Cliff Freeman Splits With Coca-Cola

NEW YORK—Cliff Freeman and Partners has severed its relationship with the Coca-Cola Co., the agency confirmed. The New York shop had handled the $5 million KMX energy drink account in the U.S. and had handled Fanta overseas since 1996. Billings on that account are estimated at $15 million. Sources said that in a letter to Coke dated Aug. 29, the agency resigned the accounts. Coke officials could not be reached. An agency executive said the shop resigned the business because of Coke’s shift in its approach to global marketing and “its focus on larger networked agencies like IPG.”

Havas Withdraws Tempus Bid; WPP to Take Over

NEW YORK—Citing deteriorating market conditions due to the ad recession and the devastating impact of the recent terrorist attack, French holding company Havas is ending its quest to purchase Britain’s media-services network Tempus, allowing a clear path for a takeover by Britain’s WPP Group. Havas retracted its attempt to extend the period for Tempus shareholders to accept its $610 million bid for Tempus, and in the process declined to raise WPP’s $629 million counterbid. Havas will let its bid lapse on Sept. 24. European investors appeared to be skeptical that WPP will follow through on its bid, with some observers noting WPP must get 90 percent of the shareholders’ acceptances it needs by the Oct. 1 deadline. WPP and Tempus officials were unavailable for comment.

Holding Companies Give Millions to Victims’ Funds

NEW YORK—The advertising community is making contributions to aid the victims of the World Trade Center attack. The Omnicom Group is contributing $3 million to The Twin Towers Fund, established to aid the families of the fire, police and emergency medical workers who perished or were injured in the attack. The Interpublic Group of Cos. has guaranteed a minimum of $1 million to the fund, including matching employee contributions. The Twin Towers Fund is being coordinated by New York City Public/Private Initiatives, a City Hall-based organization. The WPP Group’s Ogilvy & Mather and MindShare Foundation said they will also match employee contributions to Engine 54 in Manhattan, which lost 14 men in the rescue attempt.

Starcom Lands Discover Card Media Planning Biz

CHICAGO—Morgan Stanley Dean Witter has awarded media planning duties on its $130 million Discover credit card account to Starcom USA. Starcom already handles all buying for Morgan Stanley. The incumbent was Goodby, Silverstein & Partners in San Francisco.

Account Activity

Pitches begin this week in Boston Beer’s estimated $30 million media planning and buying review, sources said. Contending are the New York offices of Carat, Initiative Media North America, Zenith Media and other, undisclosed agencies, said sources. … Allied Domecq has awarded its estimated $15 million Sauza Tequila account to dRush, following a review that included Goodby, Silverstein & Partners in San Francisco, Crispin Porter + Bogusky in Miami, Modernista! in Boston and one undisclosed agency, sources said. Incumbent Bates in New York did not defend.