NEW YORK - Ayer has withdrawn from the $20 million National Car Rental review due to its merger talks with Hal Riney & Partners/San Francisco, sources said last week (ADWEEK, Nov. 22). Ayer bowed out of the pitch to avoid a possible conflict with Hal Riney client Alamo Rent A Car leaving four other agencies Leo Burnett/Chicago, W.B. Doner/Southfield, Martin/Williams/Minneapolis and Hill, Holiday, Connors, Cosmopulos/Boston to battle it out. Meanwhile, sources said Ayer's loss of an estimated $150 million in AT&T billings is expected to spark major layoffs and could throw a wrench into the Riney talks. While Ayer/Riney has reached the due diligence stage, sources said Ayer is also in talks with at least two other unidentified agencies.
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