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BellSouth Decision Imminent

BOSTON—Arnold is among four finalists awaiting word of a decision in the review for the creative and media planning portion of BellSouth's $120-million advertising account. Arnold, Boston, The Richard Group, Dallas, and New York shops Grey and incumbent Merkley Newman Harty & Partners all made final presentations last week at BellSouth's headquarters in Atlanta. A decision is imminent. Arnold's lead office here has endured a sluggish year in terms of new business and has thrown considerable resources and manpower into pitching BellSouth. The company would become one of the agency's largest accounts, along with Volkswagen of America and the American Legacy Foundation's anti-smoking initiative.

Ruth Ayres Resigns From Hill, Holliday

BOSTON—Ruth Ayres, evp/chief marketing officer of Hill, Holliday, Connors, Cosmopulos for about 18 months, has resigned from the Boston-based Interpublic Group shop. An agency representative said Ayres will not be replaced immediately. Gayle Nyre, an svp, is now the top-ranking new-business staffer in Hill, Holliday's Boston headquarters; Elizabeth DeMaso and Jenifer Wallrapp head new business in the shop's New York and San Francisco offices, respectively. Sources said Ayres was stymied by the agency's lack of new-business success of late, especially in the Boston office. Ayres strongly refuted any assertion she was asked to leave, saying she resigned to spend more time with her family in New York. She is currently consulting on marketing issues for a toy manufacturer and is not seeking a new agency post, she added. Ayres joined Hill, Holliday from TBWA Worldwide in 2000.

Martin Departs From Mott's Competition

BOSTON—The Martin Agency has withdrawn from contention for the $10-15 million Cadbury-Schweppes' Mott's account. Still in the running for the Stamford, Conn.-based business are incumbent Moss/Dragoti and Wolf Group, both in New York, as well as North Castle Partners in Stamford.

SF Interactive Extends Hill's Work for Quantum

SAN FRANCISCO—SF Interactive has launched an online campaign for Quantum Corp. The effort marks the first time Quantum has worked with the San Francisco i-shop. The new work, which carries the tagline "When failure is not an option," is an extension of the print, direct mail and outdoor campaign created by Hill, Holliday, Connors, Cosmopulos, San Francisco. That campaign launched in October. The online component will run on Cnet.com from December through late spring.

Three Emerge for Trigon Blue Cross Blue Shield

ATLANTA—Three finalists have emerged for Trigon Blue Cross Blue Shield's $2-3 million advertising business: Adworks in Washington, D.C., Trone Advertising in Greensboro, N.C., and Gillespie in Princeton, N.J., sources said. Incumbent Arnold in McLean, Va., did not participate. Arnold affiliate McKinney & Silver in Raleigh, N.C., was among a dozen shops originally contacted by the Richmond, Va.-based client.