Beenz Awards Global Account to FCB

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Beenz.com Inc. has named FCB Worldwide's Banks Hoggins O'Shea/FCB subsidiary in London to handle the marketer's first international advertising campaign for its beenz online currency.


Three global agencies, two independent shops and one independent media specialist were reviewed for this account, whose budget was not disclosed. Lowe Direct, London, and Lowe Fox Pavlika, New York, were incumbents on the account.


"The reason FCB won the account is because they didn't come to us and say, 'We're going to provide you with creative,' " said Nicolas de Santis, chief marketing officer at beenz.com, New York. "They came with more, and that more means that they said, 'We think that beenz is such a good solution that we're going to offer it to our clients.'


"The other thing, which is very innovative, was that [FCB] said, 'You actually offer a currency solution, and we will show you our commitment by also being paid in your currency,' " de Santis said. "Part of their fees will be in beenz, and that to me was a decision maker."


Bank Hoggins will be the lead FCB agency on the account, working on creative and advertising strategy. Other local FCB offices will chip in.


The 16-month-old beenz currency is accepted at more than 300 Web sites worldwide, including Barnes & Noble.com, CDNow.com and Garden.com.


More than 25 million transactions have occurred since the currency's launch. Consumers can earn beenz by visiting or shopping at sites. Beenz can be spent on online purchases such as vacations, sporting goods, DVDs, apparel, books and music. Beenz also can be converted into cash stored on a rewardzcard, a co-branded MasterCard debit card.


Slated for a debut in late fall, the FCB campaign will try to increase awareness of the brand. It also seeks to boost the number of beenz consumer accounts, estimated at more than 3 million.


De Santis said he expects FCB to help build beenz into a worldwide icon, communicating a single marketing message. This is a departure from the previous strategy of varying marketing game plans for different markets.


"The brief is, find a message that communicates beenz as a marketing solution in the fields of loyalty, incentives and data management," de Santis said.


CAPTION:


FCB gained an edge by agreeing to be paid in Beenz currency.
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