FCB PULLS OUT OF MATTEL REVIEW

May Still Pitch for Fisher Price; Three Others Remain

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SAN FRANCISCO (AdAge.com) -- Interpublic Group of Cos.' Foote, Cone & Belding Worldwide has pulled out of a portion of Mattel's account review, executives familiar with the situation said.

FCB's offices in El Segundo, Calif., and Chicago were the incumbents for Mattel's boys and entertainment toys account, which had billings estimated at $50 million. FCB's New York office may continue in the pitch for another part of Mattel's business, the Fisher-Price infant and preschool licensed toys account.

The toy maker, based in El Segundo,

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last month cited a need to "maximize efficiencies" as the reason for calling a review of the two pieces of FCB business. A third third account, international coordination, modification and distribution of creative materials, is also part of the review. The account is handled by WPP Group's Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide, Culver City, Calif.

Mattel's roster shops are pitching for the three accounts. Ogilvy remains, along with sibling Y&R Cos., Irvine, Calif. Interpublic's McCann-Erickson Worldwide, San Francisco, is also participating in the review.

News of FCB's decision to withdraw from the pitch was announced to employees of the El Segundo office earlier this week, said an executive familiar with the situation, putting the future of the office in doubt.

A Mattel spokeswoman said a decision on the review is expected at the end of summer.