Hotline

Stop & Shop Eyes Semifinalists

BOSTON—Stop & Shop is considering a half-dozen agencies to replace Arnold on the supermarket chain’s estimated $7-10 million advertising account. Holland Mark and Velocity Advertising, both Boston, Mullen of Wenham, Mass., Cronin & Co., Glastonbury, Conn., and New York shops Wolf Group and Merkley Newman Harty & Partners are in the chase. Finalists will be named early in September. Boston’s Arnold is not defending. Pile and Co., Boston, is overseeing the search for the Quincy, Mass,-based client.

Martin Prepares Timberland Push

ATLANTA—The Martin Agency this week will bow a national campaign introducing Timberland’s new line of branded apparel. The client has been reviewing agencies for several months and looks to replace Martin before month’s end. The Richmond, Va., shop, which parted with the $15-20 million account earlier this year, has crafted print ads for the apparel line that revolve around the question, “Would you do it again?” Print will run in Sports Illustrated, Men’s Health, Esquire, GQ and other publications. TV breaks Oct. 1 on ESPN, Comedy Central and VH1. In the review, Black Rocket/Euro RSCG, San Francisco, Fallon and J. Walter Thompson, both of New York, and Carmichael Lynch, Minneapolis are competing.

Mullen Names Fitzgerald for Southern Operations

ATLANTA—Mullen has named John Fitzgerald president and chief operating officer of its Mullen/LHC affiliate. “The resources and track record of this agency suggest the horsepower is already in place,” said Fitzgerald, who arrived at the Winston-Salem, N.C. shop last week. Fitzgerald, 54, whose résumé includes stints as president/chief operating officer at Saatchi & Saatchi in New York and vice chairman of McCann Erickson in New York, fills a position vacant since the merger of Long Haymes Carr and Wenham, Mass.-based Mullen in January.

Digitas Reports Down Quarter

BOSTON—Digitas last week reported a down second quarter, with a net loss of $33.5 million on revenue of $60.5 million. The bad news had been expected and was in line with numbers reported by most competing i-shops. Digitas’ quarterly loss increased from $5.3 million for the same period a year ago; revenue was $70 million in the same period a year ago. The loss was attributed largely to a $16.9 million charge related to layoffs and other restructuring efforts. Boston-based Digitas has cut more than 180 people worldwide since the year began; the shop still employs about 1,600. Digitas’ stock of late has dipped into the $3 range. Digitas has been involved in talks about an acquisition or affiliation with the Interpublic Group of Cos., sources have said, though neither Digitas nor IPG officials have confirmed such talks.

Benes Scores Northeastern, Boston Exchange

BOSTON—Benes Brand Imaging bested Holland Mark in the final round of a review for the advertising and design account of Northeastern University, which is estimated at $500,000-1 million. Lexington, Mass.-based Benes also added the design-focused account of the Boston Stock Exchange. Neither client had an incumbent.