Alexander Taps Investment Banker
SAN FRANCISCO–High-tech public relations agency Alexander Communications here has hired investment banking firm Broadview Associates in Foster City, Calif., to field offers from potential buyers, sources said. The fast-growing shop, with offices in San Francisco, Denver and Atlanta and clients including Hewlett-Packard, has drawn the interest of suitors such as Interpublic Group, WPP Group and Omnicom Group. However, some of the prospective buyers are balking at the agency’s asking price, said sources. Founder Pam Alexander and Paul Joachim, senior associate at Broadview, could not be reached for comment.

Lowe Parts Company With Charles Schwab
NEW YORK–Lowe & Partners/SMS and Charles Schwab & Co., both in San Francisco, have mutually parted ways after six months of working on a project basis. Schwab works with multiple agencies, including Cohn Godley Norwood in Boston. Lowe is one of the finalists in the current $70 million Merrill Lynch review. The client said it has not yet determined where to move the estimated $15 million in business that Lowe handled.

Eli Lilly Holds Direct Response Media Review
NEW YORK–Eli Lilly in Indianapolis is conducting a review to consolidate its $10 million direct response media planning and buying account for several unidentified direct-to-consumer brands, sources said. ADvice & ADvisors here was retained and sent out requests for proposals to agencies, most of them based in New York, sources said. The two incumbents are Leo Burnett in Chicago and Creative Media here. At press time, it was undetermined whether they would participate in the review. According to the questionnaire, the current brand creative assignments will not be reviewed at this time.

Account Activity
Miramax Films in New York is conducting a review for its print media buying account in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, confirmed John Fahy, creative director and vice president of advertising. The incumbent, Harvest Communications, is participating. Sources said the account was worth $15-20 million. Creative and media planning are handled in-house Seagram Americas has awarded Grey Advertising in New York lead agency status on its VO Canadian Whiskey brand and agency of record duties for broadcast media, sources said. VO as well as 7 Crown Whiskey and Seagram’s Gin, previously at Ogilvy & Mather in New York, have been in review since February. Budgets were undisclosed LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton’s search for a new media buyer for its half-dozen brands is down to three New York agencies, a client representative said. Billings are estimated at $15-20 million. Diane Schwartz, coordinator of media services for LVMH, described the finalists as “large agencies and media buying services.” She declined to name them. Incumbent Deutsch in New York resigned the account. The shop, however, will continue to handle media planning for Louis Vuitton.