True North Communications declined to comment on reports that it is in discussions to be acquired by a larger public company. One possible suitor was identified as Interpublic Group of Cos., which also declined comment. A sale by TN would be an "attractive alternative strategy," said analyst Karen Ficker of Furman Selz here. "[TN] is not going to be able to continue to participate in a market where global presence and diverse capabilities rule. They will either have to acquire or be acquired." The TN-IPG reports come as sources said TN had finally come to terms to acquire Bozell, Jacobs, Kenyon & Eckhardt, although a deal is not yet signed. Bozell had no comment.
Continental, Air France Hear From Finalists
DALLAS--Ammirati Puris Lintas, chosen as one of five finalists in the review for Continental Airlines' $50 million global ad account [Adweek, July 14], has withdrawn from contention. Scheduled to make presentations next week are Ogilvy & Mather, TBWA Chiat/Day and N.W. Ayer & Partners, all in New York, and incumbent U.S. shop The Richards Group here. Agencies eliminated include J. Walter Thompson and Grey Advertising, both in New York. It is also believed that Campbell-Ewald, Warren, Mich., has been cut, though a representative there declined comment. Compagnie Nationale Air France, Roissy, France, has picked two finalists for its estimated $60-70 million global account: Ammirati and incumbent Euro RSCG, both in Paris. Audor Soum and Ogilvy & Mather, both in Paris, were eliminated.
Wells Rich Greene BDDP Changes Name
NEW YORK--Wells Rich Greene BDDP here will become Wells BDDP when it opens its doors at its new lower Manhattan location on July 28. The holding company of the New York agency, formerly known as Wells Rich Greene BDDP Communications, will now be BDDP North America. "We are changing our name to reinforce our global identity," said Frank Assumma, chairman and chief executive officer of the agency.
Century 21 Culls List of Contenders
NEW YORK--Century 21 has progressed in the creative review of its estimated $30 million account. Agencies contacted include Boston-based Arnold Communications and three New York shops: BBDO, D'Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles and Bates. The incumbent on the account, Campbell Mithun Esty in Minneapolis, last week decided not defend the business.
Puris Explains Source of Merger Talks
NEW YORK--Martin Puris, chairman and chief executive of Ammirati Puris Lintas here, said rumors about a merger with IPG sister shop The Lowe Group could have been generated by an exploratory talk with Lowe about "merging some noncompetitive, backroom functions." He said such a union is probably "remote" and that no other merger options have ever been discussed.