Ogilvy in Late Bid for Goldman

After selecting two finalists in a review–D’Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles and Mullen–Goldman Sachs is quietly talking to Ogilvy & Mather about taking on its $25 million advertising account.
A decision was expected two weeks ago after Mullen, Wenham, Mass., and D’Arcy, New York, made their final pitches to the client. But Ogilvy’s overtures prolonged the process, sources said.
Ogilvy, which is owned by the WPP Group, is “negotiating at the highest (executive) levels,” with the investment company, one source said. Goldman Sachs, along with Merrill Lynch, advised WPP in its recent purchase of Young & Rubicam.
The Goldman Sachs review began in April. Ogilvy was an early contender, sources said, but withdrew because of a possible conflict with its American Express client. Amex spent $345 million in U.S. measured media in 1999, according to Competitive Media Reporting. An Amex official declined comment.
Bill Gray, co-president of Ogilvy, New York, said his shop had never been in the Goldman Sachs review and reiterated last week, “We are not pitching Goldman Sachs,” but declined further comment.
Executives at Goldman Sachs and Pile and Co., Boston, which is handling the review, declined comment, as did officials with Mullen and D’Arcy. Before the review, Goldman Sachs’ business had been shared by three New York agencies: Lowe Lintas & Partners, Doremus and Mezzina/Brown. K