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(July 6, 2001) DUESSELDORF -- Mars Europe's review of its Mars Bar creative advertising business, which kicked off in late May, has been narrowed down to Omnicom Group's BBDO Worldwide.

A BBDO appointment would be a major blow to incumbent Bcom3 Group's D'Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles, which is already seeing its grip on the $36 million, pan-European business for Uncle Ben's rice potentially slipping. Last month, Mars subsidiary Masterfoods decided to see presentations from its two other global networks, BBDO and Grey Global Group's Grey Worldwide.

Overseeing the MarsBars presentation is BBDO's New York office with support from its London and Duesseldorf shops.

The Uncle Ben's pitch is being handled out of Masterfoods' Paris office by Hell Cruz-Nielson, the director of food product marketing. BBDO has invited its Amsterdam-based shop, FHV/BBDO, to take part in the pitch, with coordination out of its Paris office. -- Dagmar Mussey

Copyright July 2001, Crain Communications Inc.

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