MAYTAG NARROWS $100 MILLION MEDIA REVIEW

Incumbent Initiative Media Out

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NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- Maytag Corp. has narrowed the field of contenders in its $100 million consolidated media buying and planning review to four shops.

The agencies moving on are Bcom3 Group's Starcom Worldwide; Zenith Media, owned jointly by Publicis Groupe and Cordiant Communications Group; Aegis Group's Carat; and Interpublic Group of Cos.' Universal McCann.

Incumbent Initiative Media North America, an Interpublic agency that handled buying for Hoover, was dropped, as were a field of newcomers, including WPP Group's Mediaedge:cia, Horizon Media and Havas Advertising's Media Planning.

"It was a hard decision,"

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said David Miller, senior director of brand management for Maytag appliances. "Hoover's been very happy and pleased with [Initiative's] client service. They did nothing wrong."

Media for all brands
The account will service media for all of Maytag's brands, Maytag, Jenn-Air, Amana (which was acquired last fall from Goodman Industries) and Hoover. "This is winner take all," said Mr. Miller.

The review does not affect creative assignments. Bcom3's Leo Burnett is the creative shop for Maytag and Jenn-Air brands. Interpublic's Carmichael Lynch, Minneapolis, which had handled buying and planning for Amana, continues to hold the creative account for the brand. Hoover just switched its $20 million creative account from Interpublic's Foote Cone & Belding Worldwide, Chicago, which also had handled media planning, to co-op and print shop Ten United, Pittsburgh, a unit of Ten Worldwide.

Mr. Miller and Saul Esparza, director of national advertising for Hoover, are overseeing the review. They are being assisted by outside consultant Jones-Lundin Beals, Chicago.

Mr. Miller said the next step in the process is final presentations, which will take place in Newton, Iowa, Maytag's hometown, in the coming weeks. A final decision is expected before the end of the month.

"We are working diligently to make sure we make a decision before the upfront buy," Mr. Miller said.

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