AOL OPENS REVIEW TO DDB

Joins BBDO, Wieden in Competition for Corporate Brand Assignment

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NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- Omnicom Group's DDB Worldwide, New York, is joining the review for America Online's corporate brand assignment, according to AOL executives familiar with the situation.

DDB had earlier been in the running

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Will Compete for Additional Corporate Assignment
for the AOL broadband assignment that sibling BBDO Worldwide, New York, won. BBDO and independent Wieden & Kennedy, Portland, Ore., have been until now the only contenders in the corporate review.

No comment
The addition of DDB to the mix could indicate AOL executives have not been entirely satisfied with the ideas they've seen thus far. AOL declined to comment on the review.

BBDO, DDB and Wieden will make final presentations to AOL executives the week of June 2; a decision is expected the week of June 9, according to AOL executives close to the matter.

Billings not known
Billings for the corporate brand account are not known. The launch of a corporate image campaign is not expected until early fall, when AOL version 9.0 is released.

In addition, the interactive unit of AOL Time Warner is talking to agencies about several undisclosed projects, according to Len Short, executive vice president for brand marketing. Those agencies and spending for the projects were not disclosed.

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