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Entertaining A Change

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DreamWorks SKG has invited a select group of agencies and media buying companies from around the country to pitch its estimated $85 million media account, according to sources.
The contenders include GSD&M, Austin, Texas; KSL Media, Los Angeles; SFM Media, Los Angeles and New York; Carat ICG and Carat MBS in Los Angeles and New York; TN Media in New York; and possible others, said sources.
Officials at those agencies either declined to comment or could not be reached at press time.
Incumbent Focus Media, Santa Monica, Calif., which won a review last year to become DreamWorks' first media buying shop, has been invited to defend, said sources. Tom Rubin, chairman and chief executive of Focus, declined to comment.
Executives at DreamWorks in Universal City, Calif., also declined to comment.
DreamWorks decided to look beyond Focus after recent disagreements between the two over some proposed media plans for this fall, said sources.
The agencies will meet with the client this week and next, said sources, to pitch media planning and buying duties for theatrical film releases and home videos. DreamWorks co-founder Jeffrey Katzenberg is expected to play a role in the review, said sources.
Founded four years ago by entertainment moguls Steven Spielberg, David Geffen and Katzenberg, DreamWorks spent about $60 million on advertising last year. In comparison, Sony Pictures spent $250 million and Universal Pictures $139 million, according to Competitive Media Reporting.
DreamWorks' advertising spending is expected to grow substantially this year, though, as the studio promotes its first full slate of movies, including Spielberg's Saving Private Ryan, opening Friday, and Prince of Egypt later this year.
--with staff reports