Arnold Advances in Nick Pitch

Arnold Communications is among six agencies still in the running for Nickelodeon’s estimated $15 million image account, sources said.
The other contenders are Young & Rubicam, Fallon McElligott and DiNoto Lee, all in New York, The Martin Agency in Richmond, Va., and an undisclosed shop, sources said.
Smash Advertising in Boston was involved in early talks with the New York-based client but failed to advance, an agency official said.
Contenders with experience branding kids’ products or a television station include Y&R (Mattel), Fallon (FAO Schwarz) and DiNoto Lee (CNN).
Agencies were briefed last week and will present creative and strategic concepts near the end of next month. A decision is expected in late April or early May.
A unit of Viacom’s MTV Networks, Nickelodeon is planning a major branding effort as competition heats up between kids’ programmers. Its rivals are Fox Family Channel and Kids’ WB.
“It’s a question of putting a stake in the ground–starting to take ownership in what they created,” a source said.
Ruth Sarlin, vice president of brand and franchise marketing at Nickelodeon, is managing the review. The cable network, which has talked to more than a dozen shops [Adweek, March 1], could not be reached by press time.
The cable network had created ads in-house, working with agencies on a project basis. The winner of this review, however, would become Nickelodeon’s brand steward. Media duties, now at Western Initiative Media Worldwide’s New York office, may also shift.