4 Finalists Compete for Six Flags’ Media

LOS ANGELES—Four finalists completed presentations last week for Six Flags Operations’ estimated $50 million-plus global media business, sources said. The contenders are: WPP Group’s MindShare; Aegis Group’s Carat; and Publicis Groupe’s Zenith Media, all New York; plus Initiative Partners, Los Angeles, a unit of the Interpublic Group’s Initiative Media North America. Initiative and Six Flags creative agency Ackerman McQueen, Oklahoma City, currently partner on media duties for the theme park operator, also based in Oklahoma City. AM is managing the search for the client.

HGTV Begins $10-12 Mil. Account Review

NEW YORK—Home & Garden Television, a cable network owned by E.W. Scripps, has launched a review for its $10-12 million traditional and interactive ad account, sources said. Initial questionnaires, due back this Thursday, inquire about agencies’ experience in increasing top-of-mind awareness, changing perceptions, increasing loyalty and share among core viewers, and converting occasional viewers to more frequent viewers. It is unclear if the incumbent, Lewis Communications in Birmingham, Ala., is participating. Consultancy AAR Group in New York is managing the process, sources said. The Knoxville, Tenn.-based client did not return calls.

Timex Considers Agency Search

CHICAGO—Timex is determining whether it wants to use a consultant or conduct an account review in-house after splitting with Fallon, according to a company representative. Jim Katz said the Middlebury, Conn., company expects to have a new agency in place by the end of the year. Fallon in Minneapolis has handled the venerable watch brand since 1986. Timex spent $6 million on advertising last year, according to CMR.

Miller Puts Foster’s Lager in Play

CHICAGO—Miller Brewing is talking to agencies both on and off its roster about its $15 million Foster’s Lager account. Incumbent J. Walter Thompson, Chicago, has been invited to defend the business, according to a company representative. Proposal requests went out several weeks ago, but the representative declined to name participants or a timetable. The review comes about a month after JWT was forced to defend its $50 million Miller Genuine Draft account, which wound up split between JWT and Miller Lite agency Ogilvy & Mather.

Yaffe Breaks Into Separate Units

DETROIT—Yaffe & Co. has reorganized into independent operating units. The $65 million agency becomes a part of The Yaffe Group, based in Southfield, Mich., along with new divisions Yaffe/Deutser, Yaffe Direct, The Legacy Brand Center and Barrelhouse Creative, said Michael Morin, executive vice president of The Yaffe Group. Each unit will have separate financial accountability. Yaffe/Deutser, which is located in Houston, was established in March when Bradley J. Deutser, formerly senior managing director at local shop Sachnowitz & Co., partnered with Yaffe. The operation’s clients include Star Furniture, Texas Southern University and the Houston Independent School District.