Shops Pitch $300 Mil. Intel Media

NEW YORK At least five initial contenders have agreed to participate in the global media review being conducted by computer chip giant Intel, according to sources.

Sources estimated global ad spending in the $300 million range. The client spends about $100 million annually in U.S. measured media, per Nielsen Monitor-Plus.

In addition to the incumbent, Interpublic Group’s Universal McCann, the contenders are: Aegis Group’s Carat; Omnicom Group’s OMD; Publicis Groupe’s Starcom and WPP Group’s Mediaedge:cia.

Sources said that Ark Advisors’ Los Angeles office would oversee the review process for the Santa Clara, Calif.-based client. The agencies declined to comment. Ark didn’t return calls for comment; the client couldn’t be immediately reached for comment.

UM won the Intel account in March 2005 as part of a full-service review. McCann Erickson won creative duties as part of a joint pitch. When the client confirmed the media review in mid-December, a representative stressed that creative chores were not in play.

Intel, the world’s largest microchip provider, made a big push to introduce its Core 2 Duo processor in 2006, with various McCann Worldgroup units, including McCann Erickson and MRM, contributing.