Still, in a scenario reminiscent of TBWA Chiat/Day's recent win of Apple's U.S. account, TBWA is considered the lead candidate to win the business in Europe.
At the least, TBWA is expected to create TV ads in Europe, while media buying and creative for other media would go elsewhere.
TBWA already is picking up Apple business outside the U.S. It is expected to win Apple's ad business in Latin America and Canada.
Apple, which is looking for a standardized global campaign, is expected to announce TBWA's wins in the next two weeks.
BBDO Worldwide resigned the Apple account when the ailing computer marketer called a review last June.
BARTLE, LEAGAS, BDDP VIE
In Europe, Apple will see final presentations the week of Sept. 22 from Bartle Bogle Hegarty and Leagas Delaney, both London; and BDDP, Paris. Francois Ruault, Apple's Paris-based advertising manager, confirmed those three agencies are the finalists for the account. European media buying group Carat is competing for the media account.
Apple's European management is believed to favor hiring one of the European networks for the print work, the bulk of the account in Europe, but is aware that U.S. management is likely to favor the appointment of TBWA.
2 POSSIBLE SCENARIOS
"There are two scenarios possible," Mr. Ruault said. "The first is that the entire European budget goes to TBWA, which is what Chiat/Day has recommended. The second option is that Chiat/Day create TV ads for Europe or adapt their U.S. television ads for use in Europe, while one of the European agencies-or two, if Carat wins the media account-are selected to handle all non-television media."
Last week, Christofer Recker, Apple's Munich-based marketing and communications manager/Europe, was in meetings in the U.S. with Apple executives and Peter Economides, TBWA's worldwide director of patron clients, multinational accounts and worldwide new business.
David Roman, Apple's VP-advertising and brand communications, said that while he is not ruling out any agencies, everything has changed since the decision was made to move the U.S. account to TBWA Chiat/Day.
'ELEMENT OF CHANGE'
"There's been an element of change" in the European review process, said Mr. Roman, adding that Apple currently also is "looking at the broader issue" of evaluating its internal marketing structure.
"In Europe, we are considering what is the best solution. TBWA is certainly one way of doing that," he said.
The European agencies were earlier assured by Apple that TBWA was not pitching for the European print account.
"We wouldn't have gotten into it if TBWA was going to be on the pitch list," said Bruce Haines, CEO of Leagas Delaney.
Added another executive at one of the contending ad agencies: "We will be as sick as dogs if [TBWA is] appointed without pitching."
SINKING EURO SHARE
The winning agency or agencies will be charged with reviving a brand that has seen its market share sink to less than 4% of the European computer market.
"The goal is to relaunch what has been a poorly exploited brand image, relying on fresh and lively creativity," Mr. Ruault said.