Havas in Talks to Acquire McKinney & Silver

ATLANTA—Havas Advertising, acting through its Boston-based Arnold network, is negotiating to purchase McKinney & Silver, Raleigh, N.C., from its troubled parent marchFirst. “We have been in discussions with a number of potential buyers,” said McKinney chief executive officer Don Maurer, “but the chemistry with Ed Eskandarian has been great. This deal will probably happen.” Eskandarian, Arnold’s chief executive, has been Havas’ point person for the negotiations. Arnold’s flagship account is Volkswagen of America; McKinney handles VW-owned Audi. An alignment could provide synergies for the German automaker. Eskandarian did not return calls late Friday.

Mullen, Rob Rich Part Ways

BOSTON—Rob Rich will leave his post as senior vice president, group creative director of Mullen at the end of the month to pursue freelance work and possibly start his own agency. During his year-long tenure at the Wenham, Mass., shop, Rich created TV and print work for clients such as Sesame Workshop, Oxygen Media and Northern Light Technologies. Before joining Mullen, he was a creative director at Holland Mark, Boston, where he worked primarily on retail advertising for clients such as TJX Co.’s T.J. Maxx.

Official Payments Launches Ad Campaign

BOSTON—Official Payments, a provider of electronic payment options to government entities, has introduced a national consumer campaign to advertise its telephone and online credit card payment service for federal and state income taxes. The campaign, which is budgeted at $4 million and was created in-house by the Stamford, Conn., company, includes radio and TV spots and print ads running in The Wall Street Journal and other papers.

Collette Vacations Retains Irma S. Mann

BOSTON— Collette Vacations, an international travel agency, has chosen Irma S. Mann, Strategic Marketing for brand repositioning after a review of undisclosed companies. The Boston agency, which specializes in travel and hospitality accounts, will position Pawtucket, R.I.-based Collette as a leading resource for customized group and individual travel packages.

Filias to Drive Indian Motorcycles Efforts

BOSTON—Indian Motorcycle Kittery has named Filias Advertising for long-term ad assignments. The agency recently launched the Kittery, N.H., dealership’s first ad campaign last month. Work includes print ads and a TV spot running throughout Boston’s North Shore and New Hampshire’s coast. Portsmouth, N.H.-based Filias has also created work for Seacoast Harley-Davidson of Hampton, N.H.

Onward and Upward

BOSTON—Timberland Co. of Stratham, N.H., named Claire Spofford vice president of brand management; she had been senior director of marketing … Scott Garrison has joined Ideate, Watertown, Mass., as an account executive for its account. Garrison has worked for McCann-Erickson, EMI Music and Sony.