- Eveready, the battery manufacturer, has lined up its global roster agencies to pitch for the $80 million launch of a new product under the Energizer name.
Bates Worldwide, which handles Energizer in Europe, and TBWA/Chiat Day, the incumbent in Eveready's US domestic market, are expected to contest the assignment with up to three other worldwide networks.
DDB Worldwide and Leo Burnett are also believed to be in contention for the business, which is expected to cover US and all other markets.
Eveready, which is to be spun off from its Ralston Energy Systems parent next year, said it was looking to expand its marketing efforts but denied specific plans to launch new products or change its advertising arrangements.
However, the company is known to be troubled at the amount of ground being lost to its brand-leading rival, Duracell.
Bates UK has had centre stage on Energizer's pan European business since the company's decision to consolidate almost its entire global account into the Bates network in May 1997.
The appointment led to the introduction into the UK of the Mr Energizer cartoon character which Bates first created for TV audiences around the Pacific Rim. It marked the start of an attempt to overtake the Gillette-owned Duracell, which was a Bates client in the UK until 1993.
The rivalry between Duracell and Energizer is famous for the row sparked by one of advertisng's most familiar icons, the drumming bunny. The result is an agreement under which the character is used to promote Energizer in the US and Duracell in Europe.