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Cut Due in $10-15 Mil. Heinz Pet-Food Review

NEW YORK—A cut is expected this week in the review for H.J. Heinz Co.’s $10-15 million pet-food business, according to the RFP, which was due back last week. The client, based in Pittsburgh, will hold credentials meetings the week of July 29, followed by a cut to finalists on July 31, the document says. Finalists will complete an assignment relating to the Kibbles ‘n Bits dog food and 9 Lives cat-food brands. New York consultancy Roth Associates is handling the process. The business is currently in-house.

House Bill Targets DTC Ads

WASHINGTON—”The Say No to Drug Ads Act,” introduced on Thursday by Reps. Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., and Joseph Crowley, D-N.Y., would prohibit pharmaceutical companies from taking a tax deduction for the cost of making direct-to-consumer ads for prescription drugs. The bill is the fourth one introduced in Congress this year that calls for the restriction of prescription-drug ads.

Toyota Bypasses Saatchi, Taps Attik for Scion Launch

LOS ANGELES—Toyota Motor Sales has selected London-based agency Attik to handle ads for the car maker’s youth-oriented Scion model, the client confirmed. Plans call for the work to be handled by the shop’s San Francisco outpost and break prior to the car’s launch in June 2003. Although Toyota’s longtime agency Saatchi & Saatchi was among the four finalists vying for the business, the client’s national manager for Scion, Brian Bolain, said the company was eager to break away from strategies used on other car models. “We said, let’s try not to just say, ‘Well, that’s the way Toyota does things,’ ” said Bolain. He added that the hiring of an outside shop is not indicative of a troubled relationship. Toyota “does not have any problems with Saatchi & Saatchi,” he said.

California Lottery Meets With Finalists

LOS ANGELES—The California Lottery is conducting agency visits this week to hear presentations from the four finalists vying for its five-year, $125 million account, sources said. The shops are the incumbent, Grey in Los Angeles; DDB and McCann-Erickson, also in Los Angeles; and Foote, Cone & Belding in San Francisco.

Mattel Hears Pitches for Creative Accounts

LOS ANGELES—Mattel will hear pitches this week for creative on its boys and entertainment, Fisher-Price licensed entertainment properties and global-coordination accounts, worth $50 million-plus in billings, sources said. Ogilvy & Mather in Culver City, Calif., Young & Rubicam in Irvine, Calif., Foote, Cone & Belding in New York and McCann-Erickson in San Francisco will pitch the accounts beginning today. A decision by the El Segundo, Calif., client is expected by late August.

Account Activity

McDonald’s heard pitches last week from Ogilvy & Mather in Chicago, along with roster shops DDB and Leo Burnett, both Chicago, and Arnold, Boston, for the chain’s Diner Inside concept, sources said. … Health Net of the Northeast has tapped Merkley Newman Harty & Partners for its $10 million account, sources said. McCann-Erickson, DeVito/Verdi and Catalyst, all New York, also contended, said sources. The account had been in-house.