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Blind AAR RFP is for Bacardi's Flagship Rum Brand

ATLANTA Bacardi has contacted roughly 15 agencies about global creative duties on its flagship rum brand, including both roster and non-roster shops, said sources. The Miami client is said to be using New York consultancy AAR to help manage the process. Global spending on the brand is estimated at $160 million. Roster shops include independent davidandgoliath in Los Angeles, which handles the brand in the U.S.; Interpublic's McCann Erickson, which has duties in the Asia-Pacific region and Latin America; and the London office of Publicis' Fallon, which has U.K. duties. The agencies declined comment, as did the client and AAR.



BBDO Wins Duties for Motorola Rokr iTunes Cell Phone

NEW YORK Motorola has awarded an assignment for its new Rokr cell phone, which can run Apple's iTunes, to Omnicom's BBDO, sources said. The Schaumburg, Ill., mobile devices manufacturer uses WPP's Ogilvy & Mather as its lead agency, but in the spring it began distributing assignments beyond Ogilvy. In April, sources said the client gave an undisclosed branding assignment to independent 180 in Amsterdam. In May, the client confirmed it awarded global interactive business to IPG's FCBi. The client sells many of its phones through Cingular Wireless, a BBDO client. The agencies referred calls to the client, which declined comment.



Washington Mutual Reaches Out to Non-Roster Shops

NEW YORK Washington Mutual has been using a third party to contact agencies to gauge interest in its $100 million-plus account, sources said. Interpublic Group's Sedgwick Rd. in Seattle handles the main ad account for the Seattle-based banking client. The agency won the account in 1991 as a McCann Erickson office, but changed its name to Sedgwick Rd. in 2001. In recent weeks, one of Washington Mutual's roster shops began reaching out to West Coast agencies, inquiring about potential conflicts and overall interest in the business, should it go into play. Washington Mutual spent $105 million in U.S. media in 2004, per Nielsen Monitor-Plus, and $50 million through June of this year. A representative at McCann in New York referred queries to Washington Mutual, which did not return calls. Washington Mutual's ad campaign is tagged, "More human interest."



$25 Mil. United Way/NFL Ads Kick off on Game Night

NEW YORk United Way of America and the National Football League will break a $25 million campaign that, rather than simply raising the institution's profile, aims to inspire individuals to volunteer, during the first game of the season on Thursday. Seven spots by IPG's Gotham feature NFL players tackling insurmountable tasks, such as feeding an infinite number of babies in a hospital nursery, and reminds viewers that not even the United Way and NFL can handle nationwide problems alone. The ads drive viewers to UnitedWay.org, where the organization has recently launched a database of opportunities searchable by ZIP code. It is the first work by the New York shop since it won the account in April.



Pontiac Highlights Torrent SUV in New Television Spot

LOS ANGELEs Pontiac will launch a 60-second spot as early as next week featuring the G6 Coupe and Solstice and showing the new Torrent compact SUV for the first time. The spot, created by Leo Burnett Detroit, has shimmering black vehicles coursing through a flow of colored lights, sparks and an abstract cityscape illuminated with lights bouncing to a modern urban beat—the last effect inspired by Apple's retro-pyschedelic iTunes Visualizer, said Tor Myhren, executive creative director of Leo Burnett Chicago. The copy, delivered by actor Matt Dillon, says, "Man, this is getting good." It will be followed by two 30-second spots specific to Torrent, one of which shows the SUV chased by light, proving that the vehicle is faster. A voiceover states, "Catch it if you can. The first ever Torrent." Pontiac spent $160 million in advertising in 2004, per Nielsen Monitor-Plus.