HSBC CUTS PUBLICIS FROM GLOBAL REVIEW

Agency Teams From IPG, WPP and Omnicom to Be Briefed Next Month

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NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- HSBC Group cut Publicis Groupe from its ongoing global marketing services review, a spokeswoman for the London-based banking and financial services company said.

Four holding companies in mid-January were

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invited to assemble teams to compete for the multimillion-dollar advertising account, which until then was split among a number of marketing service companies including Publicis' Zenith Optimedia, for media, and Interpublic Group of Cos.' Lowe & Partners, for creative.

Agency teams from Interpublic (Lowe, London; Initative Media; MRM and Plus Consultancy Group); WPP Group (J. Walter Thompson and Red Cell; MindShare and 141 Worldwide) and Omnicom Group ( AMV BBDO; OMD and PHD; and Proximity) will be briefed on a strategic assignment next month.

Peter Stringham, head of marketing at HSBC, said, "We want to consolidate all of our marketing services business within one holding company. ... However, we do not know if that is possible. If ... we opt instead to select agencies in an a la carte manner, then we'll put Zenith back in the mix."

A final decision is expected in May.

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