As Sony Deliberates, Fallon Executes Project Work

LOS ANGELES Publicis’ Fallon is doing project work for Sony, sources said, as it is being considered in the review for Sony Electronics’ estimated $100-125 million account. A decision is expected as early as this week. Both the Minneapolis agency and the San Diego-based client declined comment. Bagby and Co. in Chicago also picked up project work after WPP’s Young & Rubicam Brands in Irvine, Calif., lost the business in March. Fallon, Havas’ McKinney & Silver in Durham, N.C., and Publicis’ Saatchi & Saatchi in New York (pitching with Team One in El Segundo, Calif.) made final presentations last Monday and Tuesday, according to sources. The assignment included overarching brand elevation as well as ideas for advertising the Wega high-end TV monitors, sources said.

Lowe’s to Pick Contenders for $315 Mil. Account This Week

NEW YORK After poring over credentials submissions all day Thursday, Lowe’s executives failed to agree on a cut to semifinalists, sources said. The incumbent, IPG’s McCann Erickson, gets a free pass to the finals in the review for the $315 million account, which means the Charlotte, N.C. client intends to choose five from among the following list: 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, 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. Raleigh, N.C., consultancy Hasan + Co. is managing the process. The cut is expected this week, followed by chemistry meetings and a cut to four finalists, including McCann. A decision is due in July, sources said.

Bolin Tells Radisson Guests to Take Their Beds on The Road

NEW YORK A $20 million campaign by Bolin in Minneapolis tells guests of Radisson Hotels they can take their favorite beds on the road now that the chain is stocking rooms with Select Comfort Sleep Number beds. TV spots, which use the long-running tagline, “Stay your own way,” break June 13 and promote the idea that travelers don’t know what kind of bed they’ll get into when they stay elsewhere. The Select Comfort beds allow guests to control the firmness of the mattress for customized comfort. In one execution, a road warrior bangs on his guest room mattress—a concrete slab—with his fist. Another guest confronts a vibrating bed and a couple in a third spot disappear into the middle of their room’s king-size mattress. Radisson then is presented as the place where travellers can get a perfect night’s sleep by customizing their beds.

No Sellers’ Remorse for Former Public Relations Firm Owners

BOSTON StevensGouldPartners’ survey of buyers and sellers of public relations agencies found that overall satisfaction was high among both groups. One hundred percent of former owners of PR firms said, if they had to do it over again, they would sell their firms. The survey also found that 69 percent of PR firm buyers said that the acquisition experience was generally positive, and 84 percent of sellers said their financial expectations had been met. The survey queried 30 individuals whose agencies were acquired after 1997 and 20 acquiring organizations.

PHD Washes Down Jim Beam Win With $100 Mil. Schwab

New York PHD USA capped a productive week by winning Charles Schwab’s consolidated media account, estimated to be worth about $100 million in billings. PHD’s San Francisco office will service the account. The Schwab review pitted PHD, which had been handling media planning and print buying, against TV buying incumbent, independent RPA, and challanger Havas’ MPG, whose sister agency Euro RSCG won Schwab’s creative account in a separate review late last year. The client spent about $50 million on TV ads last year, per Nielsen Monitor-Plus. Earlier in the week, the Omnicom shop won distiller Jim Beam Brands’ estimated $15 million media account. PHD topped independent contenders TargetCast and Horizon, both in New York. Incumbent WPP’s Mediaedge:cia did not defend the account.