IAR Bits and Bytes

Adobe Narrows Account Review

Graphic software giant Adobe said it has narrowed its account review to two agencies, with an eye to appointing a new lead for its $20 million global branding account early next month.

Three agencies made it into the review’s final round: Deutsch-Los Angeles; Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, San Francisco; and San Francisco-based Black Rocket. However, Adobe spokespeople say Havas’s Black Rocket has dropped out of the running.

“Black Rocket was also a finalist, but we had a working meeting with each of the three agencies, in which we provided some … correction to some of their thinking that we didn’t think was tracking,” said a spokesperson for the software maker. “Black Rocket just felt they had a very different vision for the Adobe brand … and figured it was better to bow out gracefully now.”

According to the company, Goodby — which is owned by Omnicom — and Interpublic’s Deutsch will both show their final presentations Nov. 1. A decision is expected within a week.

All of the agencies in the review had been asked to develop a corporate campaign around Adobe’s new “network publishing” initiative — which centers around multi-platform digital document distribution — and to also create product-focused ads incorporating new company messaging.

“It’s a bit of a tricky assignment — so it’s not hey, create an ad for this point product or hey, give us a brand ad,” said the spokesman. “It’s make this whole thing work together.”

“Basically, the assignment is on taking network publishing and making that, for the first time, a very unified brand vision, and showing us how that brand vision can ladder down to support some of our point product like inDesign and Acrobat.”

Playboy.com Inks Marketing Deal with Global Sports & Entertainment

Despite cutting into its marketing staff earlier on Friday, Playboy.com said in a separate statement that it would provide marketing support for Las Vegas odds publisher Global Sports and Entertainment, through a five-year cross-marketing deal.

According to terms of the agreement, Playboy — a unit of New York-based Playboy Enterprises will use betting and sports information, such as odds and handicapping, from Global Sports. In return, the site will promote Global Sports’ GSportsEDGE.com with links and banners on its flagship Playboy.com site and PlayboyCasino. Global Sports also said it would promote Playboy.com’s sites on its own Web page.

Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

“We are pleased to enter into an agreement with one of the world’s most popular and recognized brands,” said Wayne Allyn Root, Global Sports’ chairman and chief executive. “This co-branding opportunity will increase GSportsEDGE.com’s exposure within our core demographic and allow our brands to be partnered with the premier name in men’s entertainment.”

According to Root, the plan is to drive gambling fans between both sites, with those fans ideally placing bets using PlayboyGambling.com.

“By doing so, our business is certainly enhanced while Playboy.com realizes another opportunity to aggregate and monetize new or existing customers,” Root said. “We firmly believe this agreement will benefit the bottom-lines of both companies.”

Advertising.com and GMG Solutions Strike Partnership

Ad server and optimization firm Advertising.com aims to gain better access to associations and non-profits, through a deal with GMG Solutions.

Arlington, Va.-based GMG, which provides non-profits and executive-level associations with marketing tools and focus groups, will resell Baltimore-basedAdvertising.com solutions to clients through the arrangement.

Financial details of the agreement were not disclosed.

“We are delighted to welcome Advertising.com to the GMG Solutions family,” said GMG president Bill Taylor. “The powerful integrated marketing solutions they provide associations will be welcomed by CEOs throughout our industry.”

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