MediaBank Lands Burrell, First Deal Blending Agency And Market Systems

MediaBank grabbed another chunk of Madison Avenue, landing a multi-year agreement to handle Burrell Communications, a multicultural agency specializing in the African-American marketplace, and an important part of Publicis Groupe. The deal is significant because it is MediaBank's first agency deal covering both traditional back-office media data processing services, as well as new "marketplace" products it has developed in an effort to change the way agencies plan and buy media.

One of the reasons Burrell said it shifted to MediaBank from its previous systems provider, Harris, was a new marketplace system enabling it to target and buy local media based on particular audience segments at the neighborhood level.

Burrell handles an estimated $200 million in media billings aimed at the African-American population for a roster of clients including Procter & Gamble, McDonald's, Toyota, and General Mills.

The agreement is unrelated to other parts of Publicis, including VivaKi, which has been involved in a high-stakes review to consolidate its media systems account, which to date has been split between MediaBank (most of Starcom MediaVest Group) and rival Donovan Data Systems (Zenith Optimedia Group).

MediaBank recently won a similar consolidation of Interpublic's Mediabrands division in a heated pitch vs. incumbent Donovan.

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