Hotlines

TBWA Gets $100 Mil.+ Pedigree Work From Grey

NEW YORK Masterfoods USA is moving global creative duties for its estimated $100 million-plus Pedigree pet-food brand from Grey Worldwide in Los Angeles to Omnicom’s TBWA Worldwide. The account will be handled out of TBWA\Chiat\Day in Playa del Rey, Calif., the shop confirmed last week. That office already handles Masterfoods’ Whiskas cat food. The assignment, which came without a review, is part of the client’s effort to balance out its brand portfolio. Masterfoods spent $60 million in U.S. media on Pedigree from January-November 2003, according to Nielsen Monitor-Plus.



Telecom Mulls Consultants In $300 Mil. Review

NEW YORK Verizon Wireless is considering hiring a consultant to manage the review of its estimated $300 million national creative account, most recently at IPG’s Lowe in New York, sources said. Client executives, who launched the review two weeks ago, are eyeing three to five consultants, sources said. A client rep said no decisions have been made. Meanwhile, Verizon has shifted the business to IPG’s McCann-Erickson in New York, which will manage the Wireless account during the search, sources said. McCann will take part in the review; Lowe will not.



Finalists Present This Week in Fidelity’s $75 Mil. Search

NEW YORK Final strategic and creative presentations for Fidelity’s estimated $75 million account will begin this week at the client’s Boston headquarters, sources said. Havas’ McKinney + Silver in Raleigh, N.C., presents today, followed by Omnicom’s BBDO in New York on Wednesday. BBDO sibling TBWA\Chiat\Day in New York goes on Thursday, and the incumbent, Havas’ Arnold in Boston, will present next Monday, sources said. Arnold was given an automatic berth in the final round, the client has said. The shops either could not be reached or declined comment. Joanne Davis Consulting in New York, which is managing the search, could not be reached.

AT&T Wireless Says It Will Take ‘Deliberate’ Approach to Buyout

NEW YORK AT&T Wireless last week said it is courting U.S. and international suitors for a potential buyout. Mark Siegel, vp of media relations, said it is taking a “deliberate, thoughtful” approach and no timetable has been set. The company has hired Merrill Lynch & Co. and Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz Advertising to advise its board. Its agency partners, which include Goodby, Silverstein & Partners in San Francisco and Ogilvy & Mather in New York, were not affected as of press time. AT&T Wireless spent about $580 million on ads from January to October 2003, according to TNS Media Intelligence/CMR.



Congress Slashes Commerce Dept.’s Tourism Ad Budget

WASHINGTON The Department of Commerce lost most of its $50 million tourism ad budget last week when Congress passed an appropriations bill that cut $40 million from the effort. Language to slash the campaign was put in a conference report for the bill, which President Bush has said he will sign. The effort’s future is uncertain, a source said. Last summer, the DOC decided to tout America abroad as a tourist destination for the first time.



Digitas, AtmosphereBBDO Land $55-60. Mil. AOL Business

BOSTON Independent Digitas and creative incumbent AtmosphereBBDO, an Omnicom shop, won America Online’s estimated $55-60 million interactive account on Friday. The pair beat finalist Modem Media in Norwalk, Conn. Interactive media incumbent Doner Direct in Southfield, Mich., did not participate.



Berlin Assumes Post as CEO of Red Cell Network

NEW YORK WPP’s Red Cell has named Andy Berlin CEO of the agency network, the holding company confirmed Friday. Berlin, 53, had been co-CEO with London-based Lee Daley. Sources said Daley, 41, chose to leave after failing to come to a compensation agreement with WPP chairman and CEO Martin Sorrell. Neither Sorrell nor Daley could be reached. Berlin will continue as chairman of Berlin Cameron/ Red Cell in New York.