6 Shops Pitch Activision

LOS ANGELES At least six agencies have advanced to the semifinal round of Activision’s creative review, according to sources.

In the pitch are: Havas’ Arnold and independent Modernista!, both in Boston; Interpublic Group’s Deutsch/LA in Marina del Rey, Calif; Omnicom Group’s DDB in Santa Monica, Calif.; and independent davidandgoliath and Publicis Groupe’s Team One, both in El Segundo, Calif.

The agencies declined comment. Client officials could not immediately be reached.

Consultancy A-Team Advertising Advisors has been hired to conduct the review, with ex-Select Resources International executive Russel Wohlwerth leading the effort. Wohlwerth was unavailable for comment.

The Santa Monica-based client is the second-largest gaming company in the world, trailing only Electronic Arts with sales of $1.5 billion through its last fiscal year, which ended in March 2006.

Activision spent $85 million on U.S. advertising in 2005, per Nielsen Monitor-Plus, but spending was severely curtailed in 2006 as the client fell out with independent Secret Weapon Marketing, Santa Monica, which is not participating in the review. Activision’s ad spending last year dipped to $25 million, per Nielsen.

Media duties, handled by Publicis’ MediaVest in New York, are not part of the review.