Omnicom Fires Up Prometheus With $700 Mil. in Media Work

NEW york Omnicom’s OMD has quietly shifted three clients, Dell, JC Penney and, to a new Chicago-based media agency called Prometheus. Combined, the three charter clients spend about $700 million a year on ads, according to Nielsen Monitor-Plus. The new shop is headed by managing director Bob Habeck, formerly director of strategy at OMD Chicago. Habeck will report to Page Thompson, CEO, OMD North America. Prometheus (a third media brand for Omnicom) is the biggest of several recent initiatives by holding companies to establish new brands here designed to free parent companies to pursue business that may conflict with accounts at their other shops. IPG last month created G Media, while WPP’s GroupM has brought Maxus stateside. Aegis has also said it intends to export Vizeum to the U.S. OMD declined comment; Clients could not be reached or declined comment.

Lawyers for Mike Burns Move To Dismiss Saatchi Suit

In a motion to dismiss filed Friday in New York State Supreme Court, attorneys for Mike Burns call Saatchi & Saatchi’s accusations that he piloted a scheme to lure away the $500 million-plus General Mills account “a flight of fancy.” Saatchi in March had filed a civil lawsuit against Burns, the former worldwide account director on General Mills and onetime supervisor of 17 staffers who walked out en masse on Feb. 14, just three days after Burns split with the shop. In its suit, Saatchi claims to have information to prove Burns violated the terms of his contract in orchestrating the walkout and soliciting the General Mills business. In addition to calling the charges unfounded, Burns’ attorneys say that Saatchi’s request for at least $3 million in damages are unsubstantiated, since they did not lose the business and promptly replaced the staffers who left, including Burns himself. Reps for the Publicis shop declined comment.

Lowe’s Asks for Top Managers’ Time in RFI for $315 Mil. Biz

LOS ANGELES The RFI sent to 14 shops in Lowe’s $315 million ad review includes questions about attention from top managers and experience introducing brands internationally, sources said. Among the shops that received the form were IPG’s Campbell-Ewald in Warren, Mich., Campbell Mithun in Minneapolis, Deutsch in New York and The Martin Agency in Richmond, Va.; Omnicom’s BBDO, DDB, TBWA\Chiat\Day and Merkley + Partners, all in New York, Martin/Williams in Minneapolis and Element 79 in Chicago; WPP’s JWT in New York, and Havas’ Arnold in Boston. Incumbent IPG’s McCann Erickson in New York is defending. A cut to six semifinalists will be made the week of May 23, with finalists chosen next month and a decision due in July. Hasan + Co. in Raleigh, N.C., is managing the search.

Initiative, Media Kitchen Split $60 Mil. Limited Brands Duties

LOS ANGELES Limited Brands tapped incumbent IPG’s Initiative for buying and MDC’s Media Kitchen for planning in its $60 million media review, said Pattie Glod, vp/marketing and media, brand and creative services. The decision follows a search that also included WPP’s Mediaedge:cia, Havas’ Media Planning Group and independents Horizon Media and TargetCast TCM, all in New York. Print, handled in-house, was not in play. The Columbus, Ohio-based company operates The Limited and Victoria’s Secret stores, among others.

News Roundup

H.J. Heinz has consolidated its creative account at independent Cramer-Krasselt in Chicago, moving its ketchup line from Publicis’ Leo Burnett and Classico sauces from IPG’s Campbell Mithun in Minneapolis, all without a review, the client said. C-K last year won Heinz’s $15 million frozen-foods business, which accounted for almost all of the company’s spending last year, per Nielsen Monitor-Plus. Heinz spent less than $1 million on its ketchup and Classico lines last year, per Nielsen Monitor-Plus. … New York-based independent agency Latinvox has won the Hispanic portion of Macy’s advertising account. The Federated Department Stores brand began its search for a Hispanic shop in February. Latinvox beat Miami-based SiboneyUSA, Conill in New York, Miami and Los Angeles and GlobalHue in Southfield, Mich. Macy’s spent about $5 million on Spanish-language ads last year, although the client said that figure will increase this year.