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Swiss Co.'s $1.5 Bil. Global Media Consolidation Advances

LOS ANGELES Nestlé heard presentations on the U.S. market from roster contenders in its $1.5 billion global media consolidation review last week. Sources said IPG's Universal McCann, the incumbent on the client's $550 million-plus U.S. media account, pitched to about 10 client executives on Thursday morning at Nestlé's Glendale, Calif., U.S. headquarters, with an assist from IPG CEO David Bell. Publicis' ZenithOptimedia pitched that afternoon, supported by a video of Publicis CEO Maurice Lévy. And WPP's MindShare presented on Friday with Irwin Gotlieb, CEO of GroupM, WPP's global media holding company. The pitches in the U.S. were part of a string of separate, in-market presentations worldwide. (France, Germany, Italy, the U.K. and Asia, among others, have already had presentations.) The final, global presentation for the three contenders will be held next month at the client's Vevey, Switzerland, world headquarters, sources said.



3 Make Final Pitches for Staples' $60 Mil. Business

BOSTON Finalists in Staples' $60 million review presented last week at the client's Framingham, Mass., headquarters, sources said. Havas' Arnold presented on Wednesday, with WPP's J. Walter Thompson and IPG's McCann Erickson, both New York, presenting on Thursday. A client representative said a decision is expected later this month.



Omnicom Stock Declines 4 Percent Amid Investor Worries

NEW YORK Omnicom's stock fell 4.1 percent, closing the week on the New York Stock Exchange at $69.93 amid investor concerns that a pending accounting-rule change could result in earnings dilution of roughly 10 percent for the company. Analysts said the rule would change how companies account for contingent convertible bonds in diluted earnings calculations, creating worries that Omnicom would have to start including the 21.6 million shares underlying its three tranches of convertibles outstanding in the formula. If adopted, the rule would likely be implemented by year's end. Separately, concerns have been raised about the late-July put date on Omnicom's $892 million contingent convertible, analysts said.



Lowe Poised to Pick Up Unilever's $20 Mil. Degree Biz

CHICAGO IPG's Lowe in New York is set to win Unilever's $20 million Degree antiperspirant account following a creative shootout with the incumbent, Omnicom's DDB in Chicago, sources said. Lowe handles Unilever brands such as Wisk detergent and Snuggle fabric softener. Media for Degree remains with WPP's MindShare in New York.



M&C Saatchi to Expand Initial Public Offering

NEW YORK M&C Saatchi this week is expected to expand on last Friday's first public offering by making shares available to the general public. The London-based shop launched shares for institutional investors on the London Stock Exchange's Alternative Investment Market at approximately $2.38, based on the rate of exchange. The offering valued the agency at about $126 million. M&C Saatchi has said the offering will fuel growth in Europe and Asia. The shop works with clients such as British Airways and GlaxoSmithKline.



Shops Vie for $90 Mil. Morgan Stanley Discover Card Account

CHICAGO Executives from Morgan Stanley's Discover Card heard presentations last week regarding its ad account, sources said. Earlier this year, the client asked the incumbent, Omnicom's Goodby, Silverstein & Partners in San Francisco, and Morgan Stanley's lead agency, Publicis' Leo Burnett in Chi- cago, to present new ideas in a bid to move away from its cash-back positioning, according to sources. Morgan Stanley executives could not be reached or declined comment. Morgan Stanley spends about $90 million annually on advertising, according to TNS Media Intelligence/CMR. Publicis' Starcom in Chicago handles media.