Mediaedge:cia Assigned To Direct Navigation Gadget To U.S.

WPP Group's Mediaedge:cia has received the go-ahead to help move European client tomtom, maker of a portable satellite navigation system, to the United States in an account that will add an additional $7 million to its domestic billings.

Mediaedge:cia already handles roughly $40 million worth of media buying and planning for the Netherlands-based client in countries such as Germany, Italy, Austria, Switzerland, the U.K., France, Spain, Sweden, Belgium, and Denmark.

"We just unveiled it in Italy and the product caught on immediately," said Rachel Israel, a senior partner and global account director. "In the U.S., we plan to start off with an online campaign by the end of November, with print to follow in December."

There are no plans for TV advertising in the United States thus far, Israel said, but it could happen next year.

The tomtom is made for cars and is portable, unlike many other such navigational systems, which are generally built into the vehicle, Israel noted.

The creative assignment for tomtom will be handled by Omnicom's TBWA\Chiat\Day.

In the past two weeks, Mediaedge:cia has won two huge assignments: the estimated $125 million media business for Toys "R" Us and Paramount Pictures's estimated $480 million media planning and buying account.



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