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IOC: Decision Looms in Global Competition

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NEW YORK The International Olympic Committee hopes to select an agency by next week in a review for its global creative account now at TBWA Worldwide, IOC marketing director Michael Payne said on Tuesday.

Payne said the review was part of a company-wide evaluation of all outside resources, which was triggered in part by the installation of a new IOC president in 2001 [Adweek, June 16]. Jacques Rogge succeeded Juan Antonio Samaranch in that role.

The finalists in the review are Omnicom's TBWA and Publicis Groupe's Saatchi & Saatchi, both in New York; WPP Group's Rainey Kelly Campbell Roalfe/Y&R in London; and boutique Siltanen/Keehn in El Segundo, Calif., Payne confirmed. Another contender, Publicis Groupe's Leo Burnett, Chicago, withdrew before final presentations, according to Payne. The pitches took place earlier this month in New York.

The IOC plans to retain the "Celebrate humanity" tagline that TBWA introduced in 2000 with TV spots that focused on Olympic values such as courage and camaraderie, Payne said. "We will stick with 'Celebrate Humanity." It resonates very well around the world," said Payne. So the contest appears to come down to strategy.

Media duties are not an issue, since the work will run on networks around the world that carry the games.