$50 Mil. XM Satellite in Play

LOS ANGELES XM Satellite Radio has enlisted Select Resources International to manage a review of creative chores on its ad account, the Santa Monica, Calif., consultancy has confirmed.

XM spent $50 million in measured media in 2005, up 20 percent from the previous year, per Nielsen Monitor-Plus.

Interpublic Group’s Mullen in Wenham, Mass., is the incumbent, handling both creative and media duties.

Media planning and buying are not in play, said SRI CEO Catherine Bension.

A Mullen representative said the shop would not participate in the creative contest, though its MediaHub unit will continue to handle planning and buying. The agency has worked with XM for three years, during which the service has added some 6 million subscribers.

Bension said XM would prefer to hire a New York shop and hopes to conclude the review by September.

Mullen last November launched an XM campaign featuring Ellen DeGeneres, Snoop Dogg, Derek Jeter, David Bowie and Martina McBride. All five stars showed up in one spot to showcase the number of choices that XM offers consumers across its 150-plus channels, such as music, live sports, concerts, news and talk selections. That work introduced the tagline, “Listen large.”

XM this month named former Sprint Nextel executive My-Chau Nguyen senior vice president of marketing, planning and research and former Intel executive Sean Connolly vice president of brand management and media.

Sources said their arrival is driving the review, along with the recent swoon of XM’s share price.

XM is the No. 1 satellite radio provider, claiming 6.8 million subscribers. Sirius Satellite Radio is No. 2 with 4.7 million subscribers.