Aegis’ Carat Joins Race for $500 Mil. Kellogg Media Duties

NEW YORK Kellogg has added Carat to the list of agencies competing for its $500 million U.S. media buying account, sources said. The client confirmed the review in October. Last month, sources said the client told would-be participants the review would be limited to Publicis’ Starcom and WPP’s MindShare, which handles the $100 million U.K. Kellogg buying assignment, although a company rep indicated at the time that the company reserved the right to add others. Sources said presentations are set for mid-December, with a decision due by year’s end or in early January.

2 Shops Remain in $100 Mil. Washington Mutual Account

los angeles Following meetings at the client’s Seattle headquarters last Monday, Washington Mutual has narrowed the list of contenders for its estimated $100 million ad account to two, sources said. Finalists in the review, being managed by Santa Monica, Calif., consultancy Select Resorces International, are Publicis West in Seattle and Leo Burnett in Chicago, sources said. Omnicom’s TBWA\Chiat\Day in San Francisco, and independent Cramer-Krasselt in Chicago have been cut, sources said. Representatives from both SRI and the contenders declined comment. The client, which split with IPG’s Sedgwick Rd. in Seattle in September, did not return calls by press time. A Washington Mutual rep previously said a decision would be made by the end of the year.

Pile + Co to Oversee Review Of $60 Mil. Panasonic Account

NEW YORK Pile + Co. has been hired to handle the review for Panasonic, client representative Jim Reilly confirmed on Friday. He said the Boston-based consultancy was selected and that “we’ll be evaluating how to proceed from there.” Panasonic, whose U.S. headquarters are in Secaucus, N.J., put its agency, WPP’s Grey Worldwide, on 90-day notice last Wednesday, ending a relationship that began in 1981. Sources said the directive to dismiss Grey came directly from Japan. The client spent about $60 million in U.S. media last year. Grey’s “Ideas for life” campaign, which broke in April, has been credited with lifting Panasonic’s U.S. market share for plasma TVs and other electronics, according to the client. WPP’s MediaCom handles media, but Reilly declined to comment on whether those duties were affected.

XM Satellite Invites Agencies to Brainstorm on 2006 Project

boston XM Satellite has met with several undisclosed agencies, including lead shop IPG’s Mullen in Wenham, Mass., to solicit ideas to help launch a new product in 2006, sources said. Mullen handles the client’s $45-$50 million brand advertising account. One source described the assignment as a project that falls under the “Listen large” banner, the nationwide campaign it launched last month. Mullen declined comment.

3 Finalists for $25 Mil. Mini Account to Meet With Client

NEW YORK The three finalists for BMW North America’s $25 million Mini Cooper account will present this week at the client’s Woodcliff Lake, N.J., headquarters, sources said. StrawberryFrog of New York will pitch first today, followed by crosstown rival Mother on Tuesday morning. Butler, Shine, Stern & Partners goes last on Tuesday afternoon. All three independent shops will get two and a half hours to make their cases before a committee of six, sources said. The creative review was sparked when Crispin Porter + Bogusky resigned the account to take on Volkswagen’s $400 million North American business.

4 Finalists Vie for $10 Mil. Account

NEW YORK Independent Cramer-Krasselt in Chicago has been cut from the review for the estimated $10 million account, sources said. The Charlotte, N.C., client will hear final presentations from the remaining four finalists next week. They are: independents Doner in Southfield, Mich., and The Richards Group in Dallas, Omnicom’s Element 79 in Chicago and Havas’ Arnold in McLean, Va. Hasan + Co. in Raleigh, N.C., is handling the review and declined comment, as did the agencies.