Office Depot Is Down to 3 Contenders
WASHINGTON, D.C.–Office Depot has winnowed the field for its $35 million broadcasting account to three agencies: Miami’s Gold Coast Advertising, McKinney & Silver in Raleigh, N.C., and Wyse Advertising in Cleveland. Sources said a decision is expected in the next two weeks. The trio has already presented speculative creative, the sources added.

Long Haymes Carr Makes Bay Networks’ Finals
BOSTON–Advancing to the final round of the review for the creative portion of Bay Networks’ $10-12 million account are: Long Haymes Carr, Winston-Salem, N.C.; Hill, Holliday, Connors, Cosmopulos, Boston; Hanft Byrne Raboy Abrams & Partners and Mezzina/Brown, both New York; and Amazon Advertising, San Francisco. Presentations will be made to the client in Santa Clara, Calif., later this month, with a decision by Sept. 25.

Russell Athletic Farms Out Ads on Project Basis
ATLANTA–After quietly splitting with three-year incumbent BBDO in New York late last year, the Russell Athletic division of Russell Corp., Alexander City, Ala., said it has brought much of its advertising in-house. Consumer print and TV will be parceled out “on a project by project basis,” said Dave Commander, client vice president of marketing. He said the division is working on “a couple of projects” with Atlanta’s Fitzgerald & Co., agency for Russell’s largest unit, Jerzees Apparel. GodwinGroup in Jackson, Miss., which works on RC’s PGA Tour Apparel brand, has been handling trade duties for Russell Athletic. Commander said the division “might be looking at other advertising agencies” for future assignments, although the company’s primary focus is in-store merchandising. Competitive Media Reporting tracked Russell Athletic’s 1996 ad spending at $3 million.

Conflict Costs Rockett Blue Cross & Blue Shield
ATLANTA–Officials with Rockett, Burkhead, Lewis & Winslow in Raleigh, N.C. last week said they had resigned the $1-3 million Blue Cross & Blue Shield of North Carolina, citing a conflict with the recent acquisition of the Duke University Medical Center business. The client is not expected to begin an agency search immediately, sources said.

Fort Lauderdale Agency Lands Baracuda
ATLANTA–J. O’Connor & Matthews in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., picked up the account of hometown client Baracuda International Corp., maker of automatic pool cleaners, following a review. Green Advertising, Boca Raton, Fla., previously handled the account, estimated by sources at $500,000.

For the Record
Trone Advertising, Greensboro, N.C., has served the Jefferson-Pilot account since 1983 . . . Kim Gallagher was the copywriter on the Maryland State Lottery campaign by Eisner & Associates, Baltimore.