.

“Mad Dogs is approaching this from a long-term perspective,” said Jeff Soinski, the agency’s managing partner and chief executive officer.

Soinski said the account will primarily be handled from New York, but the agency will call upon its new San Francisco office as needed.