Deutsch Scores Intel/Microsoft Work, Hires Fallon’s Kimble

NEW YORK IPG’s Deutsch has landed ad duties on a joint project from Intel and Microsoft, sources said. The assignment, which involves Intel’s Pentium 4 processor with HT and Microsoft’s Windows XP, is intended to generate excitement around PCs and the coming of the digital home, sources said. Recently, the New York agency hired Victor Kimble as vp, account director, to run the project, said sources. Kimble joined from Publicis’ Fallon in New York, where he worked on accounts such as Georgia-Pacific. A Deutsch rep confirmed the hire but declined further comment.

Mediaedge:cia Takes $130 Mil. Toys ‘R’ Us Media Account

LOS ANGELES WPP’s Mediaedge:cia has added the $130 million Toys “R” Us general and Hispanic media planning and buying account, the client confirmed. The New York-based agency replaced Starcom and Tapestry in Chicago, both Publicis shops. Client svp of marketing Amy Parker said Toys “R” Us wanted a WPP agency because “it’s really important for the business to have that seamless flow.” Sibling Young & Rubicam in New York won the creative review in May. This follows MEC’s victory last week in Paramount Pictures’ $480 million review.

Nearly 20 Shops Return Smart Car RFI, Await Cut

NEW YORK Nearly 20 shops have returned a request for information from AAR Partners issued on behalf of DaimlerChrysler’s Smart U.S.A., sources said. The client is said to be looking at agencies with experience in retail and launching new brands. Sources said shops that returned the form include IPG’s Sedgwick Rd. in Seattle and The Martin Agency in Richmond, Va.; MDC’s Margeotes| Fertitta + Partners, Publicis’ The Kaplan Thaler Group and Publicis-backed Bartle Bogle Hegarty in New York; Hakuhodo-invested Mendelsohn Zien in Los Angeles; and independents Cimarron Group in Los Angeles, DiMassimo Carr Brand Advocates in New York, WongDoody in Los Angeles, Venables, Bell & Partners in San Francisco and Kovell/Fuller in Culver City, Calif. The consultancy did not return calls. Contenders will be named next week, sources said. Smart car will bow in 2006.

Havas Tries to Fortify Balance Sheet With $503.3 Mil. Issue

NEW YORK Havas raised $503.3 million on Friday through a rights issue that was nearly five times oversubscribed. Proceeds from the offering, which increased the number of outstanding shares by 119.5 million, to 428.8 million, will be used to pay off a convertible bond due in 2006. The French holding company said in a statement that it “will now have one of the lowest net debt ratios in the sector.” The effort to strengthen Havas’ balance sheet is seen as a defensive move as French corporate raider Vincent Bolloré continues to increase his stake in Havas, which is now more than 20 percent.

They’ve Got Questions: Radio Shack Contacts More Shops

Dallas The list of shops contacted by Radio Shack has grown to at least six, as the client continues to deny they are conducting a review. The $220 million account is now handled by in-house agency the Circle R Group. Omnicom’s GSD&M in Austin, Texas, Crispin, Porter + Bogusky in Miami and Publicis-backed Bartle Bogle Hegarty in New York emerged this week, alongside WPP’s Berlin Cameron/Red Cell and IPG’s TM Advertising in Irving, Texas, and Deutsch in New York. Sources said agencies were told the client is looking for more than just project work, and that the review could lead to the hiring of a new agency. Radio Shack chief brand officer Jim McDonald said the conversations may have been misconstrued as a review rather than “talking with a few agencies from time to time” about assignments.

Brown Co. Aims For ‘Active Traders’ in $15 Mil. Campaign

NEW YORK IPG’s McCann Erickson breaks its first work today for brokerage house Brown Co. since winning the account in July, the agency said. The estimated $15 million campaign targets active traders. Three TV spots feature a potential customer being shown around a brokerage house where they meet overly eager staffers with names such as “Quarterly Charges,” and “Frivolous Tchotchkes” and who represent the downside of competitive brokerage houses.