*J. Walter Wins Merrill Lynch Account

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The J. Walter Thompson Co., New York, announced June 30 that it won the $90 million Merrill Lynch advertising account, which will include a substantial amount of direct marketing work.


About $20 million of the account will be devoted to direct marketing, according to a spokesman, but details were not immediately available.


The announcement comes on the heels of a major restructuring of the agency's direct marketing business. The company's primary U.S. direct marketing business, JWT Direct, has been combined with other direct marketing units overseas under the new name ThompsonConnect Worldwide. Under the new arrangement, 24 offices and affiliates that previously existed under the JWT Direct Dialog and Enterprise names, and two new offices in Chicago and San Francisco, are being incorporated into a more seamless network under the ThompsonConnect Worldwide banner.


Debra Brown, managing director of JWT Direct/New York will serve as managing director of the new network. ThompsonConnect Worldwide will become part of Thompson Total Solutions Groups, a grouping of all J. Walter Thompson marketing services outside the general agency. Michael Graham, CEO of Thompson Total Solutions Group, also will serve as CEO of ThompsonConnect.
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