Other contenders included Publicis Groupe's Fallon, Minneapolis, and Interpublic's McCann Erickson, New York. Omnicom Group's Merkley & Partners had the account since June 2003. At the time, Citigroup had rebranded several businesses under the Salomon Smith Barney umbrella as Smith Barney in the wake of federal and state investigations regarding allegations of impropriety by its analysts. Before 2003 McCann Erickson had the account.
Smith Barney and Hill Holliday executives declined to comment further. In 2005, Smith Barney, which is part of Citigroup Global Markets, spent $18.2 million in media, according to TNS Media Intelligence.
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Jeremy Mullman contributed to this report.