WPP Wants Out of Tempus Bid
LOS ANGELES—WPP Group made official its desire to back out of its bid to acquire Tempus Group last week. On Oct. 10 the holding company submitted a document to the Takeover Panel, a body that oversees public-company takeovers in Britain, that invoked the "material adverse change" clause. The clause, under British finance law, would allow WPP to withdraw its bid. Earlier this week, Credit Suisse First Boston suggested that the panel would not agree with WPP's position. The executive committee of the panel, which is expected to decide within two weeks, must now recommend to the full panel whether or not to let WPP's offer lapse. Both WPP and Tempus would have the right to appeal the executive committee's recommendation to the panel.
7-Eleven Puts $25-30 Mil. Duties in Review
DALLAS—7-Eleven began contacting agencies last week about its $25-30 million advertising account. Bob Merz, director of marketing at the Dallas-based client, said he will not be issuing a formal RFP or using a consultant. The review will consist of a creative assignment only, he said, with a decision due in December. The Richards Group in Dallas, which has worked for 7-Eleven on a project basis, will participate. Other agencies nationwide are still being contacted. Media continues to be handled by Camelot Communications in Dallas.
PeopleSoft Taps BBDO for $30 Mil. Business
SAN FRANCISCO—PeopleSoft has awarded its $30 million account to BBDO in New York, sources said. Other finalists were incumbent Kirshenbaum Bond & Partners West and Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, both in San Francisco. The client could not be reached.
Bank of America Seeks Shop for $25 Mil. Account
DALLAS—Bank of America has put its estimated $25 million business-to-business account up for review. Requests for proposals from the Charlotte, N.C.-based bank began arriving at agencies last week. The account includes advertising for four departments: global corporate and investment banking; small business; capital management; and commercial banking. Incumbent Bozell in New York, which also handles consumer ads, will not defend.
Digitas Cuts 350, Revises Forecast Downward
BOSTON—Digitas last week laid off 350 staffers worldwide as the marketing company released third-quarter financials and revised downward its fourth-quarter revenue projections. The shop reported revenue of $51 million for the quarter ended Sept. 30, compared with $76 million during the same period a year ago. Digitas said it lost $45 million in the third quarter, compared with a loss of $5 million during the same period last year. The agency now expects fourth quarter revenue of $45-50 million, after initial projections of $55-60 million.
Goodby Picks Up Michelob Assignment
CHICAGO—Goodby, Silverstein & Partners was tapped by Anheuser-Busch to create the next round of spots for the Michelob brand, sources said. The San Francisco shop was one of several roster shops that pitched ideas for the $40 million brand late this summer. The status of incumbent Leapnet remains unclear.
Creative Changes at Wieden in New York
NEW YORK—Amy Nicholson, co-creative director at Wieden + Kennedy, here, since September 2000, has left the agency as part of a restructuring effort. Nicholson, an art director who worked alongside co-creative director Ty Montague, is being replaced by Todd Waterbury, a creative director at the Portland, Ore., headquarters. Waterbury worked on Diet Coke and Powerade. The departure of those accounts spurred the layoff of 30 people from the approximately 270 staffers in Portland last week. Waterbury, 35, will lead the New York office with Montague and managing director Buz Sawyer.
Black Rocket Leaves $20 Mil. Adobe Search
SAN FRANCISCO—Black Rocket/Euro RSCG in San Francisco has withdrawn from the $20 million Adobe Systems pitch, according to Bob Ellis, director of client services at the shop, citing the agency's "different vision." Incumbent Young & Rubicam in San Francisco dropped out of the review earlier. Remaining in the pitch, which is being handled by Select Resources International, are Deutsch/LA in Marina del Rey, Calif., and Goodby, Silverstein & Partners in San Francisco. A decision is due in November.
Four undisclosed shops are finalists for the Hain Celestial Group's $10-15 million account, which includes Celestial Seasonings teas and Hain snack foods, such as Terra chips, sources said. Previously, the brands were either handled in-house or on a project basis, said sources. Both creative and media duties are in play. … Some 15 shops from New England, the Midwest and Southeast are responding to a request for proposals from Stamford, Conn.-based Motts. Besides Motts apple juice and Mauna La'i fruit drink, the business includes three lines of apple sauce and new products, a Motts representative said. Billings are estimated at $10-15 million. Incumbent Moss Dragoti in New York is defending, the rep said. The review includes both creative and media duties. The search is being managed by Van Brunt & Partners, a Fairfield, Conn., consultancy, with help from New York consultancy Roth Associates. … The California Department of Consumer Affairs has awarded its $45 million energy-conservation account to Grey's L.A. office. The other finalists were DDB in Los Angeles, Mering & Associates in Sacramento, Calif., and Young & Rubicam and TBWA\Chiat\Day in San Francisco.