$25 Mil. Activision Puts Creative Account in

$25 Mil. Activision Puts Creative Account in Play

NEW YORK Video-game publisher Activision said it is reviewing its creative account, which had been handled for the past three years by independent Secret Weapon in Santa Monica, Calif. Activision, also in Santa Monica, spent just over $25 million in U.S. media last year, per Nielsen Monitor-Plus. As yet, no consultants are involved in the process. Media duties, handled by Publicis’ MediaVest, are not part of the review.

Mother Will Not Defend Virgin Mobile Business

NEW YORK Virgin Mobile USA said it has placed its creative and media planning assignments into review. The client pegged ad spending in excess of $30 million; Virgin Mobile spent $12 million in measured media through the first three quarters of 2006 and $25 million in 2005, per TNS Media Intelligence. Independent Mother in New York is the incumbent on the work in play and will not defend.

CP+B Challenges Public In Sprite Online Spot

NEW YORK A new Internet spot for Sprite from Crispin Porter + Bogusky starring LeBron James challenges consumers to come up with better music for the commercial. The NBA star has been in several Sprite spots before, but this marks his first for the “subLYMONal” campaign, which launched last year with ads that accentuate unusual visual imagery. And the latest execution is no exception.

Asda Leaves One Publicis Agency for Another

CHICAGO Publicis’ Fallon in London has picked up creative duties on U.K. supermarket chain Asda’s estimated $90 million account after a shootout with 17-year incumbent Publicis. The shift comes after the Wal-Mart subsidiary named Rick Bendel group marketing director overseeing the account. Bendel had previously been CCO at Publicis. Fallon’s duties will include radio and TV ads.

$50 Mil. Hertz Reviews Creative, Media Duties

NEW YORK Hertz is reviewing creative and media duties on its ad account, now at Omnicom siblings DDB and OMD, respectively, sources said. Estimated account revenue exceeds $4 million. The New York offices of DDB and OMD are said to be defending against two other unidentified agency teams. A DDB representative declined comment and referred calls to the Park Ridge, N.J.-based client, which did not return calls. The car rental giant typically spends more than $50 million annually in major measured media on its brand. Last year, through November, spending was approximately $45 million, according to Nielsen Monitor-Plus.

AT&T ‘Raises the Bar’ To Rebrand Cingular

DALLAS AT&T begins the largest ad campaign in its history Monday as it absorbs Cingular Wireless into the AT&T brand, the client said. Spots include both the AT&T and Cingular logos and integrate the imagery, phrases and icons from Cingular’s traditional advertising, including the “Raising the bar” tagline, the “Jack” character and the color orange. The ads conclude with an animation in which Jack appears to “skywrite” the AT&T globe. The campaign opens with a spot called “Grain,” which shows a combine harvesting wheat (it also appears to be “drawing” Cingular’s familiar five cell phone bars). As the camera zooms out, the AT&T globe comes into focus. Additional spots called “Jets” and “Cars” will break in the coming weeks. The Cingular campaign coincides with a rebranding of BellSouth as AT&T in the 22-state service area of the former Baby Bell.

Deutsch Adds Media Assignment From J&J

NEW YORK Johnson & Johnson is shifting media planning duties on its Tylenol brand from media shop Universal McCann to full-service agency Deutsch, which handles Tylenol creative, sources said. Both shops are units of IPG. UM handles most of the J&J media in the U.S., and retains buying chores for the Tylenol brand. Also under consideration is a planning shift for two other smaller J&J brands that Deutsch handles creatively: St. Joseph’s aspirin and the Imodium line of over-the-counter diarrhea medicines. J&J’s decision to shift the Ty-lenol planning assignment was made without a review, per sources. J&J declined to comment, as did the agencies. But sources said Deutsch, which handles the creative Tylenol account, “has been politicking for 18 months to get the planning assignment” for the creative J&J brands it handles. There is no word on any other planned planning shifts at this time, although agency sources close to the client are bracing for a possible $2.5 billion global media review in the first half of the year.