Hotlines: Late-Breaking Industry News

Anomaly and Virgin America To Go Their Separate Ways

NEW YORK Anomaly and Virgin America, a startup airline that hired the New York shop in 2004, are splitting up, the client confirmed on Friday. The Burlingame, Calif.-based company has “no plans yet” for a review. The airline is said to be using Eleven, a San Francisco shop, for project work. Major media spending for the airline was less than $2 million last year and almost $3 million in the first nine months of 2007, according to Nielsen Monitor-Plus. The airline didn’t start flying until August. Virgin America’s split with the incumbent will take effect in January, said Jason DeLand, a partner at Anomaly. The split was due to “taking away key business model opportunities where Anomaly could profit in an entrepreneurial way,” DeLand said.

BofA Taps SRI to Guide Review Of $250 Mil. Media Account

NEW YORK Bank of America has confirmed hiring Select Resources International in Santa Monica, Calif., to guide the review of its media business, first reported on The client spends approximately $250 million annually in measured media. The Charlotte, N.C.-based bank also considered several other consultancies for the assignment, sources said. SRI will submit for approval a list of shops to receive proposal requests sometime this month. An award is expected by March 31, when Omnicom ‘s current contract with BofA expires. Incumbent Prometheus in Chicago has been invited “and encouraged” to defend, a BofA representative said. The shop could not be reached for comment. Separately, BofA earlier confirmed an Adweek report that Omnicom’s BBDO, the current lead creative agency, is getting first crack at becoming the primary shop under a new arrangement designed to give BofA more flexibility to work with resources beyond Omnicom. As such, BBDO has been asked to write a proposal outlining how it would manage and coordinate BofA’s advertising and marketing services going forward. A client rep stressed that for now, only BBDO has been asked to write such a proposal, and that a general RFP has not been issued.

Google to Bid for Wireless Spectrum in FCC Auction

NEW YORK In a long-anticipated announcement, Google said Friday that it would participate in the FCC’s January auction to acquire wireless spectrum in the 700 MHz band. The piece of spectrum that Google will bid on is called the C-Block and it is expected to sell for $4.6 billion. The deadline to apply for the auction, which begins Jan. 24, is Monday. Google is expected to square off against AT&T and Verizon Wireless in the auction. Google had said that it probably would bid for the spectrum. The FCC added regulations in July that would ensure that the C-Block would go to an open network, a stipulation that aligns with Google’s stated principles. “We believe it’s important to put our money where our principles are,” Google chairman and CEO Eric Schmidt said. “Consumers deserve more competition and innovation than they have in today’s wireless world.”

Model Files Suit For Injuries Sustained in Super Bowl Shoot

LOS ANGELES Model Ganna Makeeva is suing Publicis’ Leo Burnett Detroit for an accident during the filming of the agency’s 2006 Super Bowl commercial for the Cadillac Escalade, according to documents filed in the Superior Court of Los Angeles Nov. 30. The lawsuit alleges that the agency and production company were negligent when the model strutted down the runway, was blinded by popping flash bulbs, and fell through a hole in the catwalk. According to her account, she was rushed to the hospital by ambulance for injuries from which she is still recovering. At press time, the agency was unaware of the lawsuit.

Deutsch/LA Awarded $150 Mil. PlayStation Account

NEW YORK Sony PlayStation has tapped IPG’s Deutsch/LA in Marina del Rey, Calif., to handle its estimated $150 million ad account following a review. Deutsch/LA president and CCO Eric Hirshberg characterized the agency’s pitch as “a completely integrated campaign with local marketing, online, in-store, as well as some spectacular stuff in traditional media.” Deutsch/LA succeeds Omnicom Group’s TBWA\Chiat\Day in Playa del Rey, Calif., which worked on the business for 12 years. It is adding both creative and media, the latter moving from Omnicom’s OMD. Along with Deutsch/LA and the incumbent, the other finalists were Publicis in Seattle and independents RPA in Santa Monica, Calif., and Venables, Bell & Partners in San Francisco. Select Resources International in Santa Monica oversaw the review process. Deutsch/LA also picked up more Saturn business from General Motors, adding online duties for the brand, including the site, according to sources. Publicis’ Digitas, the interactive shop in Boston, had handled the assignment. Agency officials declined comment. Kyle Johnson, Saturn director of communications, said only “there is no paperwork,” indicating that such a move is being made.