Interpublic Has 2 Entrants in 3-Horse Race
ATLANTA--Long Haymes Carr, Merkley Newman Harty and the tandem of Initiative Media North America and WestWayne made pitches last week for BellSouth's $120 million consolidated media planning account.
The finalists were confirmed by the consultancy conducting the review, Wanamaker, based here.
The four shops--LHC, Winston-Salem, N.C.; MNH, New York; and WestWayne and Initiative Media, both Atlanta--all have various assignments from the Atlanta client, which is consolidating its advertising. The telco currently uses more than a dozen agencies for above- and below-the-line duties.
BellSouth and agency representatives declined to comment.
One regional observer said the strange bedfellow scenario of Interpublic Group of Cos.-owned Initiative Media, allied with the independent WestWayne, against IPG's LHC is not as odd as it might seem.
"You've got to keep in mind that this now means IPG is backing two horses in a three-horse race," said Amy Hoover, vice president at Talent Zoo in Atlanta. "It also makes a good test run if IPG is thinking of acquiring WestWayne."
MNH is owned by the New York holding company Omnicom.
A decision is expected before the end of this month, said Wanamaker president Jim Bose.
MNH topped WestWayne in a shootout for the client's consolidated corporate branding duties last November. Last week BellSouth pooled its Hispanic corporate branding work at Sanchez & Levitan in Miami (see story on page 4).