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Raytheon Picks 3 Finalists, But Questions Arise

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Raytheon Co. has vowed to continue the review of its $15 million ad account despite the impending departure of one of its key executives and conflict issues that have surfaced at two of the three finalists named last week.
Still in contention are McCann-Erickson, Los Angeles; Campbell-Ewald, Warren, Mich.; and former roster shop Keiler & Co., Farmington, Conn., confirmed the Lexington, Mass.-based defense and aerospace company. Incumbent Ingalls Advertising, Boston, is not participating.
A decision is expected in mid-January, said Skip Pile, president of management consulting firm Pile and Co., Boston, which is overseeing the process.
Sources, however, questioned whether the review will proceed on schedule. Barry French, Raytheon's director of global corporate affairs and communications, is leaving the company at month's end. No successor has been named. His departure could cause final presentations to be delayed to the end of January, sources said.
Raytheon representative Toni Simonetti said that while French has shepherded the process, he is just one of a dozen decision makers, and the loss will not impact the review.
Complicating matters is the fact that two shops have potential conflicts.
McCann works for McDonnell-Douglas, which was purchased last year by Boeing. Boeing is considering a global review of its estimated $30 million account, and may consider McCann for some or all of the business, which would intensify the conflict, sources said. Cole & Weber, Seattle, has handled Boeing for 30 years.
Keiler, meanwhile, works for business jet maker Fairchild Dornier, based in San Antonio, Texas.
Pile said all present potential conflicts "have been cleared" with all parties and are not considered an important factor at this stage. As for McCann potentially pitching Boeing, Pile said, "I suppose it would" have an impact on the Raytheon review, but he declined to elaborate.
--with Angela Dawso