PENNZOIL PUTS CREATIVE ACCOUNT IN REVIEW

Incumbent GSD&M to Defend; Will Retain Media Portion

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DETROIT (AdAge.com) -- Pennzoil Motor Oil has put its creative account up for review. The marketer, which was acquired by Shell Oil Co. last fall, said its current agency, Omnicom Group's GSD&M, Austin, will defend the account.

"We're looking for a new creative direction," said Steve Hanson, vice president of marketing for motor oils at Pennzoil-Quaker State Co. Mr. Hanson said Pennzoil wants to portray itslef as an engine-protective product. He declined to discuss the size of Pennzoil's creative account.

Incumbent since 1996
GSD&M, which has had the account since 1996, will retain the approximately $20 million media planning and buying account.

Consultant Roth Associates, New York,

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is handling the review. Mr. Hanson told AdAge.com that roughly 14 agencies will be invited to pitch, with a decision planned for late March.

He said criteria will include experience, agency size ("not so big that we'll get lost") and creative excellence. Geography will not limit an agency's chances. He added that Pennzoil also wants a shop that can "take good ideas to bring to life on TV," since the bulk of the brand's ad budget is spent on TV.

J. Walter Thompson
WPP Group's J. Walter Thompson, London, handles Shell globally, with JWT, Houston, handling the brand's corporate, gasoline and motor oil account in the U.S. Mr. Hanson said it was too early to say whether JWT would be included in the Pennzoil pitch.

Neither of Pennzoil's siblings, Quaker State (handled by independent Tucker Partnership, New York) and Jiffy Lube International (held by independent McCarthy Mambro Bertino, Boston), are in review, spokesmen for both brands said.

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