LibertySurf, the third largest ISP in France, has called an agency beauty parade for its (estimated) $16 million advertising account. The move follows the ISP’s recent acquisition by Italian web giant Tiscali [WAMN: 9-Jan-01].

Incumbent shop, the Paris office of Havas Advertising, is among the those competing for the business. Other jousting Parisians are DDB Worldwide’s local offshoot Louis XIV, WPP’s Y&R 2.1 and independent marketing agency Rouge.

Liberty Surf, which charges no fee for web access, was launched in 1999 and has become the nation’s number three ISP with over 800,000 registered users. Although breathing down the neck of, which claims 900,000 users, the nation’s web roost is well and truly ruled by France Telecom's Wanadoo with 1.8 million paying customers.

LibertySurf has indicated that its marketing budget for the current year is likely to decrease as a result of the stringent bottom-line targets imposed by it its new owner.

News source: Advertising Age - International Daily