Havas on alert as Intel holds pitch for £168m global brief

Intel has added to the problems of the beleaguered holding company Havas, putting its £168 million global ad and media accounts up for pitch.

The Californian processor manufacturer has instructed an intermediary, Select Resources International, to contact holding companies about the account, which is held by the Havas networks Euro RSCG Worldwide and Media Planning Group. Both outfits have been invited to repitch.

The review has been motivated by the formal appointment this week of Eric Kim as the vice-president and director of sales and marketing group at Intel. Kim joins from Samsung, where he was the executive vice-president and head of global marketing and new-business development. While at Samsung, Kim initiated the company's global advertising review, which is still being contested by WPP and Publicis Groupe.

The Intel review will kick off at the end of November when Kim officially joins his new employer. WPP is expected to be a strong contender for the account. The holding company's chairman and group chief executive, Sir Martin Sorrell, is a close acquaintance of Kim.

Publicis insiders told Campaign that it too is attempting to join the pitch list.

Euro RSCG has held the Intel account since 1991. The agency was responsible for creating the brand's famous four-note, chime-based aural signature, which now accompanies every on-screen reference to Intel processors.

The news will come as a damaging blow for Havas, which is already unstable.

The company is increasingly seen as a possible target for takeover, a situation exacerbated by its failure to acquire Grey Global last month.

- Havas, News, p3.