Avaya Meets With 6

Six shops met last week with communications-systems pro vider Avaya, which plans to name two finalists in a review for its global account by the end of this month, said Deirdre Robinson, Avaya director of advertising.

The company is considering Cordiant Communications’ Bates Technology Group in Atlanta, Omnicom shops DDB and Dor emus and Interpublic Group’s McCann-Erickson, all in New York, as well as Havas’ Arnold in Boston, and IPG’s Mullen in Wenham, Mass., sources said. Robinson declined to confirm the contenders. Agency exec utives declined comment or could not be reached. Consultancy Combustion in New York is overseeing the search.

Incumbent Foote, Cone & Belding, San Francisco, has worked with Avaya since May 2000, creating ads tagged, “Communication without boundaries.” Avaya provides software and services that integrate voice and data to businesses and government clients.

Robinson said FCB will not retain creative, but its New York office and IPG sister shop Initiative Media are contenders for media planning and buying, respectively. FCB was unavailable for comment.

Credentials were presented at last week’s meetings at Avaya’s Basking Ridge, N.J., headquarters. Shops were told they would receive more information this week on how the review will proceed.

Avaya spent about $10 million on ads in 2001, but has already spent that much so far in 2002, according to CMR. Contenders have been told the budget will be about $30 million in 2003. A winner will be chosen in early October, Robinson said.