Hotline

Maytag to Begin $100 Mil. Media Review

LOS ANGELES—Maytag Corp. is preparing to review its estimated $100 million media planning and buying business, the client confirmed. The Newton, Iowa-based company’s media incumbents are Interpublic Group’s Initiative Media North America and Bcom3’s Starcom, both Chicago. Both agencies are invited to defend. (Creative is not in review.) Brands in review include Maytag (whose creative agency is Leo Burnett, Chicago), Hoover (whose creative is handled by IPG’s Foote, Cone & Belding in Chicago) and Amana (whose media planning and creative are handled by IPG’s Carmichael Lynch, Minneapolis). Consultancy Jones Lundin Beals in Chicago is handling the search.

Pizza Hut Taps Wieden for Assignment

NEW YORK—Wieden + Kennedy has won the review to become Pizza Hut’s secondary agency. The Portland, Ore., shop beat Cliff Freeman and Partners, Ogilvy & Mather and Saatchi & Saatchi, all New York. BBDO in New York continues to handle the main ad account, with estimated billings of $140 million.

BBH Lands $50 Mil. ING Direct Business

NEW YORK—Bartle Bogle Hegarty was awarded creative duties on ING Direct, a unit of financial-services company ING Group, the client confirmed. Sources pegged billings at $50 million when ING launched its agency search last year. Other finalists were Berlin Cam eron/Red Cell in New York and The Martin Agency in Richmond, Va., sources said. Incumbent Howard, Merrell & Partners in Raleigh, N.C., did not participate in the review, which was managed by Boston consultancy Pile & Co.

Trone Seeks President for Greensboro, N.C., Office

ATLANTA—With the departure of Natalie Perkins, Trone Advertising has launched a search for a new president. Perkins left the Greensboro, N.C., shop earlier this month. It was unclear what her next step will be; Perkins did not return calls. Sources said she and Lee Trone havedisagreed on the agency president role in the overall management structure. Trone said he will continue as CEO overseeing the agency, its public relations unit and its Atlanta satellite, adding that he will allocate some of the president’s duties across the shop’s management team.

Gap Hands Creative Duties to N.Y. Startup

NEW YORK—Gap has awarded fall creative duties to New York startup Laird + Partners, the client said. Sources said that spots in a summer campaign, slated to break in May, will be directed by Cameron Crowe, the Coen brothers and Roman Coppola. That campaign will be created in-house. The new agency begins with two clients: Gap and Donna Karan International. Its founder and president, Trey Laird, 37, was previously Donna Karan’s corporate creative director. For Donna Karan, Laird will handle traditional ads and media planning. Gap spent $100 million on ads last year; Donna Karan spent nearly $25 million, according to CMR. Gap recently severed ties with Modernista! in Boston [Adweek, March 4].

Drexler Appointed Optimedia CEO

NEW YORK—Mike Drexler was named the new chief executive of Publicis Groupe’s second media network, Optimedia USA, effective April 1. He succeeds Gene DeWitt, who said he was leaving his position as chairman and CEO in January to become president of the Syndicated Network Television Association. Drexler, 64, was most recently evp of the New York office of San Francisco-based interactive agency Mediasmith.

Cisco Names 3 Finalists for $50-60 Mil. Account

SAN FRANCISCO—Cisco Systems confirmed that it has narrowed its search for its estimated $50-60 million account to three agencies. They are Grey and JWT & Tonic, both San Francisco, and TBWA\Chiat\Day in Playa del Rey, Calif., said Jere King, vp, worldwide marketing communications at Cisco. A group briefing was held at the client’s San Jose, Calif., offices last week. Pitches will take place in early May to June. The incumbent is Hill, Holliday, Connors, Cosmopulos in San Francisco.

FCB Hires Henton for Top Creative Post

LOS ANGELES—Foote, Cone & Belding in Irvine, Calif., confirmed it has tapped Holland Henton as its svp, executive creative director. Henton, 40, who most recently was svp, group creative director at McCann-Erickson in New York, has led creative on accounts such as Southwest Airlines and Federal Express. He replaces Scott Montgomery, who departed in June. Henton starts today and will oversee creative on all accounts. He reports to agency president Jim Harrington.

Newswire Roundup

Beech-Nut is searching for an agency to handle marketing for its baby-food products, sources said. Billings are estimated at $10-15 million. Midwest and East Coast agencies replied to an RFP sent out by Claggett Creative Consulting, a St. Louis consultancy. … Eddie Bauer has tapped Mullen for its estimated $8-10 million apparel ad account, a client representative confirmed. Black Rocket Euro RSCG in San Francisco and Focus, a Seattle-based agency run by Omnicom Group, both pitched the business. The former Lowe Lintas & Partners in San Francisco, which folded in May 2001, was the incumbent. … BJ’s Wholesale Club may be poised for a review, sources said. Annual spending has been about $5 million with Boston’s Partners & Simons, but the budget is expected to increase as the Natick, Mass., client continues its expansion in the South. Client executives did not return calls. … ADC has split with Campbell Mithun, the Minneapolis client said. The client is expected to work with agencies on a project basis. ADC spent $5 million on advertising last year, according to CMR.