Olympus has asked three European networks, FCB Wilkens, DDB and its incumbent, Lowe Lintas, to pitch for its pounds 5 million pan-European account.
The review is being run out of Olympus's European headquarters in Germany.
The winning network will produce work to run across the region.
Young & Rubicam runs the account in Europe, although the most recent pan-European work was produced by Lowe Lintas in London.
Olympus UK, however, appears reluctant to end its relationship with Lowe. Sarah Cubitt, Olympus's head of marketing communications in the UK, said: 'It depends on the creative work. We hope that both (European and UK agencies) would be part of our plans. It is not so much the business moving away from the UK, but a greater involvement from a European agency.'
Lowe Howard-Spink won the account in 1994 in a review out of Y&R. Since then the agency has produced some attention-grabbing work for Olympus, despite its UK spend of only pounds 500,000.
In 1999 it produced the 'so sharp it hurts' TV and cinema ad starring Joan Collins, which was directed by Tony Kaye. Most recently it developed an international press campaign that stressed the dilemmas of photographers covering issues such as war and famine and featured the endline: 'Should you be using corpses to get a great composition, anyway?'
Olympus's former UK head of marketing communications, Ian Dickens, resigned from the company to enter an around-the-world boat race last year. Cubitt was promoted into his job as a result.