Tyco Ad Contenders Emerge

NEW YORK Tyco International will name two finalists at month’s end after hearing presentations from four agencies competing for its ad account, sources said.

Interpublic Group’s Hill, Holliday, Connors, Cosmopulos in Boston and New York agencies TBWA\Chiat\Day and DDB, both units of Omnicom, and WPP-owned Young & Rubicam, are vying for the final two slots, having emerged from an initial list of a dozen East Coast shops, sources said.

Agency executives declined comment; client officials could not immediately be reached.

In a separate review for a shop specializing in brand identity work, IPG’s FutureBrand and Omnicom’s Interbrand, both New York, were earlier named finalists, according to sources. [Adweek Online, March 21].

The winning shops will help the troubled manufacturing and electronics conglomerate launch its first global corporate image campaign in the fourth quarter. Client executives have not confirmed finalists or disclosed spending. Sources said a budget of at least $50 million is expected. Tyco spent $30 million on ads last year, per CMR.

The company is looking to change its image–and perhaps its name, sources said–in the wake of numerous scandals, including last year’s indictment of former CEO Dennis Kozlowski for allegedly avoiding New York state sales tax on art purchases. Kozlowski and several other former Tyco executives were subsequently indicted on charges of theft and fraud for allegedly collecting as much as $600 million in unauthorized compensation.

Tyco, based in Hamilton, Bermuda, but with most operations handled out of Exeter, N.H., works with numerous shops, including Doner, Southfield, Mich., but has no lead agency on board.