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Cingular Hispanic Goes Into Play

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ATLANTA Cingular Wireless has placed its Hispanic ad account into review, the client confirmed on Friday.

Cingular spent $10 million on domestic Hispanic ads in 2002, according to Nielsen Monitor-Plus, but sources said that figure will rise to $15 million next year. (The category leader, Verizon Wireless, spent $12 million last year.)

The incumbent is Omnicom Group's Dieste Harmel & Partners in Dallas, which picked up the business on a project basis last December without a review. The shop will defend, sources said.

The Atlanta-based client issued requests for proposals this week to Hispanic agencies nationwide, sources said. RFPs are due back on Nov. 17. A decision is expected in March. Cingular Wireless is a venture of BellSouth Corp. and SBC Communications.

Cingular's general ad account is handled by Omnicom's BBDO in Atlanta and New York. The client spent $250 million on ads through August, per Nielsen.