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WPP, Omnicom Stocks Set Record Highs
NEW YORK–The stocks of two advertising holding companies, WPP Group and Omnicom Group, achieved record highs last week, on anticipation of strong gains. WPP on Thursday gained two points before closing at 75, its highest closing price since 1989. The boost came after the company said it will increase its presence in Australia through an acquisition. Earlier in the week, Omnicom’s stock rose nearly four points before setting a new closing high of 56 7/16 on Friday. Analysts said the gain is due to anticipation that Omnicom will report higher than expected second-quarter earnings later this month. Ad stocks have been gaining momentum since last month, when an industry report predicted that worldwide advertising will increase 5.3 percent to $418.7 billion this year.

Boston Beer Mulls Arnold, HHCC, McCann
BOSTON–Hill, Holliday, Connors, Cosmopulos and Arnold Communications, both in Boston, and McCann-Erickson in New York have advanced to the final round in the review for Boston Beer Co.’s $10-12 million account. The Martin Agency in Richmond, Va., and Gotham in New York withdrew from the evaluation. Holland Mark Martin Edmund in Boston and Margeotes/Fertitta + Partners in New York were eliminated from contention.

Cliff Freeman Joins Domecq Review
NEW YORK–Cliff Freeman and Partners here has joined the field of contenders for Allied Domecq’s $12 million review for Kahlœa, sources said. Those previously selected for the pitch include Square One, Dallas; incumbent Lois/EJL, BBDO and The Leap Partnership, all Chicago; ID8 in Los Angeles; and Lois/EJL, New York. Presentations to AD officials in Southfield, Mich., are scheduled this week. A decision is expected in August.

APL Poised to Announce Layoffs
NEW YORK–Ammirati Puris Lintas this week is expected to announce layoffs in its media, creative and account management departments. The move has been expected since the agency lost the $200 million global Compaq Computer account to DDB Needham in New York. DDB won the consolidated ad duties for Compaq and Digital Equipment in June. Ammirati still retains Compaq’s direct marketing chores and handles some interactive projects, although sources said that business is likely to shift in the near future [Adweek, June 8, 1998].

Account Activity
Budget Rent A Car Corp. has assigned creative duties to Publicis & Hal Riney after a review that also included Cramer-Krasselt and Grant/Jacoby, both in Chicago. The company valued the account at $50 million Ammirati Puris Lintas and Interpublic Group sister shop Draft Worldwide have won a $47 million launch for Spain’s third telecom licensee, Lince, which is majority owned by France Telecom. The agency won the business after a review involving Grey, Publicis and FCB.