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Miramax axes agency for missed ad

Account was worth between $25-35 mil per year

NEW YORK — Chalk up another victim for “H20.”

The big Madison Avenue shop that recently won a key print-buying account from Miramax Films missed a newspaper ad deadline for the slasher pic, resulting in the account’s suddenly being returned to whence it came.

Messner Vetere Berger McNamee Schmetterer/Euro RSCG, the New York agency with a list of blue-chip clients longer than even its name, snagged the account — estimated to be worth between $25 million and $35 million in annual billings — after winning a closely watched shoot-out among some big-name agencies only a month ago.

The winning agency’s charter was to handle print advertising for Miramax’s 25 to 35 annual releases in the tri-state N.Y. area, which serves as the Disney-owned studio’s largest market.

The task was obviously harder than it looked, as Messner Vetere partner Tom Carroll was quick to concede.

Fast-paced business

“It’s a type of advertising you’re either geared up for or you’re not,” he said. “It changes every 20 seconds.”

But Carroll insisted not all of the agency’s ties with Miramax had been severed. “They just gave us more work,” he said, referring to “creative stuff” that’s more to the liking of the agency.

Betsy Eigen, president of Miramax’s once-and-future media-placement boutique Harvest Communications, confirmed the fast pace of movie-ad placement: “There are a lot of different elements, ranging from film reviews to theater times, and there are lots of last-minute changes.”

Eigen also said that her New York shop, which has handled Miramax for five years, declined to participate in the client-instigated review.

“We resigned three weeks ago,” she said, pausing for good effect, “and now they’re back.”

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