TBWA Reportedly to Take Over Michelin Account

Tire Maker Won't Confirm Move Yet

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NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- Michelin North America is set to hand its estimated $35 million account to Omnicom Group's TBWA.

The shift is occurring without a review and comes less than a month after it surfaced that Michelin planned to call a review of its creative and digital accounts and called in consultants to oversee the pitch, industry executives said.

The incumbent, Interpublic Group of Cos.' Campbell-Ewald, Warren, Mich., won Michelin's estimated $35 million general-market creative and planning account in summer 2001 and the tire-maker's digital account in fall 2005. Both accounts involved reviews.

Talks continuing
Michelin would not confirm the move. "We still have internal talks going on, on the best strategic route to take," said a spokeswoman. Representatives for TBWA could not be immediately reached for comment.

The shift isn't expected to impact Michelin's media agency, WPP Group's MediaCom. MediaCom also handles media duties for Michelin's other brands, such as BF Goodrich, Uniroyal, Michelin Maps and Guides, and the TCI Tire Centers distribution network.

New top brass at the client sparked the move, according to one executive close to the matter. Dick Wilkerson, 60, is transitioning to chairman and president of Michelin North America from exec VP-personnel. Jim Micali, who headed the tire-maker's operations for the past 12 years, is preparing to retire Aug. 15.
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