Hotline

Home Depot Reviews $330 Mil. Business

NEW YORK—Questionnaires are due back this week in a review of Home Depot’s creative account, sources said. The incumbent is The Richards Group in Dallas. The Atlanta-based client spent about $330 million on media in 2001, according to CMR. Client and agency executives could not be reached.

Reckitt-Benckiser Hears Pitches for $300 Mil. Account

NEW YORK—Havas’ Euro RSCG, Cordiant Communications Group’s Bates and WPP are pitching Reckitt-Benckiser’s $300 million global account this week, sources said. The three shops are expected to present strategy for four specified household brands in different markets to Elio Leoni-Sceti, evp of category development, among others, sources said.

Grey Global Group Acquires Babbit’s 360

NEW YORK—Grey Global Group has purchased 360, the Atlanta shop that helped it win the estimated $120 million BellSouth account in December, sources said. Terms of the deal, which was expected, were undisclosed. The Atlanta-based telecom told contenders in the review that it wanted an agency with an Atlanta office, and Grey enlisted 360, sources said. Client and Grey executives could not be reached. 360 was founded by Joel Babbit, formerly of Babbit & Reiman, in 1995.

Steel Assumes Consultant’s Role at WPP

NEW YORK—Jon Steel, a former partner and vice chairman at Goodby, Silverstein & Partners in San Francisco, has taken a new “worldwide consultancy” position at WPP Group in London. Steel, 40, left Goodby in 2000 and since then has been working on a novel. In his new part-time post, Steel will “interact” with WPP agencies and their clients, developing client business and aiding strategic and creative development, WPP said. He is expected to work closely with Eric Salama, group director of strategy.

Pizza Hut Brief Focuses on Insider Pizza

NEW YORK—Pizza Hut’s brief to shops vying to be its secondary agency centers on The Insider pizza launched in 2000 by BBDO, sources said. Cliff Freeman and Partners, Ogilvy & Mather and Saatchi & Saatchi, all New York, and Wieden + Kennedy in Portland, Ore., give final presentations in early March. BBDO, here, is the lead agency.

Interactive Market Systems, MediaPlan Merge

NEW YORK—Two VNU business units, Interactive Market Systems and MediaPlan, are merging, effective immediately. George Wishart, who had been president and CEO of MediaPlan, was named president and CEO of the merged, as-yet-unnamed entity. VNU, a Netherlands-based media company, owns a variety of business media properties, including this magazine.

Account Activity

BBDO in Toronto has won the $15-20 million Sears account. Mediaedge: CIA retains buying duties in Canada. The U.S. creative account is split between Young & Rubicam and Ogilvy & Mather, both Chicago. … The Bermuda Department of Tourism is reviewing its estimated $7 million ad account, sources said. Incumbent J. Walter Thompson in New York confirmed it is defending.