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Holding-Company Leaders Head Pitches in HSBC Review

NEW YORK Holding-company chiefs last week led agency teams during credentials and executive capabilities presentations for HSBC Group's estimated $600 million marketing-services account. Teams from IPG, WPP, Omnicom and Publicis presented to a panel of five HSBC Group executives in London, sources said. Martin Sorrell (WPP), John Wren (Omnicom), David Bell (IPG) and Maurice Lévy (Publicis) participated in the three-hour presentations, which took place Monday and Tuesday, said sources. Based on those presentations and follow-up questions, the panel will name finalists, sources said.



7 to Chase Mohegan Sun's $25-30 Mil. Account

LOS ANGELES Mohegan Sun has cut from 20 shops to seven in the review for creative on its $25-30 million account, the client confirmed. Among the shops advancing, sources said, are Grey, IPG's Lowe, MDC's Kirshenbaum Bond + Partners and WPP's Berlin Cameron/Red Cell, all in New York, and IPG's Mullen in Wenham, Mass. The incumbent, independent Cliff Freeman and Partners in New York, has been given a bye to the final round. Neither the client nor the consultant, Select Resources International in Santa Monica, Calif., would confirm the contenders. A decision is due in April.



MediaAnalysisPlus Buys Country's Oldest Audit Firm

LOS ANGELES Denver-based media search consultancy and audit firm MediaAnalysisPlus has acquired the media auditing division of San Francisco-based Hawk Media, the nation's oldest such firm. Terms were undisclosed. Hawk CEO Ken Slater, evp Ted Block and vp Garth Hewitt will play "active roles" in MAP, said CEO Jim Surmanek. The two firms, both contending for Nissan's $1 billion media audit assignment, will now pitch that business as one entity. MAP has handled media-only reviews for clients such as Maytag and Nextel. Twenty-two-year-old Hawk's clients include Procter & Gamble. Slater will continue to run media planning and buying consultancy Hawk Directions, which was not part of the acquisition.

Euro RSCG Regains Lead On MCI 'Neighborhood' Work

NEW YORK Euro RSCG MVBMS Partners has regained the MCI "Neighborhood" consumer account from Deutsch, sources said. For the past year, MCI has used Havas' MVBMS and IPG's Deutsch on an "assignment-by-assignment" basis, sources said. Deutsch retains MCI's interactive, sources said. "We continue to use both Deutsch and MVBMS for our ads and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future," said a rep for the Ashburn, Va., telecom.



IPG HR Chief Brooks Shifts To Consulting Role

NEW YORK IPG chief human resources officer Brian Brooks is shifting to a consulting role, 15 months after IPG tapped him to steer recruitment efforts, IPG said Friday. Temporarily picking up his administrative duties is Jeff Mook, 42, svp, executive compensation and benefits. IPG said Brooks, 48, wanted to focus exclusively on talent management and recruitment, without the burden of administration. He will work exclusively with IPG for at least two years.

Former Ogilvy Exec Pleads Guilty to Overbilling ONDCP

NEW YORK Peter Chrisanthopoulos, a former director of broadcast at WPP's Ogilvy & Mather, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to defraud the U.S. in an alleged scheme that involved padding time sheets for Ogilvy's ONDCP account and instructing another agency employee to do the same. The plea follows the indictment of two other former senior Ogilvy execs, Thomas Early and Shona Seifert, earlier this month. Chrisanthopoulos left Ogilvy in March 2000. Neither he nor his attorney could be reached. The U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District, which is prosecuting the case against Early and Seifert, declined comment.



Finalists Set to Present To AOL in Media Review

NEW YORK AOL hears pitches this week at the offices of the three finalists in its $300 million media review. Publicis' Starcom in Chicago presents on Monday, sources said, followed by Aegis' Carat and incumbent IPG's Initiative Media in New York on Tuesday.