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(July 5, 2001) -- Aerospace giant Boeing Co. has begun a review for an advertising agency for a global account with billings estimated between $70 million and $80 million, according to executives close to the account.

Interpublic Group of Cos.' FCB Worldwide, Seattle, which has handled the account, has been asked to participate along with a number of Chicago-based agencies. Boeing initially will consider credentials from 10 or 11 agencies; those will be narrowed to five to six semifinalists, and a decision is expected in October, an executive said.

Boeing has had three agencies since 1999 when it left Cole & Weber, Seattle, and moved the account to Interpublic's McCann-Erickson, Los Angeles. In January 2000, it shifted its corporate account to FCB, Seattle, and then brought the space and communications divisions to FCB in September 2000, with the remainder of the account consolidated at the agency in April 2001.

Boeing, in the process of moving its headquarters to Chicago from Seattle, also is looking for a design firm for its annual report.

Judith Muhlberg, Boeing's vice president of communications, said in a statement the move to Chicago provided a "prudent" opportunity to consider the firm's communications resources. -- Alice Z. Cuneo

Copyright July 2001, Crain Communications Inc.

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