BP SENDS AGENCIES RFPs; DENIES AD REVIEW

Executive Calls Action a 'Benchmarking Exercise'

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DETROIT (AdAge.com) -- Denying it is conducting a review for its account, BP PLC today said it has sent out requests for information to as many as 10
creative agencies as "a benchmarking exercise."

"It isn't a review. It isn't a pitch for our business," a spokesman for the oil company said.

Gathering information
The spokesman described the move as an "information gathering exercise" initiated by BP's procurement group and part of normal procedures with all suppliers.

BP declined to identify which agency networks received the questionnaires for the global project. BP is asking for information on agency network data, services and cost.

Incumbent is Ogilvy
WPP Group's Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide won BP's consolidated global account, worth an estimated $200 million, without a review in fall 1999. Its London office is the lead shop. Ogilvy's Chicago office handles BP's U.S. account.

Global media isn't a part of the "exercise" at this time, the spokesman said. WPP's MindShare has the media account.

Many of the world's major oil companies have merged in the past six years, resulting in global ad account consolidations.

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