Deutsch Lands $25 Mil.
NEW YORK–Deutsch/LA is poised to win the $25 million account of, a travel Web site owned by Microsoft. The other contenders: incumbent McCann-Erickson, Seattle; Young & Rubicam, San Francisco; and Berlin, Cameron & Partners, here. Deutsch is based in Marina Del Rey, Calif. Microsoft said it plans to spin off Expedia and sell a stake to the public.
Lowe to Drop SMS From Its Name
NEW YORK–The Lowe Group chairman Frank Lowe said last week that agency Lowe & Partners/SMS was retiring the SMS from its name, the last vestige of former top executives Sam Scali, Ed McCabe and Marvin Sloves. Meanwhile, depositions continue in Interpublic Group of Cos.’ $25 million lawsuit against former co-chairman Sloves. IPG has accused him of “breach of fiduciary duty” in the departure of key client Mercedes-Benz.
Depositions Begin in Hadala Lawsuit
NEW YORK–Depositions begin this week in Rick Hadala’s $340 million lawsuit against the Interpublic Group of Cos. and Ammirati Puris Lintas. Today and tomorrow, in Buffalo, N.Y., attorneys for IPG will question Hadala, the former CEO of APL North America, who was replaced by Jim Allman after seven months on the job, said his attorney, Robert J. Lane Jr. Also scheduled this week: Kent Kroeber, svp of human resources at IPG; Claire Tondreau, evp, managing director, account services at APL; and Gary Goldstein, evp, managing director, creative at APL. Another round–which would include IPG chairman Phil Geier and APL evp, director of client services Nancy McNally–is tentatively set for mid-October. Hadala’s suit, which is filed in state Supreme Court in Buffalo, accuses IPG and APL of breach of contract and defamation. IPG general counsel Nick Camera confirmed the deposition schedule but otherwise declined comment.
DeWitt Wins Bacardi Media Duties
NEW YORK–DeWitt Media has won media duties for all Bacardi-Martini USA brands. DeWitt bested fellow New York shops Western Initiative Media and SFM for the business, worth an estimated $35 million. AAR/Bob Wolf Partners handled the search. A bid for creative duties on Bacardi’s light rum account is down to Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, San Francisco, and Mezzina/Brown here. A decision is expected this week. Ammirati Puris Lintas
previously handled both portions of the account.
Account Activity
Hitachi Data Systems is winding up its search for a shop to handle a $20-30 million account. Doremus, New York and San Francisco, The Lord Group, New York, and Bozell, San Mateo, Calif., made final presentations last week, sources said Principal Financial Group has narrowed the review of its $25-30 million account to Ammirati Puris Lintas, Publicis & Hal Riney, both Chicago, and Jordan McGrath Case & Partners/Euro RSCG, New York, sources said.