Richards Group Slips Into Fruit of the Loom

DALLAS—The Richards Group is trying on a new pair of skivvies with its win of Fruit of the Loom’s estimated $15-20 million consumer advertising account. The Dallas agency competed in a review against finalists Campbell Mithun, Minneapolis, and Creative Alliance in Louisville, Ken. The 149-year-old maker of undergarments and activewear is based in Bowling Green, Ken.

Campbell Mithun Exits T.J. Maxx Pitch

BOSTON—Campbell Mithun has withdrawn from the pitch for the $20 million ad account of TJX Cos.’ T.J. Maxx stores. With the Minneapolis shop out of the running, six contenders remain: Hill, Holliday, Connors, Cosmopulos, Boston; Bates USA and Cliff Freeman and Partners, both in New York; Euro RSCG Tatham, Chicago; Long Haymes Carr, Winston-Salem, N.C.; and The Richards Group in Dallas. Finalists will likely emerge this week in the competition being overseen by Pile and Co., Boston.

Verizon Hears Pitches in Separate Reviews

BOSTON—Agencies pursuing both the $400-500 million consolidated media business of Verizon Communications and the $50 million Northeast retail business of Verizon Wireless last week met with client officials, sources said. Hill, Holliday, Connors, Cosmopulos’ New York office presented to Verizon Wireless, along with crosstown shops Berenter Greenhouse & Webster and Lowe Lintas & Partners, sources said. Contenders for the media account include roster shops Zenith Media, MediaCom, MindShare and TN Media, sources said. Undisclosed others may be involved in both reviews. Several weeks ago, a Verizon spokesman insisted that no agency changes would be made before early 2001. Bates Southwest in Houston, however, has since been awarded the wireless retail assignment for the client’s South Central region.

Mullen Is Out of Instinet Competition

NEW YORK—Reuters’ Instinet has narrowed its search for a shop to handle its $15-20 million account to Doner, Southfield, Mich., and DiNoto Lee, New York, sources said. Two other shops, Mullen, Wenham, Mass., and Broulliard Communications, the New York incumbent, are no longer in contention, according to sources.

BMW Launches ‘Mini’ Review

NEW YORK—Richard Roth Associates in Chappaqua, N.Y., is managing BMW of North America’s search for an agency to handle creative duties for the U.S. launch of the Mini in 2002. Roth and Kerri Martin, Mini’s marketing communications manager, are developing a questionnaire that will be distributed to a long list of agencies, potentially more than a dozen. Billings were not disclosed, but sources pegged them at $20-30 million. Martin hopes to make a selection by February.

Bozell Goes Back to School

BOSTON—Bozell Kamstra has been enrolled by Cambridge College for a TV, radio and print push intended to raise the school’s profile among potential students and business leaders. The assignment for the Danvers, Mass., shop is budgeted in the high-six-figures. Ads will break in the next few weeks.