Dos Equis, Tecate in Play; Client Pegs Budget at $45 Mil.

NEW YORK Femsa Cerveza is reviewing U.S. marketing for its Dos Equis and Tecate brands, following a shift of distribution rights from Interbrew’s Labatt USA to Femsa in Monterrey, Mexico, sources said. The client is seeking separate shops to handle general-market ads, Hispanic ads and promotions, sources said. The client has told agencies it plans to spend $45 million on those efforts. (Ad support behind each brand was about $10 million last year, according to Nielsen Monitor-Plus.) IPG’s McCann Erickson in New York handles Dos Equis; Publicis’ Lapiz in Chicago has Tecate. The review is being managed by Integra Marketing in Miami, which referred calls to Femsa U.S. marketing manager Carlos Boughton. He could not be reached for comment.

Staples Visits Shops en Route To Picking Finalists

NEW YORK Staples will complete its chemistry and credentials checks of six contenders this week before selecting three or four finalists to pitch its $60 million national broadcast creative account, sources said. Last week the client, based in Framingham, Mass., visited five shops in New York: Publicis’ Fallon and Publicis on Wednesday; WPP’s J. Walter Thompson and Young & Rubicam and Omnicom’s TBWA\Chiat\Day on Thursday, according to sources. Staples execs will visit Havas’ Arnold in Boston on Tuesday. Select Resources International is managing the process. The incumbent, Omnicom’s Martin/Williams, split with the client in April.

Gillette Taps BBDO for Newly Acquired Rembrandt Brand

NEW YORK Gillette has awarded creative duties on its newly acquired Rembrandt brand to Omnicom’s BBDO, according to sources. The New York shop is lead agency for much of Gillette’s global business. Boston-based Gillette acquired Rembrandt from privately held Den-Mat Corp. in April. Den-Mat spent $15 million in measured media on Rembrandt in 2003, according to TNS Media Intelligence/CMR.

4 Finalists to Vie for $30 Mil. Florida Citrus Account

CHICAGO The Florida Department of Citrus will hear from four finalists competing for its $30 million account on June 17-18. They are: incumbent The Richards Group in Dallas and Cramer-Krasselt in Chicago, both independents; Havas’ Euro RSCG in Chicago; and Grey in New York, the client said.

Kerry Reaches Out to Hispanic Veterans in New Spot

WASHINGTON The first Hispanic-targeted ad of John Kerry’s general-election campaign broke Friday and recognizes Latinos who have served in the military. The 30-second spot is airing in Arizona, New Mexico, Nevada, Colorado and Ohio for the next two weeks and is part of a larger media push that kicks off this week, focusing on Hispanics and blacks in the South. In the Spanish-language spot, an announcer says, “The World War II Memorial is a monument to soldiers with names such as García, Chávez and Ortiz. John Kerry honors all those Hispanics who have distinguished themselves in our Armed Forces.”

JVC Drafts Gretzky, Phair For Celeb-Happy Effort

NEW YORk JVC is stepping up its celebrity- driven “Perfect experience” ad campaign by enlisting Wayne Gretzky and Liz Phair for a $20 million effort. The unified campaign is the first since JVC consolidated its marketing department; previous ads were handled by different divisions. Gretzky and producer Jerry Bruckheimer pitch TVs; Phair and rock group Nickelback promote mobile products. The tagline, “Create it. Record it. View it. Enjoy it,” continues. Print, radio and Internet ads support.

Progressive Insurance Asks Grey, MediaCom to Tout Agents

NEW YORK In a new assignment, Grey and MediaCom will create a campaign backing Progressive Insurance agents, the client said. The award of the project follows a seven-month review. The media spend has not yet been determined. Independent Doner in Southfield, Mich., remains lead agency. The company spent about $150 million on ads in 2003, per TNS Media Intelligence/CMR.