Amp’d Halts Review

LOS ANGELES Amp’d Mobile has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, per court documents, and has indefinitely postponed and possibly canceled the review for creative chores on its $65 million ad account, according to sources.

Amp’d executives could not be immediately reached for comment.

Catherine Bension, president and CEO of search consultancy Select Resources International, Santa Monica, Calif., said it was unclear if the review would be canceled entirely or merely postponed.

Butler, Shine, Stern & Partners in Sausalito, Calif., was slated to make its final presentation here today; 72 and Sunny in Los Angeles and Cutwater in San Francisco were scheduled to present at the end of this week, per sources.

Cutwater is a unit of Omnicom Group; the other two shops are independently owned.

“We’re hopeful they can get their organization and finances reorganized,” said Brad Harrington, Cutwater president. “We certainly like them and think of them as strong marketers; attracting customers has not been their problem. It’s a great fit and I’m confident that [Amp’d] can pull this off.”

Harrington said there has been no communication from the company or SRI regarding the future of the process, beyond a statement that the company plans to reorganize.

According to a bankruptcy filing obtained by Adweek, Los Angeles-based Amp’d owes entertainment partner Vivendi more than $10 million; media partner Horizon $8.6 million; independent creative incumbent agency Taxi, New York, which declined to defend in the review, more than $3.7 million; and SFX Marketing, Houston, $2.1 million. The company acknowledges having between 99 and 200 creditors, with the top 20 owed about $100 million.

Though the proposal request values the marketing business at $65 million, the company spent $35 million in measured media in 2006, per TNS Media Intelligence.

Public & Hal Riney pulled out of the Amp’d review after being named a finalist, per sources, upon winning the $75 million U.S. Cellular account.