WPP, Publicis and Cerberus Poised to Take a Piece of CCG

NEW YORK WPP Group could launch a bid for troubled Cordiant Communications Group as early as today, sources said. WPP chief executive Martin Sorrell was preparing a bid last week that would give equity holders 3 pence a share and require debt holders to write off some of CCG’s estimated $440 million in gross debt, sources said. Meanwhile, Publicis Groupe, which appears to have lost interest in an outright bid for CCG, has teamed up with Cerberus Capital Management, a U.S. hedge fund that has been buying much of CCG’s debt at a discount, sources said. Shareholder Active Value Fund, however, continues to push for CCG to remain independent. On Friday, the London fund bought more than 11 million shares, upping its stake from 14.1 percent to 16.8 percent. WPP could not be reached on Friday. Publicis and Cerberus did not return calls.

Samsung Holds Talks With Media Shops in South Korea

LOS ANGELES Samsung has held discussions in South Korea with WPP’s MindShare and incumbent IPG’s Initiative Media Worldwide regarding its $400 million global media buying and planning business, sources said. The client’s $80 million U.S. media account was not involved, sources said. It is unclear whether further meetings are planned or if other shops are involved. Samsung reps declined comment. MindShare and Initiative were unavailable. IPG’s Foote, Cone & Belding in New York, which has some media planning, is Samsung’s global creative shop.

Gap Inc. Talking to Shops About Old Navy, Banana Republic

LOS ANGELES Gap Inc. is talking to shops about creative work on its Old Navy and Banana Republic brands, sources said. The retailer has a relationship with Omnicom through PHD, which won its $245 million consolidated media account last month. In April, Jack Calhoun, evp of brand management and advertising at Charles Schwab,was named evp of marketing for Banana Republic. Omnicom’s BBDO, New York, and GSD&M, Austin, Texas, worked with Calhoun at Schwab. A Gap Inc. rep declined comment. Publicis’ Leo Burnett works on strategy and projects for the brands. Creative on the Gap brand, handled by Laird + Partners in New York, is not affected, sources said.

Six Flags to Send RFPs To Agencies This WeekNEW YORK A request for information that Six Flags issued to 15-20 agencies last week is due back today. Based on the responses, the client will issue an RFP to 10-12 shops later this week, sources said. Six Flags launched a review of its $70-90 million global creative and media account after hiring Roth Associates [Adweek Online, June 6]. Incumbents Ackerman McQueen in Oklahoma City, Okla., and IPG’s Initiative Media in Los Angeles are expected to defend.

4 Shops Vie for Subway’s $220 Mil. Account

NEW YORK Four shops have advanced in Subway’s estimated $220 million creative review, the client confirmed. They are IPG’s Deutsch in New York, Omnicom’s Goodby, Silverstein & Partners in San Francisco, Publicis’ Fallon in Minneapolis and independent Wieden + Kennedy in Portland, Ore. IPG’s Lowe in New York and The Martin Agency in Richmond, Va., as well as a team from Grey Worldwide in New York and McCarthy Mambro Bertino in Boston were eliminated.

McDonald’s Unveils New Tag at Global Summit

CHICAGO Marketing executives from McDonald’s concluded a three-day worldwide conference last week at which they unveiled a global tagline, “I’m lovin’ it,” and discussed ways to reach the fast food company’s three main targets: kids, moms and young adult males. Peter Arnell, chairman of the Arnell Group in New York, spoke on how the agency will make famous the music in McDonald’s upcoming ad campaign, sources said. The global effort, slated to break this fall, will be created by Heye & Partner in Unterhaching, Germany, and DDB Chicago.

Merkley in Final Negotiations for Salomon Smith Barney Account

NEW YORK Omnicom’s Merkley Newman Harty & Partners is in final negotiations to handle Salomon Smith Barney’s estimated $15 million ad account, sources said. A client rep said a decision has not been made. Three other New York shops pitched: Omnicom’s BBDO and independents Kirshenbaum Bond & Partners and McGarry Bowen. Merkley did not return calls.