MATTEL PUTS ACCOUNTS INTO REVIEW

Toy Maker's Roster Shops Invited to Pitch

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SAN FRANCISCO (AdAge.com) -- Mattel, citing a need to "maximize efficiencies," has begun a review for three pieces of its toy business, a spokeswoman the El Segundo, Calif.-based toy maker said.

Boys toys
The decision could have a major impact on Interpublic Group of Cos.' Foote, Cone & Belding Worldwide. FCB offices in Chicago and Los Angeles handle the first piece of the account up for review, Mattel's boys/entertainment division, which produces Hot Wheels, games and puzzles, male action figures and licensed entertainment properties.

Another piece of business, Fisher Price's Infants & Preschool licensed entertainment properties, handled by FCB's New York office, is also up for review.

A third account in review is an international assigment currently at WPP Group's Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide, Culver City, Calif.

Billings on the accounts are estimated at more than $50 million.

Barbie not included
Ogilvy also handles Mattel's Barbie advertising, which is not involved in the review, Ms. Bongiovanni said.

Anne Parducci, senior vice president of business development at Mattel, is facilitating the review, which is primarily being handled by marketers within the product divisions.

Ms. Bongiovanni said a decision on the review will be made by the end of summer.

All Mattel's roster shops -- FCB, Ogilvy and Ogilvy's WPP sibling Y&R Cos., Irvine, Calif., which handles non-Barbie toys -- have been invited to pitch.

"No outside solicitations will be considered," Ms. Bongiovanni said, although a number of undisclosed shops will be allowed to participate.

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