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Martin Pulls Out of AMF Bowling Pitch
ATLANTA – One week after being named a finalist in the $10-15 million AMF Bowling Worldwide review, officials with The Martin Agency in Richmond, Va., said last Friday they were withdrawing from consideration. The move leaves two shops to compete for the business – The Richards Group in Dallas and Carmichael Lynch in Minneapolis. A Martin representative cited preparations for its $8-9 million TV Land/Nick at Nite creative-only pitch, plus increased demands from existing clients as the reasons the agency opted not to pursue AMF. Client vice president of marketing Merrell Wreden was traveling last Friday and could not be reached for comment about whether an additional agency would be added to the finals. Hampel/Stefanides and Merkley Newman Harty, both in New York, and Chicago Creative Partnership were included in the six shops originally considered for the business.

Royal Caribbean Drops Super Bowl Deal
ATLANTA – Officials with Royal Caribbean Cruises said last week they would not be title sponsor of the Super Bowl halftime show in 1999. The Miami-based client used the vehicle last January, in part, to break new advertising for its Celebrity line. Those commercials were created by Harris Drury Cohen in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Royal Caribbean’s domestic agency, McKinney & Silver, Raleigh, N.C., engineered the January 1998 Super Bowl deal last fall. In a statement, client president Jack Williams said the company would do “something different.” He would not disclose specifics other than to say the cruise line would play some role in next year’s National Football League title game.

Ex-McKinney Executive Moves to Match
ATLANTA – Robert Atkinson, formerly vice president and account supervisor at McKinney & Silver in Raleigh, N.C., has joined Match here as vice president and director of account service. Part of his duties at McKinney included work on the agency’s Audi of America account. Prior to working in North Carolina, Atkinson was advertising manager of Trans World Airlines in New York.

Budget Cuts Boston Shop, Launches Review
CHICAGO – Budget Rent A Car Corp. dismissed Hill, Holliday, Connors, Cosmopulos, Boston, and said it has contacted an undisclosed number of Chicago agencies about its account, which it valued at $35 million. Budget said in a statement it wants an agency closer to its Lisle, Ill., headquarters, and one that has the capacity to serve other Budget Group Inc. companies as it continues to expand. The client said it hopes to name an agency to handle creative development, media and Internet marketing by July.

For the Record
Ana Maria Fernandez-Haar, president of IAC Advertising Group in Miami, is the current president of the Association of Hispanic Advertising Agencies.