IHOP Hires Search Consultant

LOS ANGELES—IHOP Corp. has launched a review for its creative account and hired Atlanta-based consultant Gregg Nettleton from ebrainsinc to lead it, said IHOP representative Patrick Lenow. The Glendale, Calif., client is contacting full-service agencies in the closed review for its $30 million account. There are no geographical or size limitations. A timetable could not be determined. The client recently split with Heil-Brice Retail Advertising in Newport Beach, Calif., and promoted president and COO Julia Stewart to CEO. The search does not affect media, now split among six agencies, Lenow said.

Hyundai Poised for Decision

LOS ANGELES—Hyundai Motor America is expected to select an agency for the creative portion of its $160 million national account as early as April 29, sources said last week. The contenders are Publicis & Hal Riney, San Francisco, Publicis in the West, Seattle, The Richards Group, Dallas, and incumbent Bates USA West, Irvine, Calif. Strategic and creative presentations were held April 19 and 20 at the client’s Fountain Valley, Calif., headquarters.

Ogilvy Seeks Replacement for McDonagh

LOS ANGELES—Ogilvy & Mather has launched a search for a head creative for its Culver City, Calif., office following the abrupt departure of co-president and executive creative director Joe McDonagh, said agency co-president Rick Roth. Sources said McDonagh was let go last week; McDonagh classified it as a “mutual decision.” McDonagh had been with the shop since 1999. For now, Ogilvy North America chief creative officer Rick Boyko, based in New York, will assume McDonagh’s creative duties.

Staples to Name Semifinalists for Creative

BOSTON—Office supply chain Staples is expected to name semifinalists early this week in the review for the creative portion of its $70 million account. Eight-year incumbent Cliff Freeman and Partners, New York, declined an invitation to defend. At least 20 agencies nationwide received RFPs from Select Resources International this month; six to eight are expected to make the cut. A final decision is expected in early July.

BBDO Still in ChevronTexaco Chase

DALLAS—Despite rumors of layoffs, BBDO is forging ahead in its pitch for a piece of ChevronTexaco’s consolidated global creative and media account, sources said. The San Francisco-based energy concern issued requests for proposals earlier this month to BBDO, Houston, Young & Rubicam, San Francisco, Campbell Mithun, Minneapolis, and Mediaedge:cia, New York. A decision on the estimated $50 million account is expected in three to four weeks. BBDO’s Texas office laid off five to 10 of its 35 staffers last Thursday, according to sources.

Gap Unveils Summer Campaign

LOS ANGELES—The Gap last week unveiled its summer TV ad campaign, its first since parting with Modernista! in Boston earlier this year. It was developed by independent consultant Lisa Prisco. The three black-and-white 30-second TV spots were directed by Cameron Crowe, the Coen brothers and Roman Coppola.

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