Publicis: Successor to Perriss Has Been Selected

NEW YORK Publicis, in confirming the departure of ZenithOptimedia CEO John Perriss late last week, said it would announce his replacement in the “near future.” Publicis COO Roger Haupt, who did not return calls, said in a statement that an unnamed successor has been identified. Rich Hamilton, ZenithOptimedia’s North American CEO, is likely to be among the contenders for the job. Hamilton declined comment. Haupt, who said Perriss has worked with him to develop a succession plan, said Perriss “confided some time ago that he was ready to move on.” Perriss, at left, who is nearing his 56th birthday, was quoted as saying it has been his intention to quit his full-time job at the age of 55. He will remain through the transition.

Old Navy Narrows to 3 in $180 Mil. Creative Review

NEW YORK Three contenders remain in the creative review for Old Navy’s $180 million account. They are: WPP’s J. Walter Thompson in New York, Havas’ Euro RSCG MVBMS Partners in New York and Deutsch/LA in Marina del Rey, Calif., the client confirmed. Not advancing were WPP’s Berlin Cameron/ Red Cell in New York and Havas’ Arnold in Boston. Finalists will be briefed during the next two weeks and make presentations in mid-April, sources said. The shops either declined comment or could not be reached. Consultancy Pile and Co. in Boston is managing the search.

6 Agencies to Be Named in Circuit City’s $150 Mil. Search

NEW YORK Circuit City is expected to choose six contenders for its $150 million broadcast-creative account, the consultant confirmed. Hasan Ramusevic, principal of Hasan + Co. in Raleigh, N.C., said 13 shops returned the request for proposals: IPG’s McCann-Erickson and Deutsch, Publicis’ The Kaplan Thaler Group and Bartle Bogle Hegarty (49 percent-owned by Publicis), and Grey, all in New York; WPP’s J. Walter Thompson in Chicago; IPG’s Campbell-Mithun in Minneapolis, Mullen in Wenham, Mass., and The Martin Agency in Richmond, Va.; Havas’ Arnold in Boston; Omnicom’s Goodby, Silverstein & Partners in San Francisco; and independents Doner in Southfield, Mich., and The Richards Group in Dallas. The incumbent, IPG’s Foote Cone & Belding in Chicago, will defend.

BBDO to Wait Out Protest Period As California Lottery’s Winner

LOS ANGELES The California Lottery last week selected Omnicom’s BBDO West in Los Angeles and San Francisco to handle its four-year, $100 million account, but the shop still has to survive the protest period and pass a vote by the lottery commission. BBDO is the fourth shop to have been named the winner. The others, which all had the award rescinded following protests, were DDB, Foote Cone & Belding and McCann-Erickson. Shops that submitted a bid have until March 17 to file an intent to protest, a lottery rep said. Several sources said a protest is unlikely. The other finalists, all in California, were Omnicom’s DDB in Venice; IPG’s Dailey & Associates in West Hollywood; incumbent Grey in Los Angeles; and independent Ground Zero in Marina del Rey. The contract is expected to be officially awarded in April.

Kerry Camp Calls Bush Spot ‘Misleading’ in Response Ad

WASHINGTON Sen. John Kerry’s campaign responded to President Bush’s first TV attack ad with a 30-second spot charging that the president is misleading Americans about the Democratic contender’s record. In the spot, a voiceover says that Kerry never has called for a $900 billion tax increase, as one of the Bush ads launched Friday says. “Doesn’t America deserve more from its president than misleading, negative ads?” a voiceover asks. The spot is running in 16 states, including Michigan, Florida and Wisconsin.

News Roundup

Publicis-backed Bartle Bogle Hegarty and Grey are the two finalists for global creative duties on Schieffelin & Somerset’s Tan- queray brand, estimated to be worth about $20 million, sources said. … Pontiac broke a campaign supporting its “All-Time” Tournament Sunday during the NCAA Final Four. Seven ads by Publicis’ Chemistri in Chicago feature the 2004 GTO and direct fans to a Web site where they can pick their collegiate dream teams.