Chemical Giant Sends Requests for Information to Agencies

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NEW YORK ( -- E.I. du Pont Nemours & Co. today said it is reviewing all company advertising and communications functions. The Wilmington, Del.-based company sent out a request for information to agencies today.

Kathy Forte, vice president of global public affairs for DuPont, said the requests went out to "full-service agencies." She refused to confirm reasons for the shakeup.

A DuPont official who didn't wish to be named said, "We are doing a broad review of all our business spending, but we are not going to change all the agencies."

Roster shops
DuPont, the No. 2 U.S. chemical maker whose major brands include Stainmaster and Lycra, uses a large number of advertising agencies. Among DuPont's roster shops are Omnicom Group's BBDO Worldwide, New York, which handles Stainmaster; Interpublic Group of Cos.' McCann-Erickson Worldwide, New York; Publicis Groupe's Saatchi & Saatchi, New York; and independent Doner, Southfield, Mich.

Executives close to the review said DuPont sent the requests to Interpublic's Foote, Cone & Belding Worldwide and Martin Agency; Saatchi and Publicis sibling Fallon Worldwide; WPP Group's Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide and Y&R Advertising; BBDO and sibling DDB Worldwide; and Grey Global Group's Grey Worldwide.

No comment
Ms. Forte refused to discuss to whom the requests had been sent and did not wish to reveal whether DuPont had hired a search consultant.

The review applies to all of DuPont's six business units, except for its DuPont Textiles & Interiors unit and the surfaces group within its DuPont Safety & Protection unit, an executive close to the review said. Many of the brands in those two areas, including Lycra, Stainmaster, Corian, and Teflon fabric protection, already had been reviewed in the past year. DuPont last year created DTI as a wholly owned subsidiary with plans to spin off the unit through an initial public offering by the end of 2003.

DuPont spent $67 million on measured media in the first 11 months of 2002, according to Taylor Nelson Sofres' CMR.

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Kate MacArthur and Jean Halliday contributed to this report.

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