Arnold Amasses Media

Arnold Communications here has been hired to create ads for the interactive edition of The Wall Street Journal and is in negotiations with Universal Music Group for a national media buying account. Combined billings may exceed $25 million, according to sources.
The Journal, a unit of Dow Jones & Co. in New York, has tapped the agency to create “some ads” supporting its online edition, said client representative Karen Pensiero. She would not disclose details. Arnold executives declined comment.
Goodby, Silverstein & Partners in San Francisco recently won the ad account for the Journal following a review. Arnold was tapped to handle the interactive edition following a separate, simultaneous search and is charged with developing a brand-building campaign, sources said.
Separately, Arnold officials have held talks with executives at Universal Music that would result in the shop picking up a national media buying assignment, sources said. Issues of “contracts and pricing”–such as agency compensation–are now on the table, and the deal may take several weeks to conclude, said a source familiar with the talks.
The scope of the assignment could not be determined at press time. Universal in December purchased rival PolyGram for $10.4 billion, creating the world’s largest record company, with labels that include Motown, Mercury and Island Records.
Arnold has handled projects for Universal parent Seagram Co., and PolyGram executives were present last year when the shop made a presentation to the Record Industry Association of America, which at the time was shopping a $30 million account. After that presentation, Arnold and PolyGram embarked on their own discussions and are now poised to finalize a deal under the aegis of Universal Music Group, sources said.
Officials with Arnold and Universal either declined comment or did not return calls. –with Teresa Buyikian
and Angela Dawso