A spokeswoman for Mattel said she "could not substantiate" that information.
The review is for media planning only. Agencies competing for the business are said to include WPP Group's Group M, with participation from the media networks MindShare and Mediaedge:cia, and Publicis Groupe's MediaVest.
Prior to the review, Mattel had split media buying and planning for its boys and girls toy businesses between MindShare and Mediaedge:cia, respectively. Media-buying responsibilities remain unchanged at both agencies, one executive said.
Mattel, headquartered in El Segundo, Calif., spends more than $100 million annually to advertise its various products. The company spent $189 million in 2003, and for the first 10 months of last year, it spent $115 million, according to TNS Media Intelligence/CMR.
Creative assignments are spread among various agencies. WPP's Ogilvy & Mather, Los Angeles, works on Barbie, while sibling Y&R, Irvine, Calif., is responsible for Hot Wheels, Fisher-Price and other brands. Publicis' Leo Burnett USA recently won responsibilities for the American Girl doll line.