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Euro RSCG MVBMS Gets $10M PlaceWare Account

Web conferencing company PlaceWare Inc. has named Euro RSCG MVBMS Partners San Francisco to handle a $10 million campaign for boosting brand and category awareness and generating leads.

Twelve agencies pitched, including Butler, Shine & Stern, Sausalito, CA; Leagas Delaney, San Francisco; the Chicago office of Publicis; and the San Francisco office of Young & Rubicam. Advertising previously was handled by various shops on a project-by-project basis.

“It was a completely integrated approach of which a part of the win was based on the direct marketing presentation,” said Doug Penman, creative director of Euro RSCG MVBMS Partners San Francisco.

The agency will target business end-users and executives through media like television, print, direct mail, online and guerrilla marketing. It will craft and execute strategy and creative, with TV, print, online and guerrilla marketing breaking in October and the rest next year.

Mail will drop in January. Both online and offline DM will encourage a free trial of PlaceWare.

“It's an important win for us because it's difficult here,” Penman said. “The West Coast is suffering economy-wise, and there's not many clients up for grabs.”

Other Bay Area clients of the agency include Amgen, Juniper Networks, Hallmark Cards' The Picture People, Intel Corp. and Shaklee Corp.

Launched in 1996, Mountain View, CA-based PlaceWare has more than 2,300 companies signed up for its Web conferencing services. The online service allows collaborative meetings, Internet learning sessions, presentations and large meetings involving thousands on the Web.

Still, PlaceWare faces many challenges, such as rival services like Raindance Communications and WebEx Communications. And then there is the familiarity with the nature of the service itself.

“Basically, it's a low awareness category, and we not only want to build awareness but take a leadership position in the category,” Penman said.

Even the awareness that exists is more among junior executives, he said. This PlaceWare campaign will vie for the senior decision-maker's attention.

“We're trying to build advocates up the line,” Penman said.

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