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International: FCB wins $70 million Boeing account

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International: FCB wins $70 million Boeing account

Boeing Co. this morning awarded its $70 million global account to Interpublic Group of Cos.' Foote, Cone & Belding, Chicago, after a four-month review.

FCB bested Omnicoms Group'BBDO Worldwide and WPP Group's J. Walter Thompson, both Chicago.

The announcement represents a huge win, both in business and morale, for an agency that has had a roller-coaster 12 months. Since last November, FCB has lost DaimlerChrysler Chrysler Group's $800 million account, the $400 million AT&T Wireless account in July and in September was stung when PepsiCo and sibling Quaker Oats Co. decided to move $350 million in business to Omnicom.

FCB did win most of those losses back by netting accounts for Samsung Electronics, Kraft Foods' Jell-O and Circuit City Stores, among others. But it has also faced a barrage of industry publicity in recent weeks with high-profile lawsuits regarding the PepsiCo decision and the subsequent acquisition of new business from Pepsi's archrival, Coca-Cola Co.

Boeing called BBDO and J. Walter Thompson first. However, all three had an inkling of the decision Tuesday morning when a published report indicated that Boeing had selected FCB late Monday night.

All three agencies denied being the source, leading to speculation that the client or the consultant leaked the information.

FCB, Seattle, was the incumbent on the Boeing account, but FCB Chicago pitched when the aerospace giant moved its headquarters from Seattle to the Windy City.

Boeing heard final 20-minute pitches from each of the three candidates on Monday, then asked they remain at their offices Tuesday for the decision, after which the winner was notified and summoned to Boeing's offices for a planning and strategy session.

The agencies made their full pitches early last month, and Boeing was set to announce a winner by Oct. 9. But Boeing Chairman-CEO Philip Condit was unavailable at the time due to scheduling conflicts. He was in Chicago to listen to the final presentations Monday.


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