Rubio’s Kicks Off Search

LOS ANGELES—Mexican seafood chain Rubio’s has launched a search for a shop to handle its creative account. The Carlsbad, Calif.-based client’s estimated $4 million media buying business is handled by Media Spot, Laguna Beach, Calif. Last year, incumbent VitroRobertson, San Diego, resigned the business due to conflict. Select Resources International, Los Angeles, is handling the search.

Publicis Wins PowerBar

DALLAS—Publicis here has been assigned the estimated $20 million account of PowerBar, according to industry sources. The account, which had been at Wieden + Kennedy, Portland, Ore., was given to the Dallas shop in the absence of a pitch or review. Nestlé USA, which purchased the Berkeley, Calif.-based maker of nutritional sports bars earlier this year, has been known to move the ad accounts of its acquired companies to its own stable of affiliated shops. Publicis in Dallas currently handles all of Nestlé’s ice cream and juice beverage advertising in the U.S.

Cobaltcard Taps Beyond Interactive

SAN FRANCISCO—Beyond Interactive here has been tapped to create an online campaign for a new credit card alternative called Cobaltcard. The stored value “spending card” is aimed at giving teens and others without credit cards the means to buy products online. Created by Zowi Corp., the Cobaltcard also has the backing of American Express, which has a stake in the venture. The budget is undisclosed.

Lily Katz Moves to Evans Hardy & Young

LOS ANGELES—Veteran Southern California media executive Lily Katz, senior partner, media director at J. Walter Thompson here, is moving north to join Evans Hardy & Young in Santa Barbara, Calif., as senior vice president and media director. Katz was working on Fox entertainment business at JWT. She joined in 1998 from what was then Western International Media, at which she was one of the principal account leaders on the media agency’s Disney account.

IPG Reworks Zentropy

BOSTON—The Interpublic Group of Cos. is looking to retool its interactive unit, Zentropy Partners, sources said. With the dot-com boom on the wane, Cambridge, Mass.-based Zentropy, which took its name from a Los Angeles online agency acquired two years ago by Interpublic’s media agency, Initiative, is an amalgamation of various IPG interactive companies. Aligning Zentropy with one of IPG’s operating divisions, most likely the Allied Services Group, also in Cambridge, is being considered, sources said. Of late, the unit has been unable to win or retain substantial business and has quietly let some staffers go, sources said. One source said that staffing at Zentropy headquarters may have been cut in half from a high of about 150 hires a few months ago. Zentropy launched in December with 500 employees and $50 million in revenue from 11 offices in the U.S., Canada and Europe.