Hotlines

Blue Man Group Returns in $120 Mil. Centrino Campaign

New York Intel is reintroducing the Blue Man Group, not used since 2001, in a campaign for its Centrino mobile technology for wireless computing. The effort, by Euro RSCG Worldwide in New York, breaks today on ABC’s Monday Night Football and rolls out worldwide shortly. TV, print and online ads will run through the first quarter of 2005, according to Sean Connoly, worldwide advertising manager of Intel. Connoly declined to comment on the budget, but sources said Intel will spend about $120 million on the campaign. The effort precedes new chief marketing officer Eric Kim’s Nov. 15 arrival at Intel.



Seifert to Take Leave From TBWA\C\D; Hunt Splits Time

NEW YORK Shona Seifert, president of the New York office of Omnicom’s TBWA\Chiat\Day, is taking a three-month paid leave of absence, beginning Jan. 1, as she prepares for a February trial on federal charges of overbilling the Office of National Drug Control Policy while managing the account at Ogilvy & Mather. Seifert, who has pleaded not guilty, revealed her plans on Friday, two weeks after Brett Gosper became president of TBWA’s New York Group. Separately, worldwide creative director John Hunt, based in New York since May 2003, is now expected to split his time between New York and his native South Africa, said sources. His family also is moving back to South Africa. In an internal e-mail, Gosper said Seifert’s leave had “long been the intention” and that Hunt “will continue to play the same role.”



Delta to Hear Final Pitches In $20 Mil. Review

CHICAGO Final presentations for Delta Air Lines’ $20 million account will take place this Wednesday and Thursday, sources said. Creative finalists are Omnicom’s BBDO in New York and Atlanta; WPP’s J. Walter Thompson and Ogilvy & Mather in New York; and IPG’s Lowe in New York. BBDO, JWT and Ogilvy are pitching with their sibling media companies: Omnicom’s OMD and WPP’s MindShare. The incumbents, independent Brighthouse in Atlanta and Publicis’ Starcom in Chicago, were eliminated. Rojek Consulting Group in Cleveland and New York is overseeing the review.



Alltel Contacts Agencies About $100 Mil. Creative Account

NEW YORK Alltel is asking agencies for creative ideas, sources said. The Little Rock, Ark., client spent about $100 million in media in 2003, according to TNS Media Intelligence/CMR. Omnicom’s DDB Chicago has handled the account; the campaign has been tagged “You got that right” since April 2003. The agency declined comment. The client said that Alltel’s relationship with DDB is unchanged. Sources said no consultant is involved. Alltel provides telecommunications services to about 12 million customers in 26 states.



Half-Dozen U.S. Army Finalists To Present Next Month

CHICAGO The six finalists for the U.S. Army’s $180 million account are expected to make final presentations during the week of Oct. 18, said sources. The Army team visited and briefed the agencies during the week of Sept. 6., said sources. The finalists are Publicis’ Leo Burnett in Chicago, the incumbent; Omnicom’s BBDO in New York and Atlanta; Grey in New York; IPG’s McCann-Erickson in New York; and WPP’s Ogilvy & Mather and Young & Rubicam, both in New York, sources said. Agencies referred calls to the client, which said Burnett’s contract has been extended to Dec. 30. A decision is due before that date, the rep said.



Disney Digs Up 7 Marketers For $160 Mil. Placement

NEW YORK Disney has enlisted Visa, McDonald’s, Verizon Wireless, Eastman Kodak, Dodge, Nascar and TiVo for what it is calling the largest live-action promotion in the studio’s history, a $160 million marketing trove for its November release, National Treasure. The film, about a man who finds a treasure map on the back of the Declaration of Independence, ties McDonald’s Dollar Menu into various conspiracies around the dollar bill. The character, played by Nicholas Cage, uses his Visa card to pay for what the clerk assumes is a copy of the declaration.