Hotlines: Late-Breaking Industry News

$170-200 Mil. Best Buy Account Goes to BBDO Following Review

NEW YORK Best Buy last week awarded its $170-200 million ad account to BBDO here following a review. The Omnicom shop bested sibling GSD&M in Austin, Texas, and MDC’s Crispin Porter + Bogusky in Miami (a client roster agency) in the final round. The client had previously handled most of its brand advertising in-house. The scope of work includes account planning, ad strategy and execution and media and consumer connection planning. “We’re psyched and humbled by Best Buy’s confidence in us,” said David Lubars, chairman and COO, BBDO North America. Select Resources International in Santa Monica, Calif., oversaw the review.

Restaurants Kick Off Review For $90 Mil. Media Business

CHICAGO The parent company of Outback Steakhouse and Carraba’s Italian restaurants has put its $90 million-plus media planning and buying accounts for those brands into review, the consultant running the search confirmed. The Tampa, Fla.-based company has contracted SRI to handle the search and is looking to consolidate the business at one agency, said SRI president Catherine Bension. The incumbents have been invited to participate. Havas’ MPG in New York plans and buys national media, and independent Doner in Southfield, Mich., handles local spot buying. MPG officials declined comment; sources said the agency was still deciding whether it would defend. A Doner representative had no immediate response. Creative duties, currently at Publicis’ Kaplan Thaler Group in New York, are not affected by the search.

Starbucks Shifts Bottled Drinks Account From Goodby to BBDO

NEW YORK Starbucks has moved its estimated $10 million branded bottled drinks account to Omnicom’s BBDO here from sister shop Goodby, Silverstein & Partners in San Francisco, the client confirmed. The products, which are sold mainly in delis and supermarkets, are a joint venture between the Seattle firm and Pepsi-Cola. BBDO is the lead creative agency on the Pepsi account. Goodby won the Starbucks branded drinks assignment in November 2005, besting Publicis-backed Bartle Bogle Hegarty in a review.

Publicis Will Acquire French Digital Shop in $182 Mil. Deal

NEW YORK Publicis said last week it would acquire French digital agency Business Interactif in a $182 million stock and cash deal. The shop will become part of Digitas, serving as its French outpost and bringing it a presence in Tokyo and Shanghai. Publicis has made the global expansion of Digitas a key goal since acquiring the agency in December for $1.3 billion. In a corporate reorganization last month, Modem’s London office became part of Digitas to serve as a launching pad for European expansion. Business Interactif has 250 employees and generated $38 million in revenue in 2006 and $531,000 in operating income. It offers Web creative, media and analytics to clients like L’Oréal, Nestlé and Lancome.

Anomaly Drops Out of Porsche Review, Leaving 6 Agencies

NEW YORK Anomaly has withdrawn from Porsche North America’s review of creative and media duties on its ad account, leaving six shops for client executives to visit next month, the client confirmed. Anomaly, an independent here, exited after reaching the visitation round but before visits began. Agency partner Jason DeLand attributed the withdrawal to a heavy workload from clients and “entrepreneurial ventures.” It’s unlikely that another agency will be named to replace Anomaly, said a Porsche rep. Sources expect Porsche to move forward with the six remaining agencies. Scheduled to be visited the first two weeks of July are independent shops mcgarrybowen and SS+K, both in New York, Cramer-Krasselt in Chicago and IPG agencies The Martin Agency in Richmond, Va., Hill, Holliday, Connors, Cosmopulos in New York and Carmichael Lynch in Minneapolis, the creative incumbent. Based on the meetings, Porsche, which spends about $25 million annually in major measured media, will cut to four finalists.

NBC’s Zucker Predicts Upfront Take on Par With Last Year

NEW YORK NBC Universal CEO Jeff Zucker last week said he expected the media conglomerate’s broadcast and cable networks would take in a combined $3.9 billion in upfront revenue, about the same haul the company pulled in last year. In an address to financial analysts, Zucker said that while NBC’s prime-time share of adults 18-49 has dropped to a 2.4 rating from a broadcast-leading 3.7 three years ago, the bleeding has been stanched.

Nascar’s Montoya Stars in First Sprint Nextel Spanish Spot

NEW YORK Sprint Nextel is betting that Nascar’s time has come for Latinos. The wireless provider will debut its first Spanish-language TV commercial, “Gotera” (“Water Leak”), this week featuring Colombia-born driver Juan Pablo Montoya for its second wave of a comprehensive integrated-marketing campaign. Montoya joined the Nascar Nextel Cup Series last year. He was formerly a Formula One driver. Sprint Nextel spent $20.6 million in Hispanic media last year.