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McGarryBowen Wins United Continental

As we’re hearing from tipsters and Ad Age reports, the newly merged Chicago-based United Continental Holdings is handing over its advertising and media duties to McGarryBowen and indie marketing shop Horizon after a five-month review, with billings valued near an estimated $100 million.

McGarryBowen is on one hell of a winning streak, completing a new business trifecta that began with winning Sears in late May and continued with nabbing Burger King a week later. Indeed, the hottest agency in Chicago has become the hottest agency in the country in only a few months. Meanwhile, we recall Rob Schwartzhubris-laden Tweet back in June, when the TBWA CCO responded to losing Mars’ business by declaring with certainty that his agency would win United. Ouch.

In a statement, senior VP of marketing at United Continental Mark Bergsrud said, “We are excited to work with McGarryBowen to develop a marketing communications program that will enable us to tell the story of the new United.” United and Continental merged in October. The incumbents on the account were Minneapolis-based Barrie D’Rozario Murphy and Publicis Groupe-owned Kaplan Thaler Group handling creative, with BDM also handling media.

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