16 Agencies Pitch Bay Networks Account
BOSTON-Twelve ad agencies and four media placement services have been invited into the first round of the review for Bay Networks’ $10-12 million account. The client, which parted with creative agency Euro RSCG Dahlin Smith White in Salt Lake City and uses Freeman Associates in Wellesley, Mass., for media duties, has yet to decide if the business will be split between shops or consolidated at a single agency. Pursuing the account are ad agencies Hill, Holliday, Connors, Cosmopulos; Ingalls Advertising; and Partners & Simons, all in Boston; Amazon Advertising; Anderson & Lembke; and Foote, Cone & Belding, all in San Francisco; Mendelsohn/Zien, Los Angeles; Campbell-Ewald, Warren, Mich.; The Martin Agency, Richmond, Va.; Long Haymes Carr, Winston-Salem, N.C.; Hampel/Stefanides and Mezzina/Brown, both in New York. Along with incumbent Freeman Associates, media shops DeWitt Media in New York, ICG in Chicago and Western International Media’s Boston office are pitching.

HFS Media Duties Go to Grey Advertising
NEW YORK-Hospitality Franchise Systems in Parsippany, N.J., has consolidated its $100 million media buying account at Grey Advertising in New York. The assignment includes media buying for HFS properties, including Ramada, Days Inn, Super 8, Howard Johnson, Century 21, Coldwell Banker, and Avis. Grey will also be responsible for contributing to HFS’ minority marketing efforts along with a yet-to-be-determined minority ad agency. Grey emerged victorious over roster media buying services Western International Media in Los Angeles and the New York offices of Zenith Media and SFM Media.

Mercury May Hold Decisive Publicis Stake
LONDON-Mercury Asset Management confirmed it holds around 5 percent of Publicis, a stake said to be the largest nonfamily position in the publicly held company. Mercury’s holding may prove decisive in the ongoing battle between Elisabeth Badinter and her younger sister, Michele Bleustein-Blanchet, over their shareholdings in the agency network founded by their father, Marcel Bleustein-Blanchet, who died last year. SBC Warburg has reportedly just finished an independent valuation of the company for Michele Bleustein-Blanche, who wants to sell her 7.6 percent stake in Publicis.

Romann & Tannenholz Gets DLJ Direct
NEW YORK-DLJ Direct, the online brokerage service owned and operated by Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette, has awarded its estimated $10 million creative and media planning and buying account to Romann & Tannenholz here. The service, which allows qualified online investors to invest in DLJ lead managed initial public offerings and gain access to the firm’s equity research, will be available Sept. 24 to Internet users. There was no previous agency.