Hill, Mullen Pitch Lucent Spinoff

Hill, Holliday, Connors, Cosmopulos and Mullen, sister agencies in the Interpublic Group of Cos., are facing off along with two other shops for the global advertising account of an as yet unnamed Lucent Technologies spinoff.

Hill, Holliday, Boston, and Wenham, Mass.-based Mullen are competing against each other and DDB Worldwide’s New York office and The Martin Agency in Richmond, Va., for the business.

Pile and Co., the consulting firm in Boston, is overseeing the search for Lucent, Murray Hill, N.J.

The budget was not disclosed, but sources said initial spending on the assignment, which includes both creative development and media chores, will be $20-25 million.

The finalists were chosen from a field of about 10 contenders following a client review of creative and strategic materials and video presentations about each shop, said Sue Sienko, director of corporate advertising at Lucent. The four shops were tapped based mainly on their technology acumen, global capabilities and print portfolios, she said.

The mission: Craft a strong 2001 brand introduction for the new company, Sienko said.

The spinoff, to be led by current Lucent executive vice president John Dickson, will focus on microelectronics and communications technologies. The new company will sell integrated circuits to firms that make cellular phones and other wireless communications devices. It will also provide various technology used in data networks worldwide. Revenue for those segments at Lucent were about $4 billion for the past four quarters.

Agency executives have scheduled meetings with client officials this week; the four shops will be asked to complete a speculative assignment before a winner is chosen by year’s end, Sienko said. A Pile and Co. consultant said a November decision is likely.