4 Pitch HotJobs’ $30-40 Mil. Creative Account

Four shops here are vying for creative duties on HotJobs.com’s $30-40 million ad account: TBWA\Chiat\Day, Merkley Newman Harty, Weiss Stag-liano Partners and DiNoto Lee, sources said last week.
The agencies are gearing up for strategic pitches the week of July 10. The contenders and the client declined comment.
Recent TV spots for the New York job site–by McCann-Erickson in Troy, Mich.–feature a giant, computer-icon hand and actor Samuel L. Jackson’s voice. One ad shows Gen Xers talking to the hand. The tagline: “The hottest hand on the Web.”
Overseeing the review is director of advertising Marc Karasu, who arrived about a month ago, sources said. TBWA\Chiat\Day and DiNoto Lee formerly employed Karasu, who worked in account management at the shops. HotJobs is seeking a new svp of marketing to replace Dean Harris, who recently left, sources said. In the interim, Karasu has taken on Harris’ duties.
The account is believed to include some direct-marketing tasks. Media duties remain at TBS Media Management in New York.
HotJobs, which competes with Monster.com, seeks new positioning to distinguish itself from the escapist tack used by other sites, sources said. “They want the next generation of advertising for a dot-com,” said a source, adding that the client wants a “personality that connects with the motivation of the job seeker.”
Boston-based Hill, Holliday, Connors, Cosmopulos briefly handled the account before McCann, which said the decision to split from the client was mutual. Hill, Holliday created storyboards for a 1999 Super Bowl spot with a circus worker who gets sucked up an elephant’s behind. After the Fox network found the work in bad taste, the client abandoned the idea and hired McCann, which produced its “Security Guard” spot. K