Bennett Kuhn Varner wins $11M Equifax Consumer Services account

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Seeking to expand beyond branding and the Internet, Equifax Consumer Services has tapped Bennett Kuhn Varner Inc., Atlanta, to handle its $11 million account for direct response and search engine optimization and marketing services.

BKV beat big DM shops like OgilvyOne, MRM and Rapp Collins, all New York, to clinch this business. There was no incumbent.

"We needed a full-service direct response agency to expand our communications program beyond online," said Helen Wanamaker, vice president of marketing at Equifax Consumer Services, Atlanta. "So we're beginning to test offline media, for example, print, direct mail and direct response television."

The Morrison Agency, Atlanta, continues as Equifax Consumer Services' branding agency of record. Ant Farm Interactive, Atlanta, handles online media planning and buying.

A division of the 107-year-old Equifax Inc., Equifax Consumer Services sells credit reports, credit scores and credit monitoring products directly to consumers.

BKV's client roster includes American Red Cross, Applica (Black & Decker Household Products), EarthLink, Six Flags Theme Parks and Cingular Wireless. Founded in 1981, the agency has more than 100 employees servicing these accounts.

"I think what makes it special for us is that Equifax's a multimedia client," said Maribett Varner, co-founder and director of client services at BKV. "So often clients hire agencies for this medium or that, whereas this one will touch mediums and backend CRM."

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