3 SHOPS VIE FOR $30 MIL AD EFFORT FOR MUSIC

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The Recording Industry Association of America is in talks with at least three shops about its $30 million account.

Wieden & Kennedy, Portland, Ore.; TBWA Chiat/Day, Playa del Rey, Calif.; and Foote, Cone & Belding, San Francisco, are said to be battling it out for the account. Fallon McElligott, Minneapolis, removed itself from the running late last week.

RIAA VP-Member Services John Ganoe said it was too premature to comment; the agencies declined to comment.

The trade group for record labels and distributors, which began meeting with agencies earlier this summer (AA, Aug. 10), is expected to wrap up the review process by yearend.

UMBRELLA BRANDING CAMPAIGN

The organization is searching for an agency to create an umbrella branding campaign to promote recorded music to specific segments, including the young teen and the 18-to-24-year-old markets, according to one executive.

Gwen Lipsky of consultancy Sound Thinking, and a former Chiat/Day executive, has been advising the group on the review; Ms. Lipsky couldn't be reached for comment by press time.

The next stage will include input from a "working group [of representatives] drawn from the participating [record] labels," said one executive.

The RIAA, which certifies gold, platinum and multi-platinum record awards, represents more than 250 record companies.

The umbrella ad effort would be the first for the RIAA, which also has been working with the National Association of Recording Merchandisers on the plan.

GOAL TO BOOST MUSIC SALES

A spokesman for that group said the anticipated effort is "designed to increase music purchases as a whole." Another executive said the campaign would encourage consumers to collect a variety of labels to "develop a music library."

Ira Mayer, publisher of Entertainment Marketing Letter, said it will be a "challenge" for RIAA to promote musical recordings as a whole. "Doing something that is generic is difficult for an industry that defines itself as not [generic]," he said.

Contributing: Alice Z. Cuneo.

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