CORDIANT SET TO WIN HYUNDAI'S $20 MIL EURO IMAGE ACC'T

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[london] South Korea's Hyundai Motor Co. is close to awarding its pan-European image advertising to a new specialist unit being set up by Cordiant Communications Group, the holding company for Bates Worldwide and Scholz & Friends.

A senior marketing executive at Hyundai Europe said a decision has been made, but stressed that no contract has been signed.

PRODUCT ADS UNAFFECTED

The assignment does not involve product advertising and does not affect existing ad agency relationships at the national level.

Bates Europe cannot handle the Hyundai account because it's pitching for Volkswagen-owned Spanish carmaker SEAT's $156 million pan-European account, and Scholz handles BMW in Germany.

Bates handles Hyundai in the U.S., and Seoul-based Diamond Ad, in which Bates holds a minority stake, handles Hyundai in its home country.

"Hyundai has not made an appointment, but is in dialogue concerning a project that involves corporate or image advertising," said Alex Sandberg, a spokesman for Cordiant.

"If CCG wins the Hyundai account, it will be handled from London by a specially formed CCG team that has been incorporated to handle corporate and image work for multinationals," Mr. Sandberg said.

The new European account is thought to be worth in excess of $20 million.

Zenith Media Worldwide, jointly owned by CCG and Saatchi & Saatchi, will handle the media buying and planning once Hyundai and CCG sign the contract.

Contributing: Dagmar Mussey, Duesseldorf.

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