SIX CHASE NEXTEL'S $160 MILLION ACCOUNT

Incumbent Mullen Still in Review; DDB, Fallon Are out

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NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- Six agencies are competing for Nextel Commununications' estimated $160 million account, people familiar with the matter said.

Nextel, based in Reston, Va., declined comment.

The six contenders are: Havas' Arnold Worldwide, Boston; WPP Group's J. Walter Thompson, New York; Omnicom Group's TBWA/Chiat/Day, New York; Publicis Groupe's Leo Burnett USA, Chicago; and Interpublic Group of Cos.' Deutsch, New York, and Mullen, Wenham, Mass., the incumbent.

Omnicom's DDB Worldwide, New York,

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and Publicis' Fallon, Minneapolis, did not advance in the review. Roth Associates, New York, is handling the review.

Though formally announced in January, a review was widely expected in late 2002 after the wireless communications service provider hired Roth Associates in November to conduct an assessment of Nextel's marketing communications program.

Mark Schweitzer, Nextel's vice president of marketing, said in January: "As part of our ongoing strategic planning process, we conduct reviews of every significant area of our business. ... We feel it's time to review our marketing communications needs to confirm we have the right combination of strategic and execution partnerships to meet future needs."

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Claire Atkinson, Hillary Chura and Kate MacArthur contributed to this report.