Terra Lycos Eyes Consolidation

Hill, Holliday, Connors, Cosmopulos and Ogilvy & Mather face off this week in a shootout mandated by joint client Terra Lycos, where some executives have championed consolidating the account with a single shop, sources said.

The pair have been asked to present concepts that position the portal as a true gateway to online com munities that share infor mation on the Web, emphasizing Ly cos’ channels for health, games and mu sic, sources said. Agency officials de clined comment or referred questions to Lycos. Steven Gross, vp of marketing, did not return calls.

Up for grabs is the estimated $20 million Lycos account, sources said. That business was won by Boston’s Hill, Holliday two years ago following a contentious review prior to Terra’s October 2000 acquisition of Lycos. Some client executives have long wished to consolidate all Terra Lycos business with New York-based Ogilvy, which creates ads for the Terra portal in the U.S. and abroad, sources said. Ogilvy’s status on Terra is not believed to be in jeopardy.

Officials from Terra Lycos headquarters in Barcelona, Spain, and the company’s U.S. offices in Wal tham, Mass., will be on hand for the presentations, with a decision likely to be made next week.

Though European Terra Lycos executives generally favor consolidating with Ogilvy, the strong ties forged between Hill, Holliday and some U.S. client officials make it difficult to predict the outcome, sources said.

Hill, Holliday this spring scrapped its “Dig into it deeper” positioning for Lycos in favor of ads urging users to “Explore their passions.”