THREE VIE FOR AOL $60 MILLION ACCOUNT

One Agency to Handle Creative, Media for Interactive Assignment

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NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- Time Warner's America Online today confirmed three agency finalists in the review for its estimated $55 million to $60 million interactive creative and media account.

The finalists are: Omnicom Group's AtmosphereBBDO, New York, the incumbent creative shop, which

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is partnering with Omnicom media sibling OMD on the pitch; independent Digitas, New York, which currently handles loyalty and retention work for AOL; and Modem Media, Norwalk, Conn., partly owned by Interpublic Group of Cos.

Doner Direct, Southfield, Mich., the incumbent shop on interactive media buying and planning, declined to participate in the review.

AOL issued request for prosal letters to more than a dozen shops last month. John Lane, AOL's vice president for online advertising, is leading the review; a decision is expected by mid-January. Mr. Lane has said he prefers to have one agency handle both creative and media services on the account.

Separately, AOL is also conducting a review for its estimated $300 million offline media account. That review has been narrowed to six agencies.