$100 Mil. Credit Suisse Account Under Review; Merger Pending

NEW YORK Credit Suisse Group is reviewing its $100 mil. global ad account, sources said, after resolving to merge its private banking and investment banking operations. Credit Suisse will merge its two subsidiaries, Credit Suisse and Credit Suisse First Boston, into a single entity under the banner Credit Suisse Group, effective Jan. 1, said a client representative, who declined to comment. Competing are MDC’s Kirshenbaum Bond + Partners in New York, independent StrawberryFrog in Amsterdam, IPG’s McCann Erickson in Frankfurt, Germany, as well as an undisclosed Lowe office, sources said. Euro RSCG in Zurich, Switzerland, is defending.

TBWA\C\D Hires Hungry Man, Smuggler to Tout Sprint/Nextel

NEW YORK Omnicom’s TBWA\Chiat\Day has hired Hungry Man’s Bryan Buckley and Smuggler’s Chris Smith to direct the consumer campaign for Sprint and Nextel Communications, according to sources. The merger was approved by federal regulators last week. The effort, which is expected to break next month, will feature the combined company’s array of products and how they empower their users, according to sources. One possible theme, sources said, is, “Yes, you can.” In June, the client selected TBWA\ Chiat\Day to handle the bulk of its business, including the launch campaign and consumer-directed ads; Publicis & Hal Riney will handle business-directed ads. TBWA\Chiat\ Day referred calls to the client, which declined to comment.

Coke’s ‘Iconic’ Brief Asks for ‘Happiness in a Bottle’ Idea

NEW YORK Agencies preparing to pitch ideas for Coke Classic’s global campaign are working off the brief “Happiness in a bottle,” sources said. The winning approach will supplant the current “Real” platform, developed by WPP’s Berlin Cameron/Red Cell, according to sources. The incumbent is among six contenders for the so-called “iconic” pitch. The others are WPP’s Ogilvy & Mather, Publicis, IPG’s McCann Erickson and independents Wieden + Kennedy and Mother. London-based Naked and Santa Monica, Calif.-based Len Fink/Amoeba will try to extend the winning idea into other media. Final pitches are in September. Coke declined comment.

Arc’s Nick Brien Joins Universal McCann As Worldwide CEO

NEW YORK IPG’s Universal McCann on Friday hired Nick Brien as worldwide chief executive officer. Most recently, Brien, a U.K. native, was CEO of Arc Worldwide, Publicis’ Chicago-based marketing services company. Brien replaces Robin Kent, who was removed in March after the agency’s General Motors account went into review. Brien is the first big hire by recently installed IPG media CEO Mark Rosenthal.

Havas’ Bolloré Ups Stake In Aegis Group to 6 Percent

New York Following Vincent Bolloré’s control of Paris-based agency holding company Havas in June, private investment company Group Bolloré last week confirmed that it has acquired a 6% stake in London-based Aegis Group, parent of the Carat media network. Aegis shares rose last week as the European media reported that Bolloré could be gearing up for a takeover bid. Aegis and Havas officials declined to comment. In June, the Bolloré camp won four seats on the Havas board, prompting the resignation of CEOAlain de Pouzilhac. Bolloré was named chairman, and Philippe Wahl was installed as CEO.

Zenith Inks Exclusive Deal With Film Production Company

new york ZenithOptimedia and Beverly Hills, Calif.-based film production and talent management company The Firm announced a new partnership Friday to pursue branded entertainment opportunities for Zenith’s roster of clients. The exclusive alliance (ZenithOptimedia is the only media agency The Firm will work with) is designed to generate product-integration ideas across all media platforms, including TV, film and online for ZenithOptimedia clients, who include General Mills, Hewlett-Packard, JPMorgan Chase and Lexus.