BOWEN COULD HELP Y&R CHASE AMEX

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Gordon Bowen, who hasn't had a full-time job on Madison Avenue since his tumultuous 1993 departure from McCann-Erickson, is back.

Mr. Bowen is joining Young & Rubicam as exec VP-group creative director on AT&T International, after working this year as a consultant to the agency.

He will also work on new business and special projects, including Y&R's Eastman Kodak Co./Hallmark Cards pitch. He has been a creative consultant on that shoot-out. While Mr. Bowen was a creative director at Ogilvy & Mather in the 1980s, the agency handled Hallmark.

Industry executives who know Mr. Bowen said he's assisting Y&R on an end run for the American Express Co. business now at O&M. Y&R's pursuit of the account, with estimated billings of $200 million, began earlier this year but has never been confirmed by either the company or its agencies.

Mr. Bowen's halcyon days on Madison Avenue were spent at O&M working on AmEx. He resigned in 1991 to join McCann as exec VP-chief creative officer.

Barely more than a year after joining McCann to assist in its losing battle against Creative Artists Agency for control of the Coca-Cola Classic account, Mr. Bowen was demoted to a creative consultant and then banished from McCann.

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