Hotline

Lottery to Narrow to 3-4 for $60 Mil. Account

NEW YORK—The New York State Lottery is expected to cut to 3-4 agencies in its $60 million review during the first week of June, sources said. Final pitches will occur by mid-June, with a final decision sometime by the end of June or early July. Contenders are the incumbent, Grey, as well as Publicis, J. Walter Thompson, Bates, DDB, Wolf Group and McCann-Erickson, all New York.

Percentage of DDB Layoffs Hinge on Lottery Result

NEW YORK—DDB is expected to cut about 10 percent of its New York staff, possibly as early as this week, sources said. The agency is said to be waiting to see if it makes the New York State Lottery review finals to determine the exact number of people to be laid off, one source added. The shop claims about $750 million in billings and has about 400 staffers. A DDB representative said layoffs “are not out of the realm of possibility.”

Publicis Drops Opposition to TN/IPG Deal

CHICAGO—Publicis S.A. CEO Maurice Lévy told a French business weekly that he will no longer oppose the sale of True North Communications to the Interpublic Group of Cos. because of the recent rise in TN’s stock price. Lévy lambasted the deal as “cheap” when it was unveiled in March, and indicated he might look for ways to block it. Publicis is TN’s largest shareholder, with a 9 percent stake. TN’s shares were selling at about $39 at the time of the sale, but were up to nearly $44 each on Friday. IPG, which under the acquisition deal will exchange 1.14 shares of its stock for each TN share, closed at about $38.67 per share on Friday.

Energizer Rebranding Decision Looms

CHICAGO—Energizer Corp. could decide this week which of its two agencies will handle a major rebranding effort of its Energizer line to Energizer Max, sources said. The St. Louis-based client plans to spend $100 million this year on that effort and marketing its e2 battery. A client representative said that longtime lead agency TBWA\Chiat\Day is handling the Energizer Max effort “for now.” The company has been testing ideas from TBWA\C\D and DDB for several weeks. Sources said Energizer executives are looking to consolidate to one shop. The Energizer representative declined to comment on the shootout between the shops. DDB officials, who have said they are not involved with Energizer Max, declined comment; officials at TBWA\C\D in Playa del Rey, Calif., could not be reached.

Account Activity

Michelin is expected to cut to 3-4 shops this week in the review of its $35 million account, sources said. The client met with six contenders during the past few weeks: Merkley Newman Harty & Partners in New York; Campbell-Ewald in Detroit; Carmichael Lynch in Minneapolis; The Martin Agency in Richmond, Va.; The Richards Group in Dallas; and Leo Burnett in Chicago. Jones Lundin Beals in Chicago is running the process. … CNN has briefed five shops on an assignment to update the network’s image, sources said. Agencies will present creative in a month, sources said. Wonya Lucas, svp for strategic marketing, is handling the review. … Mullen/LHC in Winston-Salem, N.C., and Thomasville Furniture have split, the client confirmed. A review is expected. Billings are $8-9 million.