Havas' Euro RSCG appeared to be cut from Intel's estimated $300 million-plus global marketing-services review last week, after the client told contenders it had narrowed its search to agencies from WPP, Omnicom and Interpublic, dropping Havas and Publicis, sources said.
But the client was being mysterious—one review insider said "murky"—about the status of its 14-year incumbent, sources said, because it is sensitive to the pressure Euro parent Havas is facing as it simultaneously defends Intel and media agency MPG's Volkswagen business and deals with dissent on its board. One source noted that a client exec promised Euro that even if it were out of the contest, it would be given a face-saving opportunity to make a presentation.
A Euro rep said the shop was still working on a client brief and would make a final presentation. An Intel rep said only, "The review is continuing, and beyond that we won't comment on specifics."
In the meantime, sources said, client executives last Wednesday gave an all-day briefing to Omnicom's DDB, IPG's McCann WorldGroup and a team of WPP agencies (dubbed "Team Intel") at company headquarters in Santa Clara, Calif.
The brief is to develop an overall positioning of Intel in the new digital environment, according to one source.
Another round of meetings is scheduled for late January, about a month before final presentations, said sources. Santa Monica, Calif., consultancy Select Resources International is managing the review.