Roche Launches 2 Media Reviews

LOS ANGELES—Roche Laboratories has launched two reviews for its Xenical fat-fighting drug and its influenza pill, Tamiflu: one for the two drugs’ general-market media buying account and another for direct response buying. The combined budget for the assignments is estimated at $50 million. Participating in the dual searches will be New York-based incumbents Impiric, a Young & Rubicam shop that handles Tamiflu direct response buying; Media Marketing Solutions, another Y&R entity that handles general market buying for Xenical and Tamiflu; and Initiative Media’s Media Direct Partners, which handles Xenical’s direct response buying account.

Publicis Exits SBC’s $185-250 Mil. Review

DALLAS—Publicis in New York has withdrawn from the contest for the estimated $185-250 million SBC Communications/BellSouth consolidated wireless account, citing a client conflict. Publicis’ Seattle office handles the account of Bellevue, Wash.-based VoiceStream Wireless Corp. Remaining in the review are incumbents GSD&M, Austin, Texas, WestWayne, Atlanta, and New York agencies Bates Worldwide, BBDO Worldwide and Grey Worldwide. A decision by the Atlanta-based telecom is expected in October.

Verizon Jump-Starts Brand Search

NEW YORK—Verizon Communications’ search for creative ideas to support a $20-30 million fall brand and product push is back on track, after a strike by Verizon workers effectively stalled the process. The roster shop search includes Arnold Communications, Boston; Burrell Communications, Chicago; Ogilvy & Mather, Dallas; and The Lord Group, New York. Previous participant Temerlin McClain, Irving, Texas, is no longer involved, sources said. Separately, Jan Keeler, svp brand management and marketing services at Verizon in New York, confirmed that the company has launched a media review with the purpose of consolidating its business at a single shop. Billings are estimated at $400-500 million. Four roster shops have been invited to participate: Zenith Media, MediaCom, MindShare and TN Media, sources said. Atlanta consultancy Blueprint Communications is managing the process. The consolidation includes Verizon Wireless’ business. Separately, Verizon Wireless is conducting creative reviews in three regions: Northeast, Southwest and South Central [Adweek, Aug. 21]. Verizon was formed through the merger of Bell Atlantic and GTE; Verizon Wireless, a separate entity, was formed from the wireless operations of Bell Atlantic, GTE and Vodafone.

HealthGate, nCipher Begin Agency Searches

BOSTON—HealthGate Data Corp., which provides medical institutions, corporations and Internet sites with Web technology to supply up-to-date content for professionals, patients and consumers, has launched a search for its first ad agency. NCipher, a Woburn, Mass., developer of hardware security products, has cut the list for its first ad agency to four undisclosed contenders. While one source estimated that the HealthGate account is worth $8-10 million, a representative for the Burlington, Mass., company said that the budget is lower. The nCipher account is estimated to be in the low seven figures.

L.L. Bean Considers 6 for $15-20 Mil. Account

BOSTON—L.L. Bean is down to six semifinalists for its $15-20 million ad account. In the running are New York shop FCB Worldwide, Carmichael Lynch in Minneapolis, Miami-based Crispin Porter & Bogusky and Leagas Delaney in San Francisco, said Judy Neer, a consultant with Boston-based Pile and Co. Two undisclosed agencies are also pitching, Neer said. She declined to say why the names were being withheld; sources cited conflict issues.

Ty Montague Heads to Wieden in New York

NEW YORK—Ty Montague, creative director of Bartle Bogle Hegarty in New York since September 1998, has resigned from the agency to become co-creative director at Wieden + Kennedy in New York, effective Sept. 6. John Hegarty, chairman, partner at BBH, confirmed Montague’s resignation. Montague resigned on Friday, Aug. 18. His last day was Monday, Aug. 21. Hegarty will act as interim creative director for BBH in New York until Montague’s replacement is hired. At Wieden + Kennedy, he joins co-creative director Amy Nicholson, formerly a senior art director at Goodby, Silverstein & Partners in San Francisco [Adweek, Aug. 14]. Nicholson also begins on Sept. 6. Montague, 37, and Nicholson, 36, replace co-executive creative directors Michael Prieve and Stacy Wall, who left the shop earlier this month [Adweek, May 29].

Newswire Roundup

Omnicom Group in New York has acquired significant minority stakes in five healthcare Internet compa-nies: Healthology and Caresoft, both consumer-oriented; and, both physician-oriented; and eResearch Technology, a clinical trials site. … Hampel/Stefanides in New York breaks an $8 million national TV campaign today for New York-based Internet service provider Juno Online Services. The four 15-second spots air through December on CNBC and Fox. … Turner Network Television is conducting its annual fall agency review in preparation for handing out assignments, sources said last week. A TNT representative said the network was contacting current and new agencies. Atlanta-based TNT spent $37 million in measured media last year, per Competitive Media Reporting, not including non-paid advertising on Turner stations.

For the Record

In a Newswire item, the city that PMC-Sierra is headquartered in was misidentified. PMC-Sierra is based in Burnaby, British Columbia [Newswire, Aug. 7].