Arnold, McKinney Surface in Nasdaq Review Havas Sister Agencies Vie for $30 Mil. Stock Exchange Business

Arnold and sister shop McKinney & Silver have emerged as contenders in a review for the $30 million advertising account of the Nasdaq stock exchange.

Along with Boston-based Arnold and McKinney in Raleigh, N.C., the contenders are The Richards Group, Dallas, and New York shops Grey, J. Walter Thompson, and Young & Rubicam. Incumbent Messner Vetere Berger McNamee Schmetterer/Euro RSCG, which has handled the account since 1989, is defending, the client said.

The account covers both creative and media duties.

With the exception of privately owned Richards, all of the agencies involved belong to holding companies listed on the Nasdaq—WPP Group, Grey Global Group and, in the case of Arnold, McKinney and MVBMS, Havas Advertising.

The review is being steered by Denise Benou Stires, who recently succeeded L. Brian Holland, former marketing evp for Nasdaq. Sources said the search for the 30-year-old electronic stock market is being handled by Chappaqua, N.Y.-based, Richard Roth As-sociates, which could not be reached.

MVBMS crafted one of the best-known campaigns for Nasdaq: It highlighted blue-chip listed companies such as MCI WorldCom, Intel, Microsoft, Staples and Starbucks. The tagline: “The Stock Market for the Next 100 Years.”

Nasdaq is a chance for Arnold’s flagship Boston office to break out of its new-business funk. Citizens Bank earlier this year hired Arnold, Boston, for its eight-figure account, with no competitive review undertaken. Arnold did win Sappi Fine Paper and White Wave soy products, but those may be worth no more than $8-10 million combined. No major client has tapped the Boston office this year, and Arnold’s headquarters has been noticeably absent from high-profile reviews. Sources attribute the dry stretch in part to the sagging economy and relative lack of big-money reviews, and also to Arnold’s emphasis on building a global network for Havas through acquisitions.