Global Smirnoff biz still in contention

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[New York] Following the appointment of Bartle Bogle Hegarty last week to handle the estimated $13 million U.S. portion of Diageo's Smirnoff Ice account, a decision on the rest of the global business, worth about $37 million, is expected by the end of December. Publicis Groupe-backed Bartle Bogle Hegarty's creative work, which triumphed in the U.S., is understood to be in research against pitches by incumbent WPP Group's J. Walter Thompson and Omnicom Group's Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO, all London. Last year, Bartle Bogle wrested Diageo's $90 million Bailey's liqueurs business from JWT, which remains the global agency for the Smirnoff vodka business.