TBWA\C\D out of $60 Mil. Goodyear Review

CHICAGO—TBWA\Chiat\Day is no longer a contender for Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co.’s $60 million North American ad account because of a conflict with its Michelin business overseas, said Tom Carroll, president and CEO of the Playa del Rey, Calif., office. Executives from the Akron, Ohio-based company met last week with Fallon, Minneapolis; GSD&M, Austin, Texas; Young & Rubicam, BBDO and McCann-Erickson, all New York; and Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, San Francisco. Incumbent J. Walter Thompson, Detroit, dropped out last week.

3 Vie for $60 Mil. Office Depot Prize

ATLANTA—The field has narrowed in Office Depot’s $60 million review. Grey and BBDO, both in New York, and DDB in Chicago have made the final round in the contest for the Delray Beach, Fla.-based client’s creative business. Media Planning in New York handles media. Incumbent Gold Coast Advertising in Miami is not participating.

Arnold Takes $35-40 Mil. Choice Business

ATLANTA—Arnold has won the Choice Hotels International media and creative account, estimated at $35-40 million. The McLean, Va., unit of Boston-based Arnold defeated New York-based agencies Avrett Free Ginsberg, Bozell Kamstra and Deutsch in a review that began last October. Incumbent Gray, Kirk/VanSant did not defend.

Cliff Freeman Loses $30-40 Mil. Biz

NEW YORK—Cliff Freeman and Partners is losing its third dot-com client this year. The Walt Disney Co. is closing, its Internet portal. The New York shop won the estimated $30-40 million account last March. The shop’s other two dot-com account losses were and Agency executives could not be reached.

Ogilvy Poised to Land $35 Mil. Amtrak Account

NEW YORK—Ogilvy & Mather is in negotiations with Amtrak to handle its estimated $35 million account, sources said. The Washington, D.C.-based client began the review in July. Incumbents DDB in New York and E. James White in Herndon, Va., participated in the early rounds, as did BBDO and FCB, both in New York; The Martin Agency in Richmond, Va.; and Ogilvy in New York, sources said. Officials at Ogilvy declined comment. An Amtrak representative said no decision has been reached.

Martin Loses $180 Mil. Saab Work; Cuts Staff

ATLANTA—The Martin Agency has lost the creative account of Saab Cars USA. The setback came as the agency said it would lay off 10 percent of its staff. Saab creative duties now pass to Lowe Brindfors, the Swedish automaker’s global agency. Saab had accounted for $180 million of the Richmond, Va., agency’s billings since 1997. A Saab representative said the move was made to streamline the business process. Martin also was rocked by an 18-month string of dot-com disasters. Two-thirds of $200 million in estimated dot-com billings failed to materialize—the main cause, agency sources said, for the layoff of 40 staffers. Martin will continue to handle direct advertising for Saab; its media buying contract will be reviewed after 2001. Martin and Brindfors are part of the Lowe Group, a division of the Interpublic Group.

4 Pitch for $15-20 Mil. MassMutual Assignment

BOSTON—MassMutual Financial Group is mulling four contenders for its $15-20 million corporate account, including incumbent Bozell. The New York-based shop is pitching against Lowe Lintas & Partners and Messner Vetere Berger McNamee Schmetterer/Euro RSCG, both in New York, and Mullen in Wenham, Mass. Bozell handles the assignment with sister shop TN Media.

Noble Heads to BBDO South

ATLANTA—Jim Noble has moved to BBDO South as executive creative director. He replaces Art Mellor, former executive creative director and vp who retired from the Atlanta agency last year. A 15-year ad veteran, Noble, who accompanied his father, DDB copywriter John, on Volkswagen shoots in the 1960s and ’70s, began his career at the former Chiat/Day in San Francisco before joining BBDO in Vancouver, Canada. Noble, 41, leaves GMO/Hill, Holliday in San Francisco, where he was creative director.

Newswire Roundup

Pagano Schenck & Kay is moving operations to New York to take better advantage of the integrated resources of its parent firm, Panoramic Communications. Chairman Woody Kay, president Beau Fraser and an undisclosed number of the shop’s staffers will move in the next few weeks. … Earle Palmer Brown has won the $7-10 million creative and media account of Ruth’s Chris Steak House. The New York-based agency won creative and media duties. Six shops pitched: incumbent Duke Creative Marketing and The Graham Group, both in New Orleans, Pedone & Partners and Bretner Greenhouse Webster, both in New York, Fitzgerald & Co. in Atlanta and Creative Alliance in Louisville, Ky. … Draft Worldwide picked up worldwide promotional duties for Burger King following a review that came down to the Chicago shop and incumbent Alcone Marketing Group in Irvine, Calif. Draft also picked up promotional work for the Miami chain’s international youth and family business. … Telecorp, following its merger with Tritel, has consolidated its ad business at Gotham—Telecorp’s lead agency. Combined billings are estimated at $45 million. The entity will be called SunCom. … DDB has landed ad duties for the American Stock Exchange after a review that included D’Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles in New York as a finalist, sources said. Incumbent Messner Vetere Berger McNamee Schmetterer/Euro RSCG did not defend. Billings were estimated at $15-20 million.