Mediaedge:cia wins $50m Novell global media task

LONDON - Mediaedge:cia has won the $50m global media account for the networking and internet software giant Novell.

It is understood that Mediaedge:cia secured the business following a competitive pitch against other media agencies, including representatives of Interpublic Group. The incumbent on the majority of the global account was Omnicom's OMD.

The move consolidates the WPP group's grip on the account. In September, J. Walter Thompson won the creative account in a pitch run from Novell's Utah offices.

JWT won the business after a protracted two-month review and beat the Massachusetts agency Mullen, McCann-Erickson's Hill, Holliday, Connors, Cosmopulous in Boston and the incumbent Young & Rubicam's SicolaMartin in Austin, Texas.

In recent years, Novell has attempted to diversify its business into web-based technology and away from its core network infrastructure products. It has achieved this through the acquisition of companies such as Cambridge Technology Partners and SilverStream software.

In Europe, the account will be largely handled by Mediaedge:cia's sister specialist technology agency, the Banner Corporation.

The WPP-owned Young & Rubicam bought a majority stake in the Banner Corporation in 1999 in a bid to boost its technological capabilities across Europe.

The news follows last month's decision by United Airlines to appoint Mediaedge:cia to handle its media account without a pitch. United Airlines recently filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection to allow it to restructure. Mediaedge:cia won the business from Zenith Media in countries outside the US.

No one at Mediaedge:cia was available for comment.

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