Denies It Is Opening a Global Advertising Review

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NEW YORK ( -- Yahoo! is denying press reports it has opened a global advertising agency review. However, the Internet giant has confirmed
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it is talking to agencies about a new "strategic assignment" that executives close to Yahoo! describe as a "corporate branding" project.

$10 million
The branding assignment is estimated at $10 million, according to an executive with knowledge of the situation.

A Yahoo! spokeswoman said, "We have not opened a global agency review. Yahoo! has given a strategic assignment to one agency as part of a project. Black Rocket Euro RSCG remains Yahoo!'s agency of record in the U.S. and EURO RSCG Worldwide, New York, is the agency for global projects."

No details
The company said the strategic assignment is part of a project it declined to elaborate on. It would not confirm the name of the agency it has awarded a portion of the business to, though WPP Group's Wunderman is believed to have won an interactive assignment.

According to one executive, Yahoo! had been talking to WPP agencies Y&R Advertising and Ogilvy & Mather about the branding assignment, but knocked out Y&R as recently as this week.

A spokeswoman for Ogilvy denied the agency was "in any review with Yahoo." Y&R did not respond to a request for comment.

Black Rocket
Havas' San Francisco shop Black Rocket is Yahoo!'s U.S. agency of record, while Euro RSCG Worldwide handles overseas business. A spokesman for Black Rocket confirmed that Yahoo! was discussing a new strategic project with the company, but added that Yahoo! has long tapped other agencies for additional duties.

Earlier this week Yahoo! named Cammie Dunaway as chief marketing officer. Ms. Dunaway joins Yahoo! from Frito-Lay Co. on June 30.

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Tobi Elkin contributed to this report.

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