Quidnunc Names FCB Southern California as Its AOR

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Digital business consultancy Quidnunc Ltd. has named FCB Worldwide's FCB Southern California division as its advertising agency of record in a pitch involving three shops, including two owned by Omnicom Group.

Though billings were not disclosed, a senior Quidnunc executive said Omnicom's TBWA/Chiat/Day and Merkley Newman Harty agencies, both in New York, also pitched for the assignment. Teamworks, London, and Publicis, New York, were the incumbents.

"We saw the potential of being able to create a consistent brand image through one resource, and, secondly, we were in a place in our growth where we wanted to look at the resource that FCB represents and take advantage of their global capabilities," said Joel Goren, chief marketing officer at Quidnunc.

A 127-year-old agency that is part of the True North Communications Inc. conglomerate, FCB Worldwide is the No. 1 ad agency in the United States. Its clients include Quaker Oats Co., Coors, Beiersdorf, Nabisco, Compaq Computer Corp., Kraft Foods, S. C. Johnson Co., DaimlerChrysler and Bristol-Myers Squibb. Billings last year were $8.8 billion.

In business for 12 years, Quidnunc offers digital strategy, technology implementation, creative design and program management services. It helps create and plan online business strategy in four to six weeks, and it assists with the implementation of that strategy in multiple phases of three to six months.

Clients of Quidnunc include Marks & Spencer, Scottish Power, Poultryfirst.com and jamjar.com. The company has offices in New York, London and San Francisco.

The emphasis now is to raise Quidnunc's profile in the United States and Europe. Starting this month, FCB will use direct mail and print ads to bolster brand awareness. FCB also will plan and buy media and will design Quidnunc's corporate collateral pieces and graphics for the firm's trade show booths.

Direct marketing will play a key role in the scheme of things, Goren said.

"It helps establish and build relationships with clients and prospects, and it also extends the brand-building work that's being done in the advertising," he said. "We expect to utilize direct marketing on a monthly basis out of at least one, if not more, of our offices throughout the year."

Goren declined to disclose billings on the account.

It was only recently that Quidnunc named another agency, Mullen, Wenham, MA, to handle U.S. public relations for the hi-tech consultancy. Marbles, London, continues to handle European public relations.

The appointment of Mullen follows Quidnunc's decision to stop handling public relations inhouse and farm it out to an agency familiar with building hi-tech brands. The size of the account was not disclosed.

The 30-year-old Mullen is charged with positioning Quidnunc as a leading digital business consultancy. It will commence efforts with a focus on grass-roots marketing, trade and hi-tech press as well as national and Internet media.

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