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May Narrows Creative Search to 4
DALLAS–May Department Stores Co. narrowed its agency search for the broadcast creative assignments of seven of its chains. Finalists include The Richards Group, Dallas; Merkley Newman Harty, New York; and W.B. Doner & Co., Southfield, Mich, said sources. Consultant Strategic Resources International confirmed the cut, but not the shops. May spent $65 million on TV for its chains last year, which include Filene’s, Foley’s and Kaufman’s.

SpikeDDB Lands $7-10 Mil. Chic Account
NEW YORK–SpikeDDB has won Chic Jeans’ $7-10 million integrated communications assignment after a monthlong review, besting Mad Dogs & Englishmen here. The account, which includes consumer and trade ads, packaging and design, had been handled in-house. The victory is the shop’s first fashion account and its second win in a week, having also landed a marketing assignment for the Continental Basketball Association. “It’s been a good week for us,” said Spike Lee, president. “We’re doing the right thing.” The agency’s billings now exceed $25 million.

Ad Stocks Rocked in Tough Week
NEW YORK–Advertising stocks were shaken in last week’s market turmoil; only Young & Rubicam posted a modest gain Friday, closing at $31.625. Ad stocks taking the biggest weekly hits: Think New Ideas plunged 17.4 percent to close at $15.50; Saatchi & Saatchi tumbled 12.9 percent to $8.50 and WPP Group sank 11.5 percent to $55.25. Interpublic Group escaped with a 5.5 percent drop, closing at $60, Omnicom Group fell 7.4 percent to $52.75, Grey Advertising dipped 6.6 percent to $362, while True North Communications declined 11 percent to $25.375.

MFP&W Breaking New Puerto Rico Tourism Ads
NEW YORK–Marti Flores Prieto & Wachtel will break a $9 million campaign Sept. 14 for the Puerto Rico Tourism Co., themed: “New sounds of Puerto Rico.” The TV and print campaign will feature pop star Ricky Martin.

Account Activity
Saatchi & Saatchi, San Francisco, won the $30 million ad account of Snap!, the Internet search directory jointly owned by CNET and NBC. Other finalists were Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide and Ammirati Puris Lintas, both New York, said sources HoneyBaked Hams of Ohio, Cincinnati, moved creative duties for its estimated $5-10 million account to Carmichael Lynch, Minneapolis, from Doe-Anderson, Louisville, Ky., without a review Hush Puppies has assigned its $2-3 million account to Arnold Communications in Boston without a review. A division of The Wolverine Co. in Rockford, Mich., the client had worked with Bozell Worldwide in Southfield, Mich. Jeff Lewis, marketing vice president at Hush Puppies, described Bozell’s work as good, but noted, “We needed [an agency] to define the brand.” … The Kaplan Thaler Group, New York, was awarded a three-year creative assignment from the American Red Cross in Washington, D.C., backed by $4 million
of donated ad support. DDB Needham in New York will buy media.