USPS Close to a Decision

BOSTON—The U.S. Postal Service this week is expected to name a winner in the review for its $100 million ad account. Although client officials said none of the seven contenders designated finalists has been eliminated, sources said three teams have advanced in recent weeks. They are Arnold, Boston, with Brann Worldwide, Wilton, Conn.; Foote, Cone & Belding, New York, with Frankel, Chicago; and Campbell-Ewald, Warren, Mich., with DraftWorldwide, Chicago. The work has been split among several shops, with Chicago’s Leo Burnett handling lead creative chores. Burnett is also on the client’s list of finalists.

Longtime Tatham Exec Baglivo to Arnold McGrath

NEW YORK—Former Chicago advertising executive Mary Baglivo is set join Arnold McGrath as president, succeeding Stephen Badenhop, who is leaving the New York agency. Her primary task will be to win new business and help turn around an office that suffered 30 percent declines in both revenue and billings in 2001. Baglivo’s appointment had been expected. Most recently, she was CEO of Panoramic Communications, New York. She will report to Arnold McGrath chairman and CEO Pat McGrath. Along with Arnold managing partner Tom Lawson, based in Arnold’s Boston headquarters, Baglivo becomes a top candidate to succeed McGrath once he steps down, though he insists he has no immediate plan to do so. Prior to a stint at J. Walter Thompson in New York, Baglivo was for many years an executive with what is now Euro RSCG Tatham Partners in Chicago, where her chief duties involved the shop’s former Procter & Gamble business.

Argos Chooses Euro RSCG in All-London Face-off

NEW YORK—Euro RSCG Wnek Gosper, London, has been awarded the $30 million Argos account, besting Leo Burnett and the incumbent, Ogilvy & Mather, both in London. Argos runs a catalog selling a variety of items, from jewelry to electronics. The pitch team was lead by Mark Wnek, executive creative director of Euro RSCG Wnek Gosper, and Adam Leigh, the shop’s managing director. The first ads will tout the launch of Argos’ new catalog in August.

Illinois Lottery Finalists Await Decision

CHICAGO–Finalists in the competition for the Illinois Lottery’s $20 million account made presentations last week, with a decision possible by the end of the month. The four agencies vying for the account are Leo Burnett, DDB, Euro RSCG Tatham Partners and J. Walter Thompson, all in Chicago. Incumbent Ogilvy & Mather chose not to participate.

Jack Daniel’s Sets Hard Cola Push

NEW YORK— Jack Daniel’s launches its Original Hard Cola with a $40 million push next month. The effort, tagged “Come as you are,” targets “Average Joes” in a nonpretentious manner, unlike the ultrahip positioning of competitors such as Smirnoff Ice and Bacardi Ice. The 12-ounce, long-neck-bottled Hard Cola ships this week to on-premise accounts. The effort includes promotional parties in 10-15 cities, including Atlanta and Chicago. Radio and print ads touting the parties, created by Arnold in St. Louis, lead agency for Jack Daniel’s bourbon, will break July 15. National network and cable TV ads will break in September.