Newswires: Late-Breaking Industry News

$65 Mil. Amp’d Mobile in Play, Seeks Local Agency With Reach

LOS ANGELES Amp’d Mobile has launched a review for the creative portion of its $65 million business, the client confirmed. An unspecified number of requests for proposals have been issued, and the client here prefers a local shop, said Catherine Bension, president and CEO of Select Resources International, which is overseeing the process. A list of contenders is forthcoming in the next two weeks. Taxi in New York, the incumbent, could not be reached. Doug Dobie, Amp’d Mobile CMO, said that Taxi had been “invited to defend, but it is a scale issue and they know it … Taxi has done a good job as a boutique and they served us really well early, took us from no brand recognition to tremendous brand recognition, but they are New York based, and a smaller shop.” Buying chores, handled by Horizon Media here, are not in play.

Lipton Teas’ International Duties Shift From JWT to DDB

NEW YORK Unilever, two years after shifting U.S. and pan-European creative duties on its Lipton teas from JWT to DDB, last week stripped WPP’s JWT of its remaining international assignments, thereby consolidating all Lipton tea business globally with Omnicom’s DDB. At the same time, Unilever hired DDB sister shop Tribal DDB to handle global interactive duties on Lipton teas, a new assignment, DDB confirmed. The U.S. ad shift, which included Lipton Brisk and Lipton teas, occurred in September 2004, and the European shift, in October 2005. The latest shift, which takes effect in July, covers creative duties on the brand in Latin America, the Middle East, Africa and the Asia-Pacific region. Billings on those pieces are estimated at $25 million. In the U.S. last year, Unilever spent about $55 million in major measured media on Lipton teas, according to Nielsen Monitor-Plus.

DraftFCB, Incumbent in Finals For Kraft Foods’ Lunchables

CHICAGO Kraft Foods roster shops JWT and DraftFCB are competing to handle creative duties on the company’s’ $40 million Lunchables account, according to sources. The client also had discussions about the account with Omnicom’s DDB Chicago, which joined the roster earlier this month, but the shop is no longer involved, according to sources. WPP’s JWT is the incumbent, while IPG’s DraftFCB has been on the roster for several years. A representative from the Northbrook, Ill., client confirmed the review, but declined to comment on the contenders. She said a decision was expected in a few months.

U.S. Olympic Committee Hands Ad, Brand Biz to mcgarrybowen

NEW YORK The United States Olympic Committee last week hired mcgarrybowen to develop a brand positioning and advertising for the “U.S. Olympic movement.” The Colorado Springs, Colo.-based USOC hired the New York independent after a review involving four or five agencies, said sources. The other contenders could not be ascertained. Account billings were not disclosed, but sources pegged them at $15-20 million. Mcgarrybowen is expected to create a logo and both traditional and nontraditional advertising. Its first work will break later this year and continue into 2008, when the Summer Olympics will be held in Beijing.

3 Vie for Weight Watchers Following Deutsch Departure

NEW YORK Deutsch has pulled out of the review for Weight Watchers’ creative account, confirmed Pile and Co., which is managing the process. The remaining three agencies have been briefed on the estimated $70 million account, according to sources. IPG’s McCann Erickson and Omnicom’s DDB and BBDO, all in New York, remain in the review and are expected to make final presentations to the client in mid-April, sources said. WPP’s Young & Rubicam in New York is the incumbent. The agency won the business three years ago. The decision to hold a review was motivated mainly by client-side management changes, sources said.

Zantac Creative, Strategic Duties To C-K Following Review

CHICAGO Independent Cramer-Krasselt here has landed creative and strategic duties on Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceutical’s newly acquired Zantac heartburn medication after a review, according to sources. The German company bought the brand for $510 million last year. An agency rep declined comment, and company officials did not return calls. The brand’s previous owner, Pfizer, spent about $40 million advertising it, according to Nielsen Monitor-Plus.

Mediaedge:cia Promotes Doyle To CEO, Scanzoni to Chairman

NEW YORK WPP’s Mediaedge:cia has promoted Lee Doyle to CEO and Rino Scanzoni to chairman of its North American operations. The two executives will lighten the workload of global CEO Charles Courtier, who has been overseeing the North American region while simultaneously managing the overall network, the agency said. Doyle and Scanzoni will be responsible for all MEC activity in 23 cities across the U.S. and Canada, overseeing an agency operation with 800 employees and an estimated $8 billion in billings.

Murphy Exits Saatchi to Launch New Firm With Fallon Execs

LOS ANGELES David Murphy, president of Publicis’ Saatchi & Saatchi, Torrance, Calif., stepped down from his post to join two executives from independent Fallon in a new Minneapolis agency venture called Barrie D’Rozario Murphy. The client list is not yet disclosed. Creative directors D’Rozario and Barrie worked most recently on United Airlines’ “It’s time to fly” campaign. Murphy’s duties will be assumed by the current leadership team at Saatchi, according to the agency.