Telecom Briefs Agencies, Sets First Pitches for February

NEW YORK French-owned wireless telecom Orange briefed agencies on Jan. 4 as part of a review to consolidate its pan-European account and unify its brand message, sources said. Agen- cies at the meeting included Omnicom’s TBWA\Paris and CLM BBDO Paris, which is teaming with DDB London and Amsterdam; IPG’s Foote Cone & Belding; Publicis’ Fallon London, with sibling Marcel Paris; WPP’s Young & Rubicam, which is teaming with offices from sibling The Voluntary United Group of Creative Agencies, formerly The Red Cell Group; roster shop Havas’ Euro RSCG Paris; and U.K. incumbent Mother. Estimated media spending is upwards of $200 million, said sources. Pitches are set for the first week of February in Paris, and a decision is expected by March. Client executives in London and Paris could not be reached for comment.

Weiss Exits Brand Architecture To Open ‘Design-centric’ Shop

NEW YORK Marty Weiss, creative director at TBWA’s Brand Architecture International and Adam Stagliano’s partner since 1991, left the agency on Friday to open his own “design-centric” shop in New York. The new firm, Meter Industries, will design everything from logos, packaging and Web sites to collateral and advertising, said Weiss, 51. “It’s about creating ideas wherever they live in the world,” he added. BAI, an international brand consultancy that creates ads, will add senior creative talent on accounts such as Pernod Ricard, but won’t replace Weiss with a partner and creative chief, said Stagliano, president. Other agency clients include Merisand and Waterworks.

Former McCann Exec Pace Heads to Subway as CMO

BOSTON Former McCann Erickson executive Tony Pace on Friday was named svp and CMO of the Subway Franchisee Advertising Fund, which creates ads and marketing programs for the chain. The Milford, Conn.-based client spends approximately $350 million annually on ads. Its lead agency is independent MMB in Boston. Neither MMB officials nor Pace could immediately be reached. Pace succeeds Chris Carroll, who left last September.

Ikea Returns $60 Mil. Creative Account to Deutsch

NEW YORK Five years after Ikea left IPG’s Deutsch, the Swedish retailer said Friday it would return creative duties to the New York shop and that the projected media spend would be $60 million over the next year. The Plymouth Meeting, Pa., client split in November with Secret Weapon Marketing in Santa Monica, Calif. Prior to Secret Weapon, the client worked with the Los Angeles office of Miami-based MDC Partners’ shop Crispin Porter + Bogusky, which won the 2003 Cannes film Grand Prix for an Ikea spot called “Lamp.” Independent Horizon Media in Los Angeles and New York handles media chores.

Consumers Prefer Paying for Ad-Free Content, Survey Says

New York Nearly 70 percent of 1,000 respondents polled say they prefer paying for ad-free content rather than downloading ad-supported video for free, according to a new survey from Starcom examining the market for mobile video delivered through devices like cell phones or the video iPod. The study also found differences in the types of content users consume on different devices. For iPods and similar products, users download music videos and TV shows; on mobile phones, they are more likely to watch weather and news.

News Roundup

Six New York agencies have been named semifinalists in EarthLink’s $50-60 million U.S. ad account review, sources said. They are Publicis’ Saatchi & Saatchi, IPG’s Gotham and Lowe, WPP’s JWT and Omnicom’s DDB and Merkley + Partners, sources said. Agency executives either could not be reached or declined comment. … Questionnaires go out this week for the $15 million BF Goodrich creative and media ad account, sources said. Hasan + Co. will send out up to 15 RFPs. The Greenville, S.C., client called a review in December, and the incumbent, independent Doner in Southfield, Mich., which also handled media, was not asked to defend.