Fruit Of The Loom Narrows Search To 4
NEW YORK: Fruit of the Loom has narrowed its search for an ad agency to four contenders: Warwick Baker O’Neill, Kirshenbaum Bond & Partners and Mezzina/Brown, all in New York, as well as Lois/EJL, Chicago. A decision on the estimated $20-25 million North American account is expected in December. Leo Burnett, Toronto, resigned the business rather than participate in the review.

Taco Bell to Move Media and Field Marketing
LOS ANGELES: Taco Bell Corp. is expected to announce this week the selection of Foote, Cone & Belding for its field marketing advertising account, according to sources. FCB’s Santa Ana, Calif., office will head up the estimated $80 million business. In addition, the Irvine, Calif.-based fast-food chain is expected to move its local and national media buying and planning, estimated at $100 million, to TN Media’s Chicago office. Bozell Worldwide’s Costa Mesa, Calif., office had previously handled media duties for Taco Bell as well as a majority of its field marketing.

Y&R’s Media Edge Wins Alamo Media Account
NEW YORK: The Media Edge here, a subsidiary of Young & Rubicam, won the media buying portion of Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.-based Alamo Rent A Car’s $20 million account, sources said last week. San Francisco-based Hal Riney & Partners resigned the Alamo account in August. Four shops are competing for the creative portion of the account: Foote, Cone & Belding and Lowe & Partners/SMS, both in New York; McCann-Erickson, Atlanta; and DDB Needham, Dallas.

Pile Conducting Review for Software Company
BOSTON: Software AG Americas has retained Pile and Co. to oversee a review for its creative and media assignments, sources said. The Boston-based consultancy declined comment. The Reston, Va.-based client could not be reached. Billings for the account, for which there is no incumbent, were estimated at $5-7 million. Formerly a subsidiary of Software AG in Darmstadt, Germany, the now independent corporation licenses Software AG database management products. Agencies in New York, Boston and the Southeast are being contacted.

Stride Rite Initiates Agency Discussions
BOSTON:Stride Rite Corp. in Lexington, Mass., has begun contacting agencies beyond its roster, sources said. Stride Rite president Robert Siegel did not return calls. It was unclear if a review would include all creative and media duties or if it would involve a separate corporate branding assignment, a scenario suggested by one source. Stride Rite spent about $5-6 million on advertising last year, according to Competitive Media Reporting. That figure includes the Stride Rite children’s brand, handled by Toth Advertising & Design in Concord, Mass., and PGR Media in Providence, R.I., as well as Keds, handled by Foote, Cone & Belding in San Francisco.