Dell Puts Creative Business in Play

NEW YORK—Dell is not only reviewing its $150 million media account [Adweek, Feb. 26], but also its creative duties, after its split with BBDO in New York, which handled corporate-image tasks, sources said. The creative review appears to include the retail business handled by Lowe Lintas & Partners in New York, said sources. Shops pitching the creative business are Lowe Lintas, DDB in Chicago and Temerlin McClain in Irving, Texas; pursuing media are Lowe Lintas, which handles media on retail, Starcom, Carat USA and possibly others, sources said.

True North Settles With SEC

CHICAGO—True North Communications and the Securities and Exchange Commission have reached a resolution over an accounting issue that held up the holding company’s year-end earnings report late last month. TN will issue its earnings today and explain the situation with the SEC.

‘Rats’ Inquiry Over

WASHINGTON—The Federal Communications Commission dropped its investigation of whether the “Rats” ad violated a 1974 rule barring broadcasters from airing subliminal ads. Senators Ron Wyden, D-Ore., and John Breaux, D-La., asked the FCC to investigate after the Republican National Committee created the ad, which briefly flashed the word “Rats” as it attacked former Vice President Al Gore’s prescription-drug plan during last year’s presidential election. The FCC Enforcement Bureau polled 179 broadcast stations, which said the ad was not subliminal because the word “Rats” was clearly visible.

JWT Executive Considers Bush Administration Post

WASHINGTON—Secretary of State Colin Powell has asked Charlotte Beers, the former chairman of J. Walter Thompson, to take a post in the Bush administration, sources said. Powell wants Beers for the job of Undersecretary of Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs, which oversees information agencies abroad. The two served together on the board of aviation company Gulfstream. Sources said Beers is considering the offer but is uncertain about moving to Washington for a post with so much daily responsibility. Beers’ contract with JWT expired last month. She declined comment.

Ex-Staffers Sue Beyond Interactive, Grey

DETROIT—Two former employees of Internet ad agency Beyond Interactive have filed a class action suit against the Ann Arbor, Mich.-based agency and its parent Grey Global Group in New York. The suit, filed last week in U.S. District Court in Detroit, claims the agency did not give the nearly 100 affected former staffers the 60-days notice required by the federal Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act. They are seeking back pay, other benefits and attorney costs. Grey declined comment; Beyond Interactive executives could not be reached.

Account Activity, which had cut to three in the creative review of its estimated $40 million account, has opened the process to others. D’Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles, Grey and OgilvyOne, all in New York, were the original finalists.