Hotlines: Late-Breaking Industry News

PlayStation to Visit Shops Next Week in $120 Mil. Review

LOS ANGELES Sony PlayStation executives will visit about eight agencies en route to selecting a handful of finalists to pitch its estimated $150 million creative and media account, sources said. The visits are expected to begin next week. The creative shops include WPP’s JWT in Los Angeles (which is said to be teaming with CAA), independent RPA in Santa Monica, Calif., IPG’s Deutsch/LA, in Marina del Rey, Calif., and Publicis’ Publicis in the West in Seattle, said sources. The creative and media incumbents—Omnicom units TBWA\Chiat\Day and OMD, respectively—are defending but will not be visited, sources said. TBWA\C\D and OMD are expected to be among the final contenders. Sony Computer Entertainment America launched the review last month, and Select Resources International in Santa Monica, Calif., is managing the process. Participating agencies either declined comment or could not be reached. SCEA, which is based in Foster City, Calif., and SRI had no comment.

Bacardi Puts Bombay Sapphire Global Creative Biz in Review

NEW YORK Bacardi is reviewing global creative duties on its Bombay Sapphire brand, sources said. The company has contacted both roster and non-roster shops about the account, said sources. Globally, major media spending on Bombay Sapphire exceeded $10 million last year and approached $1 million in the first five months of 2007, according to Nielsen Global AdView. The bulk of last year’s spend—about $7 million—was in the U.S., per Nielsen Monitor-Plus. Domestically, the brand is handled by independent Sugartown here. The shop, whose U.S. work has run overseas, is expected to participate. Sugartown did not return calls. Other Bacardi roster shops include independent davidandgoliath in El Segundo, Calif. (Bacardi, Bacardi Silver), WPP’s Rainey Kelly Campbell Roalfe/Y&R in London (Bacardi) and Publicis’ Saatchi & Saatchi in New York (42 Below). Bacardi did not return calls.

‘Adweek’ Adds Media Reporter, Appoints First Digital Editor

NEW YORK Shahnaz Mahmud has joined Adweek as media reporter, covering branded entertainment, content deals, ad sponsorships and nontraditional media. Mahmud was most recently Americas editor for Managing Intellectual Property, a monthly magazine within the Euromoney family. She also held reporting positions for Global Investor Magazine, Global Fund News and Private Asset Management. Separately, Brian Morrissey has been promoted from interactive senior reporter to digital editor. Morrissey has been with Adweek for more than two years covering digital agencies, media and marketing. In his new role, he will be even more involved with shaping all interactive coverage across all Adweek platforms. “We’re very pleased to welcome a journalist of Shahnaz’s caliber to our staff and to recognize Brian’s outstanding contributions and expanded responsibilities with this important promotion,” said Adweek editor Alison Fahey.

Hyundai Selects LatinWorks For $30 Mil. Hispanic Account

NEW YORK LatinWorks has been selected to lead national Hispanic marketing and advertising efforts for Hyundai Motor America. A national Hispanic campaign including broadcast, print and interactive elements is expected to launch in September. Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, based in San Francisco, won the general-market account in April. Omnicom holds a noncontrolling interest in LatinWorks, which competed against four other Hispanic agencies: Acento Advertising, based in Los Angeles; Grupo Gallegos in Long Beach, Calif.; Omnicom’s Dieste Harmel & Partners in Dallas; and Winglatino, WPP’s Hispanic shop in New York. According to Nielsen Monitor-Plus, HMA’s combined ad spending for Hispanic television and print has reached $15 million so far this year. That’s a 30 percent decrease in combined spending from the same time period in 2006, which totaled $35 million.

WPP Grows 5.3% in First Half, Fueled by Growth in China, India

BOSTON Buoyed by strong performances in China and India, WPP last week reported first-half pre-tax profit of $670 million, up nearly 7 percent, on like-for-like revenue growth of 5.3 percent to $5.8 billion, compared to the first six months of 2006. Revenue growth in China and India were especially strong, rising 30 percent and 22 percent, respectively. All told, WPP’s growth in Asia Pacific, Latin America, Africa and the Middle East was nearly 11 percent for the first six months of 2007. The company grew 5 percent in North America, 3 percent in Continental Europe and about 2.5 percent in the U.K. In July, WPP completed its $650 million purchase of 24/7 Real Media, and the company now reports that nearly one-quarter of its global revenue now comes from the digital and direct marketing sector. Based in London, WPP is the No. 2 agency holding company behind Omnicom.