DoubleClick Puts Ad Account Up for Review

After a tumultuous year, online ad and marketing technology giant DoubleClick said it’s putting its North and South American advertising account up for grabs.

New York-based DoubleClick said it has decided to consolidate that account, valued at $20 million to $25 million, with a single agency, which it will pick in a review during the next few months.

According to DoubleClick, the company’s new agency will focus a large part of its efforts on its Latin American operations, and it will handle both online and offline duties.

“DoubleClick is currently working with [Boston-based consultancy] Pile and Company, Inc. to facilitate an agency review for our North and South America business,” said DoubleClick’s newly appointed chief marketing officer Susan Sachatello, in a statement Friday.

Sachatello added that the decision should be made by first quarter.

For the past four years, Alley-based Digital Pulp handled the firm’s U.S. creative work, while DoubleClick did its own planning and buying. Ogilvy One handled DoubleClick’s international work elsewhere and will continue to do so, the company said.

“Since their inception, we have been working with DoubleClick and are proud to have helped them build a great company and establish their brand with award-winning work,” said Digital Pulp president, chief executive and “Lead Sherpa” Lee Nadler, who had been DoubleClick’s director of global marketing.

“We understand that among the various business reasons behind their putting this account into review is their need to work with a global advertising agency as they restructure into a global company,” said Nadler. “While we have been invited to pitch, Digital Pulp is not a global advertising agency and thus has decided not to participate at this level. We focus on building businesses through Web development and strategic marketing initiatives and hope to work with DoubleClick in this capacity in the future.”

DoubleClick agreed that relations remain close between the two Alley-based companies.

“We hope to work with [Digital Pulp] in the future,” said DoubleClick corporate communications director Jennifer Blum. “But … our goal is to find an agency that can handle our global needs.”

DoubleClick’s new agency, which should be determined by first quarter, will handle all of the company’s creative work, media planning, and buying, Blum said.

The review comes at the close of a rough year for DoubleClick. The firm weathered bouts with privacy advocates over its planned database integration with Abacus Direct, and continues to face questions about the value of online advertising in general.

DoubleClick’s stock is well off its 52-week high based in large part on those concerns. Last week, the firm gave Wall Street guidance about a slower fourth quarter, saying it does not expect to post a second successive quarterly profit.

Digital Pulp’s most recent work for DoubleClick was a trade campaign designed to showcase the company’s various product divisions and the ability to customize its suite of services. The “Red Clay” campaign, launched in October with print and online components, will continue to run through December.

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