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General Mills Moves Duties to Saatchi, ZenithGPE

CHICAGO—General Mills confirmed the shift of creative duties on brands worth about $175 million to Publicis Groupe's Saatchi & Saatchi in New York, from the soon-to-close D'Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles. The brands include Pillsbury, Green Giant, Old El Paso and Progresso. Media duties for the client's estimated $600 million business, previously at Saatchi, Starcom MediaVest Group's Starlink and Zenith Media, have been consolidated at a newly formed unit, ZenithGPE. The move to Saatchi had been expected since Publicis acquired D'Arcy in September.

Publicis Groupe Jump Ball for $170 Mil. Capital One Biz

NEW YORK—Capital One has agreed to let Publicis shops Leo Burnett in Chicago and New York-based Publicis and Saatchi & Saatchi compete for its $170 million account before looking outside of the holding company, sources said. The three agencies were briefed by the client last week, said sources. The account was initially headed for Publicis after its Paris-based parent decided to fold Capital One's shop, D'Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles. But recently, the Falls Church, Va., company has contacted search consultants. Agency officials could not be reached.

Diet Coke Creative Pitches This Week

NEW YORK—Four Interpublic Group shops this week will present creative ideas for the next Diet Coke campaign, and Coca-Cola Ventures president Steve Heyer is expected to be at the pitches, said sources. Previous work, via Lowe in New York, paired smiling thirtysomethings with the tagline, "Do what feels good." The tag is expected to remain, but the client wants it to connect better to the product, sources said. Foote, Cone & Belding in Chicago and New York, Lowe, The Martin Agency in Richmond, Va., and Gotham in New York will present at Coca-Cola's headquarters in Atlanta on Wednesday.

Deutsch Picks Up $160-180 Mil. in Novartis Duties

NEW YORK—IPG's Deutsch won the estimated $80 million Novartis Pharmaceuticals' Zelnorm account, sources said, following a review that also included Cline, Davis & Mann in New York. Also this week, Deutsch partnered with Integrated Communications Corp. to land creative duties on Novartis' $80-100 million Diovan account, sources said. Finalists in that review were New York shops Grey, which pitched with Grey Healthcare; Merkley Newman Harty & Partners with MNH Healthworks; and Arnold in Boston with Lally McFarland & Pantello Euro RSCG in New York, sources said. The client could not be reached.

News Roundup

Grey is looking to increase its New York staff by 3-4 percent, the agency said. Some 52 positions are open in account management, planning and support departments, due to recent new-business wins, including Orville Redenbacher, Ciba Vision and Vlasic pickles. … Virgin Mobile is reviewing its estimated $50 million media buying account. The three finalists making presentations last week and early this week to the San Francisco-based client are roster shops Palisades Media Group in Santa Monica, Calif.; Omnicom's PHD in San Francisco and New York; and Pro Media in Natick, Mass., sources said. A decision is expected by Thanksgiving.