Intel Trims Playing Field in $300 Mil.+ Review

NEW YORK Incumbent Havas and Publicis Groupe have been cut from the field of contenders vying for Intel’s $300 million-plus global ad account, according to sources.

Remaining in the race are operating units of Interpublic Group, Omnicom Group and WPP Group, sources said.

For Havas, which owns Intel incumbent Euro RSCG Worldwide in New York, the cut would be especially devastating. Intel represents an estimated $30 million-plus in global revenue for Euro RSCG, which was defending in tandem with sibling Media Planning Group.

A Euro RSCG representative said the agency has not been informed that it has been cut and added that the shop continues to work on the Intel brief.

An Intel rep would only say, “The review continues and beyond that we won’t comment on specifics.”

Havas is pressured on several fronts. Its MPG unit is pitted against Grey Global’s MediaCom unit in a review for the $500 million media account of Volkswagen of America. The French holding company is also in the sights of corporate raider Vincent Bollore, who has bought more than 20 percent of its shares and seems poised to buy more [Adweek Online, Dec. 28].

New Intel chief marketing officer Eric Kim joined the company in November, a month after the review had begun. A decision is expected in the first quarter.

Reps with the holding companies and consultancy Select Resources International, Santa Monica, Calif., which is running their review, either could not be reached, declined comment or referred calls to Intel.