Roth to Manage Review for $20-30 Mil. Mini Account

NEW YORK—Richard Roth Associates in Chappaqua, N.Y., is managing BMW of North America’s search for an agency to handle creative duties for the U.S. launch of the Mini in 2002. Roth and Kerri Martin, Mini’s marketing communications manager, are developing a questionnaire that will be distributed to agencies. Sources pegged billings at $20-30 million. Martin hopes to make a selection by February.

Rational Mulls Semifinalists for $15-20 Mil. Work

BOSTON—Rational Software has named six semifinalists for its $15-20 million creative account. Pitching are New York shops Doremus and The Lord Group; Mullen in Wenham, Mass.; Mintz & Hoke in Avon, Conn.; and Boston’s CGN Marketing & Creative Services and Red. The client, based in Cupertino, Calif., with marketing in Lexington, Mass., had worked with Allen & Gerritsen in Watertown, Mass.

2 Up for $15-20 Mil. Instinet Business

NEW YORK—Instinet has narrowed its search for a shop to handle its $15-20 million account to Doner in Southfield, Mich., and DiNoto Lee in New York, sources said. Mullen, in Wenham, Mass., and New York incumbent Broulliard Communications are no longer in contention, according to sources. A selection is expected shortly.

IPG, True North Post Earnings

NEW YORK—The Interpublic Group of Cos. posted an 8.7 percent decline in third-quarter net income due to a restructuring charge. But IPG’s earnings exceeded Wall Street expectations as units reported strong revenue growth and higher profit margins. IPG’s net income came to $61.9 million compared with $67.8 million in the year-earlier period. Last month, IPG merged the bulk of Weber Public Relations with Shandwick International. Separately, True North Communications reported revenue of $380 million for the quarter ended Sept. 30, up 14 percent from the same period a year ago. Net income of $24 million was up 33 percent.

JWT Acquires Tonic 360

SAN FRANCISCO—J. Walter Thompson Co. has acquired Tonic 360, a full-service ad agency with expertise in digital branding. The shops recently combined to win the $100 million Sun Microsystems account. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed. Agency officials said the San Francisco shop will operate as a stand-alone unit of JWT North America. No management changes are planned.

Petsmart Picks 5 Finalists for $20-25 Mil. Business

LOS ANGELES—Petsmart has chosen finalists for its creative account. They are: The Richards Group in Dallas; Doner in Southfield, Mich.; Leo Burnett in Chicago, in partnership with field-marketing affiliate Moroch & Associates in Dallas; and Campbell-Ewald Advertising in Los Angeles. Incumbent agency Publicis in Seattle is defending. The Phoenix-based pet-supply retailer is expected to make a decision by the end of November. Select Resources International in Los Angeles is consulting. All creative contenders, plus other shops, will be invited to pitch for Petsmart’s $20-25 million media account, also handled by SRI.

BBDO Picks Up Ward’s $75 Mil. Media Account

CHICAGO—Montgomery Ward & Co. awarded its $75 million media account to BBDO in Chicago. The shop pitched the account over the summer against several undisclosed competitors, said Mike Hedge, BBDO in Chicago’s director of media services. Incumbent BKN Media shut down its Chicago office last week as its parent company shifted out of the media business. Creative remains with Laughlin/Constable in Chicago and Milwaukee.

Verizon Hears Pitches in Separate Reviews

BOSTON—Agencies pursuing both the $400-500 million consolidated media business of Verizon Communications and the $50 million Northeast retail business of Verizon Wireless last week met with client officials, sources said. New York’s Hill, Holliday, Connors, Cosmopulos, Berenter Greenhouse & Webster and Lowe Lintas & Partners presented to Verizon Wireless, sources said. Contenders for the media account include roster shops Zenith Media, MediaCom, MindShare and TN Media, sources said. Undisclosed others may be involved in both reviews.

Newswire Roundup

In an effort to strengthen its hand with the General Motors Buick account, McCann-Erickson in Detroit will take control of New York-based Jay Advertising. A new group called McCann Jay Advertising will be formed to handle regional ads for Buick and help McCann meet GM demands that regional and local dealer ads have the same tone as national ads. … Grey Worldwide has won the PMC-Sierra ad account, with estimated billings of $20 million, after a review of several undisclosed agencies. … Modernista! has begun working on a national TV push for Gap, with an estimated budget of $10 million. Ads will likely break after Thanksgiving and run into January. Previous Gap ads have been done in-house. … The field in the Church’s Chicken review has narrowed to two finalists, BaylessCronin and Publicis in Mid America. New York-based incumbent Cliff Freeman and Partners did not participate. Final presentations in the estimated $15 million competition are this week. … Software firm EC Cubed is seeking an agency for its estimated $5 million creative account. The Westborough, Mass., company had worked with Allen & Gerritsen in Watertown, Mass. … Investment bank Thomas Weisel Partners selected Gardner Geary Coll as its lead agency, beating GMO/Hill Holliday, Lowe Lintas & Partners and Arnold Ingalls Moranville, all in San Francisco. Billings were undisclosed. … Fallon is forming a new brand-consulting unit called Fallon Brand Consulting.