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Mullen Among Contenders for AMC Assignment

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Mullen has reached the final round of a review to promote cable movie channel AMC.

Contending for the $5 million assignment are Mullen, Wenham, Mass.; WestWayne, Atlanta; and entertainment specialists AD Lubow, New York, and Redtettemer, Phil a delphia, sources said.

Isabel Miller, svp, marketing at the client, confirmed the review but declined to identify agencies contending for the business.

Linda Ong of Truth Consulting, New York, is overseeing the pro-cess. Ong could not be reached at press time last week, and agency executives declined comment.

Butler, Shine & Stern of Sausalito, Calif., was awarded AMC's ad vertising duties in February, but worked with the client for only a few months before parting ways over creative differences, according to sources.

The Jericho, N.Y., unit of Rainbow Media Holdings began an on-air branding campaign in September with help from Trollback & Co., a design firm with offices in New York and Los Angeles. The tagline: "TV for movie people."

But the 24-hour movie network is now looking for a shop to work with its in-house creative team to develop print, radio and television promotions that will appear in other media venues.

Miller said AMC now plans to target a younger audience.

Mullen has previously worked for Oxygen Media, which it helped launch in 1998. Its most recent TV spot featured faux beauty-pageant contestants challenging the way women are portrayed in the media. Mullen is no longer on Oxygen's roster.

At AMC, "The internal group acts as the lead agency and does the bulk of the work," a source said. "But they would like some expert opinions on the best way to explain and exploit their position."

Strategic and creative presentations will be held in early and mid-December, with a decision to follow soon after, sources said.

Formerly known as American Movie Classics, AMC ranks No. 16 among national cable networks, reaching 80 million homes.

In the last six months, as AMC shifted from a subscriber-based to an ad-supported network, it up dated its programming from black-and-white classic films to movies from the 1970s and 1980s.