RINEY BAILS OUT AS DELTA PITCHES GET UNDERWAY

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Hal Riney & Partners, San Francisco, dropped out of Delta Air Lines' $100 million review last week, following the lead of Wieden & Kennedy, Portland, Ore., the only other small agency invited to pitch the global account.

Scott Marshall, Riney president, said that as the agency geared up to present new work to key client Saturn Corp. it couldn't commit enough resources to a strong Delta presentation.

NINE REMAINING CONTENDERS

In addition to 51-year incumbent BBDO South, Atlanta, the remaining contenders are Ammirati Puris Lintas, N.W. Ayer & Partners, Grey Advertising, J. Walter Thompson USA, Messner Vetere Berger McNamee Schmetterer/

Euro RSCG, Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide and Saatchi & Saatchi Advertising, all New York, and Leo Burnett USA, Chicago.

Shops will make presentations this week. Finalists are to be picked the following week and given a detailed assignment. They will make final pitches the week of Feb. 24, with a decision expected by the end of the month.

Asked if Delta would still consider a two-agency structure given the departures of Wieden and Riney, VP-Consumer Marketing Gayle Bock would only say that "it's too premature to speculate."

Interestingly, as Delta seeks a higher profile internationally, the carrier slashed a number of routes from Frankfurt this month but added several international flights from New York.

The airline is seeking to emphasize its relationships with international partners Swissair, Sabena Belgian World Airlines and Austrian Air Lines.M

Contributing: Alice Z. Cuneo.

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