RealTime IT News

Left Field Splits With Amazon.com

Interactive agency Left Field has resigned from the online advertising account of Amazon.com because of disagreements over money and competitive conflicts of interest.

As Amazon.com has expanded from an online bookstore into a virtual mall, Left Field said it was precluded from pursuing additional e-commerce accounts, such as auctioneers and music sellers, Michael MacMahon, the agency's managing partner, told the San Francisco Chronicle.

Also, Amazon refused to meet Left Field's compensation demands. "We have other clients paying us 50 to 60 percent more than Amazon," said MacMahon. "We haven't made money from the Amazon account for two years."

Left Field also said it resigned drugstore.com, ending a relationship with a site closely affiliated with Amazon.com.

Amazon spokesman Paul Capelli was quoted as saying that "while we have been very pleased with (Left Field's) work, we felt that we had reached a point where it was mutually beneficial for us to part." He added that Amazon is embarking on an interactive agency review.

Other Left Field clients include Infoseek, Sun Microsystems, ImproveNet and Macys.com.

Amazon spends an estimated $2.5 million annually on Web advertising, the Chronicle said, but about $130 million on television, radio, print and outdoor. Foote Cone & Belding of San Francisco has handled Amazon's advertising in conventional media for about two years.

A drugstore.com executive, Eric Morris, told AdAge the company will hand off some interactive work to Duffy Design, a Minneapolis shop affiliated with the site's new off-line ad agency, Fallon McElligott, Minneapolis, and a portion of the work will be moved in-house.