Capital One Consultant Contacts Shops

NEW YORK—Bob Wolf contacted agencies last week and asked for their financial credentials and experience in the financial-services category, sources said. His Los Angeles consultancy, Bob Wolf Partners/TPG, is managing the review for the $170 million Capital One creative account. Publicis Groupe agencies The Kaplan Thaler Group and soon-to-be-dissolved incumbent D’Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles present this week to the Falls Church, Va., client, sources said. Publicis will handle the account should D’Arcy win the pitch. Wolf declined to comment about whether he would open the review to agencies outside Publicis Groupe. Capital One did not return calls.

McCann in Talks With Blue Flame

NEW YORK—McCann-Erickson confirmed it is in preliminary discussions with Blue Flame Marketing in New York about forming a strategic alliance. Blue Flame is an urban-marketing and advertising company whose CEO is rap star Sean “P. Diddy” Combs. Mark Gault, McCann’s North American regional director, and Blue Flame president Jameel Spencer are leading the discussions.

Honda Debuts Element Work

LOS ANGLES—American Honda Motor Co. is set to break two spots created by Rubin Postaer and Associates aimed at supporting its youth-oriented Element vehicle, which is slated to reach showrooms on Dec. 19. Each spot shows a young man reminiscing about a great road trip taken in the Element. As the scene shifts between the stories and flashbacks of the trip, it becomes clear that the memories are much rosier that what actually happened.

Cliff Freeman ACD Heads to Goodby

NEW YORK—Adam Chasnow, a vp, associate creative director at independent Cliff Freeman and Partners in New York, is leaving to join Omnicom Group’s Goodby, Silverstein & Partners in San Francisco, effective in January, the agencies said. Goodby hired Chasnow, 35, to work on the Saturn account. At Cliff Freeman, he most recently worked on the Value City and Hollywood Video accounts.

News Roundup

Gemstar-TV Guide International named Scott Crystal evp, publisher of TV Guide Publishing Group. Crystal most recently headed Gruner & Jahr USA’s Business Innovator Group, which was shut down in July. The post had been vacant since November 2001, when Tom Hardy left for the Golf Digest Cos. … Hewlett-Packard expects to conclude its interactive account review by the end of the year, the client said. Sources said the initial contenders included and Interpublic Group agency Foote, Cone & Belding’s FCBi, both in New York, Modem Media and Publicis Groupe’s Publicis Dialog, both in San Francisco, and the European offices of MRM Partners Worldwide’s Zentropy Partners. HP spent nearly $30 million in online measured media for the first 10 months of this year, according to CMR Interactive. … Kirshenbaum Bond & Partners in New York has won the $5-10 million Timex account, sources said, besting Bartle Bogle Hegarty in New York and Modernista! in Boston. Pile and Co. in Boston, which managed the search, and Timex did not return calls. Kirshenbaum declined comment.