Ericsson Taps BBH for $100 Mil. Account

NEW YORK—Ericsson has selected Bartle Bogle Hegarty in London to handle creative duties on its $100 million global ad account, sources said. The business will be driven out of London, but BBH will use the resources of sister shops within parent Bcom3. Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO in London, Young & Rubicam in London and New York, and TBWA Worldwide in London and New York also pitched.

Havas Continues Negotiations With TN

CHICAGO—Havas remained in acquisition talks with True North Communications last week, sources said. Interpublic Group has also expressed interest, although no bid has been made, sources said. An earlier effort by the Cordiant Communications Group to acquire TN [Adweek, Dec. 18, 2000] fell through when the London-based company failed to raise the necessary capital, sources said. Havas executives were meeting in Venice, Italy, last week.

Publicis-Cordiant Media Negotiations Continue

NEW YORK—Publicis Groupe S.A. and Cordiant Communications are continuing talks designed to hash out ownership in a media holding company that would house Publicis’ media brand, Optimedia, and Zenith Media, which is co-owned by Publicis and Cordiant. Ernst & Young has assessed each media shop’s value, but percentage stakes in the whole are still being ironed out—this despite reports that the two sides had settled on a 75-25 percent split, with Publicis getting the lion’s share. Cordiant CEO Michael Bungey has said that he would not accept “anything less than 25 percent” of the new entity, a representative said.

WPP Launches Fourth Network: Red Cell

LONDON—Combining three of its smaller agency subsidiaries, Conquest in Europe, Cole & Weber in Seattle, and Perspectives in Britain, and in alliance with Singapore’s Batey Advertising, WPP has formed a new network, called Red Cell. The new network will focus on brands out to innovate and break the traditional rules of marketing. Led by Luca Linder, formerly CEO of Conquest, Red Cell has recruited an ‘eclectic network’ of contributors who include pop star Sir Bob Geldof, Adam Morgan, author of Eating the Big Fish, designer Doug Lloyd and Paul Meijers.

News Roundup

Lowe Lintas & Partners’ chief creative officer Lee Garfinkel continues to mull an offer from Lowe Group executives to set up an agency for him, sources said. Garfinkel appears to be taking his time, while Lowe executives seem eager for closure, said sources. … Arnold is among several shops angling for the launch of the Passat W8 and the luxury D1 automobile on Volkswagen’s home turf in Germany, sources said. Also pitching the estimated $20 million business are DDB in Berlin, Grey in Düsseldorf, and Weber, Hodel, Schmid of Zurich, Switzerland, sources said. … Cognos Corp., the Ottawa-based tech firm with U.S. headquarters in Burlington, Mass., has confirmed a review for its North American ad account, handled by CGN Marketing & Creative Services of Boston. Sources estimated the budget at $15 million. … Gap has hired Modernista! to create a spring-themed TV campaign to break nationally March 18, a Gap representative said. Modernista! works for the Gap on a project basis.