Hotlines: Late-Breaking Industry News

BBH Picks Up Creative Duties For $165 Mil. Miller Lite Brand

NEW YORK Publicis-backed Bartle Bogle Hegarty here has won creative chores on Miller Brewing’s Miller Lite account following a review, the client said. The work had previously been at MDC’s Miami-based Crispin Porter + Bogusky, which parted ways with Miller earlier this year. The other finalists were Publicis’ Saatchi & Saatchi in New York and WPP’s Young & Rubicam in Chicago. Miller said it would award duties on Miller High Life, which was also part of the review, next week. (Crispin had handled that brand as well.) Estimated domestic ad spending last year on the brand was $165 million, per Nielsen Monitor-Plus.

3 Finalists to Present for $35 Mil. Smith Barney Account

NEW YORK Three New York shops have emerged as finalists for creative and media duties on Smith Barney’s account: WPP’s Young & Rubicam, IPG’s McCann Erickson and independent Gardner Nelson & Partners, sources said. Estimated billings are $35 million. The incumbent, IPG’s Hill, Holliday, Connors, Cosmopulos, is not defending because the review was triggered largely by the shop adding creative duties on the global wealth and investment management division of Bank of America, a Smith Barney rival. The shops either declined comment or could not be reached. New York-based Source Martin is managing the process.

Virgin Air Splits With Crispin, Puts Account Up for Review

NEW YORK Virgin Atlantic Airways has placed its creative and media account, held by Crispin Porter + Bogusky, into review. While the Miami-based MDC Partners agency was invited to defend, it will not participate in the review, the client confirmed. Elizabeth Zea of Gilbert & Company is conducting the search, and the airline has a pre-selected shortlist of agencies that will vie for the account. Those shops have not been disclosed. In recent years, the airline has spent about $5 million in domestic measured media, per TNS Media Intelligence. Crispin has held the account since 2003.

Starcom, Discovery Make Deal For Second-by-Second Data

New York Starcom USA has struck a deal with cable network Discovery HD Theater to provide clients with second-by-second data from 300,000 cable homes in Los Angeles that will gauge exactly how many households are tuned in to their commercials. That data, which is being processed by TNS Media Research, will be used to project a national rating, and Discovery will offer a household viewership guarantee based on the information, said to be a first. The agreement covers ads placed by clients through the rest of 2007. The participating companies, including Allstate, Best Buy and Buena Vista Home Entertainment, will produce high-definition TV spots to place on Discovery HD and will be able to compare recall and other engagement metrics between HD and standard-definition ads, Starcom said.

AOL Buys Third Screen Media, A Mobile Phone Ad Service

NEW YORK AOL is expanding its network with the addition of Third Screen Media, which places mobile ads. buys cheap space on sites across the Internet, and then uses cookies to target ads for clients, often charging them either per click or based on a portion of sales. It is the largest graphical ad network. The acquisition follows the move two weeks ago by Microsoft to buy Third Screen rival ScreenTonic, a Paris-based mobile ad network. Yahoo is also eyeing mobile advertising, starting its own network for graphical and search placements. Google has thus far made few moves into the mobile ad space. ABI Research anticipates $3 billion will be spent on mobile ads this year, rising to $19 billion in 2011.

Euro RSCG Appoints Floyed Global Head of New Business

NEW YORK Euro RSCG has named Daniel Floyed evp, global business development. He replaces Avi Dan, who parted ways with the agency early last month. Floyed, who will relocate to New York, has been with the Havas agency since 2005, first as global brand director on the Jaguar account. Since last year he has been managing director of Euro RSCG Fuel U.K. He will retain management of the Jaguar business in addition to his new duties. Floyed will be only the second person to hold the job at Euro RSCG. Dan, the first, held it for just 18 months.

$90 Mil. Retail Creative Account Goes to HHCC Following Review

LOS ANGELES Toys R Us last week awarded creative duties on its $90 million account to IPG’s Hill, Holliday, Connors, Cosmopulos following a review conducted by Select Resources International, said sources.The Boston shop prevailed against two other finalists, Omnicom’s DDB, Chicago, and independent Richards Group, Dallas. Media, handled by WPP’s Mediaedge:cia, were not in play. WPP’s Y&R, the incumbent, did not defend. The win continues a hot streak for Hill, Holliday, which has won work from Bank of America, Diovan and AOL in recent months. The client spent $90 million on measured media in 2006, per Nielsen Monitor-Plus.