PwC Taps 3 IPG Shops for $80-100 Mil. Assignment

NEW YORK—McCann-Erickson and Hill, Holliday, Connors, Cosmopulos, both owned by Interpublic Group, won the $80-100 million PricewaterhouseCoopers global creative assignment to rebrand the client’s separate consulting division. IPG’s Initiative Media won media duties. Hill, Holliday handles creative in the U.S. for PricewaterhouseCoopers’ accounting practice. McCann-Erickson handles the accounting business outside the U.S. Other finalists included the U.S. and London offices of DDB, M&C Saatchi and Lowe, said sources [Adweek, April 22].

Staples to Name Semifinalists for $70 Mil. Account

BOSTON—Staples this week is expected to name semifinalists in the review for its $70 million creative account. Incumbent Cliff Freeman and Partners, New York, declined an invitation to defend. At least 20 agencies received RFPs from consultancy Select Resources International, and nine shops are expected to make the cut. Following May agency visits, three or four finalists will be given a positioning assignment in June, the client said.

Chrysler Multicultural Review Committee Diversifies

DETROIT—DaimlerChrysler’s Chrysler Group expanded the review committee overseeing its $50 million multicultural marketing account to include minority dealers and business leaders, partly due to pressure from minority activists, sources said. The review began March 28, and the original all-white review committee of five Chrysler marketing executives was expanded to include 20 people two weeks later, according to sources. Chrysler declined comment. Finalists are five alliances made up of 15 agencies with a wide variety of backgrounds and connections to the automaker, including incumbent GlobalHue. A member of the Rev. Al Sharpton’s National Action Network, the Rev. Horace Sheffield, said the group is continuing to study the agencies in contention for the account, which must be more than “minority-owned just on paper.”

McDonald’s Looks For Global Marketer

CHICAGO—McDonald’s is considering internal and external candidates to fill a global marketing director post, a company representative said. The Oak Brook, Ill., chain said the search does not affect Tom Ryan’s post as evp of marketing for U.S. In telling franchisees about the search, CEO Jack Greenberg acknowledged that marketing problems have plagued the company, whose lead agencies are DDB and Leo Burnett, both Chicago.

Digitas Reports Profit in First Quarter

BOSTON—Digitas posted net income of $711,000 for its first quarter ended March 31, the Boston company’s first profitable quarter since it went public in March 2000. During the same quarter last year, Digitas reported a net loss of nearly $7 million. Revenue for first-quarter 2002 was about $50 million, down 35 percent from $77 million a year ago. The latest revenue figure was, however, an improvement on the $47 million Digitas reported in the fourth quarter. Digitas projects revenue of $200-220 million for its current fiscal year, down from $236 million in 2001 and $288 million in 2000.

GM Shuffles Ad Execs

DETROIT—Annette Lloyd, director of advertising and sales promotion for General Motors’ Pontiac brand, is leaving for a similar post at GM Card, GM’s credit card unit, sources said. She will be replaced by Mark-Hans Richer, currently GMC advertising and sales promotion director. Richer’s replacement has not yet been named.

CCG 2001 Revenue Down 8 Percent

NEW YORK—After weeks of delay due to the renegotiation of its banking covenants, Cordiant Communications Group last week released preliminary results for 2001. The holding company reported pretax profit of $37 million, down 55 percent from $83 million in 2000. Underlying revenue for the year fell 8 percent. Including acquisitions, revenue increased 18 percent to $871 million. North American revenue rose 28 percent to $274 million, but dropped 14.5 percent on an underlying basis.

WPP Revenue Fell 9 Percent in First Quarter

NEW YORK—WPP Group last week reported worldwide revenue of $1.37 billion for first-quarter 2002, down 2 percent from the same quarter last year. And, excluding acquisitions and currency fluctuations, revenue fell nearly 9 percent, according to WPP. Analyzed by region, the revenue decline was the greatest in North America, where, on a constant currency basis, it was down 7 percent from the first quarter of 2001, WPP said.

Newswire Roundup

Ogilvy & Mather will not defend its $20 million Illinois Lottery account due to “philosophical differences,” the Chicago shop said. The lottery put its three-year contract into review earlier this month. … Omnicom Group acquired Aaron Walton Entertainment in Los Angeles last week. The entertainment-marketing agency will become a unit of Omnicom’s Diversified Agency Services Group. … Henderson Advertising in Greenville, S.C., won DaimlerChrysler Vans’ estimated $30 million ad account, besting roster agency PentaMark and two undisclosed others. … CareerBuilder has cut to five the list of contenders for its $15-20 million account: Bernstein-Rein and Barkley Evergreen & Partners, both Kansas City, Mo.; MARC USA and Cramer-Krasselt in Chicago; and Doner, Southfield, Mich., sources said. … Three shops are contending for a new five-year project for Progressive Insurance aimed at teens, sources said. They are Odiorne Wilde Narraway & Partners in San Francisco and New York’s DiMassimo Brand Advertising and Grey Global Group’s G Whiz, said sources. Spending is $5-10 million over five years, according to sources. Progressive’s lead agency remains Doner in Southfield, Mich. New York consultancy Roth Associates is handling the search.

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