Health Net Selects Merkley Newman Harty

NEW YORK—Health Net of the Northeast has selected Merkley Newman Harty & Partners to handle its estimated $10 million account, sources said. Merkley bested three other New York shops to land the business: McCann-Erickson, DeVito/Verdi and Catalyst, sources said. Previously, the account was in-house. The assignment in cludes creative and media duties and some below-the- line tasks. Merkley referred calls to executives at the Shelton, Conn., client, which could not be reached.

Arnold, Others Pitch for McDonald’s Diner Account

BOSTON—Arnold and three agencies made final presentations last week for McDonald’s Diner Inside account, sources said. Fellow roster shops DDB and Leo Burnett, along with non-roster shop Ogilvy & Mather, also pitched, according to sources. The first Diner Inside store opened in March 2001 in Kokomo, Ind., offering traditional diner fare. Executives at the Oak Brook, Ill.-based chain plan to open as many as a dozen more around the state. Boston-based Arnold this spring launched a major initiative for McDonald’s Dollar Menu.

Red Sox See ‘Green’ in Fabled Outfield Wall

NEW YORK—The legendary Green Monster that looms over left field in Fenway Park is about to generate some green for the Boston Red Sox. Two billboards will be placed atop the 37-foot-high wall, with The Sports Authority getting one of the prime spaces beginning July 23 and local Volvo dealers getting the other beginning Aug. 8. Both companies already have marketing deals with the Red Sox. The team says the billboards are being used on a trial basis for the remainder of the season and that ads will not appear on the wall itself. “We want to do two things: to increase our revenue … and we want to protect the ambience of Fenway Park,” said a Red Sox representative. Volvo’s signage will read, “Volvo for life.” The Red Sox could earn more than $3 million from the boards.

Mullen, Two Others Remain in Denny’s Review

CHICAGO—Mullen is one of three remaining finalists in the review for Denny’s $50 million advertising account, sources said. Cut from the list of contenders was Bernstein-Rein Advertising in Kansas City, Mo. Officials with the agency and consulting company Rojek Cutcher Group, Cleveland, declined comment. Executives from Mullen’s office in Winston-Salem, N.C., and the other finalists, Doner in Southfield, Mich., and Publicis in Mid-America in Dallas, are scheduled to make presentations this week. WestWayne, Atlanta, has handled the account.

Hotline Roundup

BOSTON— has tapped DraftWorldwide in Chicago for direct assignments; Arnold, Boston, remains lead agency and does not lose any business. … Brann Worldwide is preparing a range of relationship-marketing efforts to support Diageo’s Guinness ale and Nestlé’s beverage division after the clients tapped the Havas-owned agency following separate reviews. … Philip Johnson Associates has added HeartSine Technologies to its roster. The Cambridge, Mass., agency will create col lateral, a Web site and a direct-response program supporting HeartSine’s cardiac defibrillators.