MSN Eyes Brierley

LOS ANGELES Microsoft’s MSN is in negotiations to award its estimated $15-20 million direct marketing account to independent Brierley & Partners, sources said.

The other finalists were Interpublic Group agencies directDeutsch in Marina del Rey, Calif., and Draft in Chicago, as well as Omnicom Group’s Targetbase in Irving, Texas, according to sources. The incumbent, independent Innis Maggiore Group in Canton, Ohio, was eliminated from contention earlier in the review process.

Brierley executives did not return calls. A representative for the Redmond, Wash.-based client said, “MSN makes it a practice not to speculate on the review or selection process of such agencies.”

Select Resources International in West Hollywood, Calif., led the review for the ISP. Consultants with SRI declined comment.

New York-based McCann-Erickson, an IPG shop, handles Microsoft’s global corporate ad account and its MSN ad business, with combined estimated worldwide billings in excess of $200 million.