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BONN -- Deutsche Telekom is poised to invite agencies to pitch for an estimated $90 million piece of business, believed to cover mainly the German telecom's Internet division, T-Online.

The move follows the unceremonious firing in January of Cordiant Communications Group-owned Scholz & Friends, Hamburg, after the client discovered that staff at the agency's Berlin office were simultaneously chasing an estimated $50 million account for rival telecom company Viag Interkom.

Deutsche Telekom Marketing Director Juergen Kindervater has invited Hamburg-based Jung von Matt; Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide, Frankfurt; and two roster agencies -- Citigate SEA, Duesseldorf, and Springer & Jacoby, Hamburg. Another agency may join the list.

Any hopes Scholz & Friends, Hamburg, may have pinned on a possible reconciliation with its former client were dashed when Scholz & Friends CEO Peter M. Schoening recently appointed Sebastian Turner and Thomas Heilmann to the agency's group board. Mr. Turner, a creative director at the Berlin office, had been involved with the Viag Interkom pitch that led to the client's dumping of the agency.

Following Mr. Turner's promotion, Scholz & Friends managers Hans Michael Albers and Andreas Horchler quit the agency.

Copyright March 2001, Crain Communications Inc.

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