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Agilent in Bicoastal Search

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Agilent Technologies, a semiconductor and chem ical company that split from Hewlett-Packard in 1999, is conducting a review for its creative and media account, sources said last week. According to CMR, the client spent $40 million last year on ads.

The Palo Alto, Calif.-based client, which makes testing and measurement devices for the biotechnology and other industries, has contacted shops from Northern California to New York, sources said.

Incumbents McCann-Erickson (creative) and Interpublic Group sibling Universal McCann (media), both New York, are defending, sources said. RFPs were due back Friday.

Sources said the review is expected to involve both large, global agencies and smaller, more creatively driven shops.

Naturally, the RFP asked detailed questions about agencies' technology experience and the shops' work philosophy.

"They are listed in Fortune as one of the 50 best companies to work for ... they care about their employees and care about the environment," one source said of the appeal of working with Agilent. "They are a good company because they deliver on what they say and believe, and that's pretty uncommon today.''

The 60-year-old company has about 37,000 employees around the world, including Japan, Malaysia and Scotland.