4 Contend for Lucent Spinoff

Four agencies are facing off for the global advertising account of a yet-unnamed Lucent Technologies spinoff.

DDB Worldwide in New York, Hill, Holliday, Connors, Cosmopulos in Boston, Mullen in Wenham, Mass., and The Martin Agency in Richmond, Va., are battling for the business. Hill, Holliday and Mullen are Interpublic Group sister shops.

Boston consulting firm Pile and Co. is overseeing the search for Murray Hill, N.J.-based Lucent.

The budget was undisclosed, but sources said initial spending on the creative and media assignment will be $20-25 million.

The finalists were chosen from about 10 contenders following a re-view of creative and strategic materials and video presentations about each shop, said Sue Sienko, Lucent’s director of corporate advertising. The four agencies were tapped mainly for their technology acumen, global capabilities and print portfolios, she said.

The task: Craft a strong 2001 brand introduction. Creative will be print-based.

The spinoff will focus on microelectronics and communications technologies. Revenue for them at Lucent was about $4 billion for the last year.

The agencies have scheduled meetings with client officials this week; the four shops will be asked to complete a strategic assignment, Sienko said. A Pile and Co. consultant said a November decision is likely.