Alltel, Nextel Assessments Progress

BOSTON—Consultants with Rojek Cutcher Group are sifting through profiles of “dozens” of agencies nationwide and expect this week or next to have about six contenders in the review for the creative portion of Alltel’s $70 million account, sources said. Interpublic Group’s The Martin Agency in Richmond, Va., will defend. Separately, rival telecom Nextel and consulting company Roth Associates are at least a month from completing their “assessment” of the client’s communications needs, sources said. Executives from incumbent Mullen, an IPG shop in Wenham, Mass., have in the past week become involved in the process, and it remains unclear if some or all of the $150-200 million account will be placed in review, sources said.

Brown & Co. Brokerage Selects Via

BOSTON—Brown & Co. on Friday hired Via for its estimated $7-10 million ad account, held for 20 years by Gearon Hoffman, here, a client rep said. Portland, Maine-based Via, an independent agency, overcame the incumbent and New York shops Foote, Cone & Belding, Goth am and TBWA\Chiat\Day in a review. The Boston-based discount brokerage is a unit of J.P. Morgan Chase & Co.

Mullen Picks Up Work for IT Consultancy AMS

ATLANTA—Business and IT consulting firm AMS has selected Mullen as its lead agency, the client confirmed. The shop’s Winston-Salem, N.C., office bested co-finalist Adworks in Washington, D.C., for the estimated $7 million b-to-b account. Ads for AMS, which competes with Accenture and IBM in the service area, will target Fortune 500 company and government-agency financial officers and IT managers; work will launch early next year.

Coors Makes Draft Selection Official

CHICAGO—DraftWorldwide’s first work for Coors Brewing is set for early 2004, the agency said. The IPG-owned Chicago shop was enlisted as the Golden, Colo., brewery’s secondary promotions agency after a review. Spending is estimated at $15-20 million. Draft and Coors had been in contract talks for several weeks [Adweek, Nov. 25]. Arnold, Boston, and Deutsch, New York, joined Coors’ roster this summer. Coors’ lead agency is FCB, Chicago.

Hotline Roundup

BOSTON—A decision in the shootout for the approximately $20 million ad account of Terra Lycos’ Lycos Web portal—already long delayed—has been placed on hold until early next year, pending domestic management changes at the client, sources said. Roster shops Hill, Holliday, Connors, Cosmopulos, which handles Lycos, and Ogilvy & Mather, New York, which works on Terra, made late-summer presentations, but no decision was reached. Client and agency officials have consistently declined comment. … Reebok signed an exclusive deal with rapper Shawn Carter—aka Jay-Z—to design and market a line of shoes, S. Carter Collection by Rbk. The deal includes TV and print work by Arnell Group, New York, to support the line, and a separate TV effort to promote Reebok’s basketball line. … Publicis Groupe’s Leo Burnett leveraged its relationship with former Disney exec Paul Pressler, now president of The Gap, to add a branding assignment from its Gap and Banana Republic stores.