Hewlett-Packard Launches Interactive Search

LOS ANGELES—Hewlett-Packard has sent out RFPs to several undisclosed agencies for its interactive business, sources said. The advertiser currently works with several digital shops, including FCBi, and others. The search comes after HP’s merger with rival Compaq. Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, San Francisco, is the client’s lead agency for worldwide branding, and Publicis Groupe is its global agency for products. Publicis & Hal Riney, San Francisco, and sibling media network Optimedia handle media. HP execs were unavailable for comment. Billings were undetermined.

New Ad-Backed Citizen’s Brigade Seeks Support

NEW YORK—A consortium of public and private groups is developing plans for the “Citizens Homeland Network,” a centralized educational and information initiative that would connect ordinary citizens with government agencies, law enforcement and lay groups to exchange tips and information on emergency readiness, security and combatting terrorism. The project calls for a pilot test to begin in Tampa, Fla., later this month. Its proponents are seeking $3 million in funding from the Department of Justice, an appropriation that could come as early as this week. Straightline International, a New York-based brand consultancy, has been hired to work on research, strategy and implementation, following a review.

Deutsch, Simmons to Shutter dRush

NEW YORK—Deutsch and rap impresario Russell Simmons have decided to dissolve their 3-year-old joint venture known as dRush, an urban-focused marketing agency in New York. DRush will continue to operate for 90 days as it disengages from its lone client, Allied Domecq. DRush handled the Courvoisier cognac and Sauza Tequila brands. The move will result in layoffs of the 10 dRush staffers, including agency president Peter Drakoulias.

IBM Shifts PwC Consulting Business to Ogilvy

NEW YORK—As IBM waits for the close this month of its $3.5 billion purchase of the consulting arm of PricewaterhouseCoopers, the client is already making moves to shift advertising for PwC’s estimated $90 million business to WPP Group’s Ogilvy & Mather, New York, sources said. Interpublic Group shops Hill, Holliday, Connors, Cosmopulos and McCann-Erickson, both New York, had split the account. The consulting group will be housed in IBM’s global-services unit. IBM and Ogilvy officials declined comment.

News Roundup

At least four shops are vying for Ben & Jerry’s $5-10 million ad account, sources said. They are Cliff Freeman and Partners and IPG’s Bozell, both in New York, Miami’s Crispin Porter + Bogusky, and incumbent Fitch in Ann Arbor, Mich., according to sources. Another incumbent, Black Rocket Euro RSCG in San Francisco, and one undisclosed shop may also be pitching, sources said. Consultants with New York’s AAR Group, which is handling the search, declined comment. … John Madden is reprising his role as an Ace Hardware pitchman at the same time he returns to broadcasting, in two spots breaking today from Goodby, Silver stein & Partners, San Francisco.