The US financial services giant Morgan Stanley Dean Witter is approaching agencies about a pan-European piece of business worth between pounds 6 million and pounds 10 million.
The company is understood to be looking at networks for an advertising campaign predominantly in Europe, focusing particularly on the German, Spanish and Swiss markets.
The task is thought to be for a new type of investment product launch - a 'warrant product'. The campaign will roll out in print; there are no plans for TV spots at present.
Leo Burnett's position as the UK incumbent is thought to be unaffected by the search. The agency handles the account for Morgan Stanley's credit card, for which it produced a high-profile TV launch campaign last year.
The TV work was backed by a large-scale direct campaign, created by WWAV Rapp Collins. The company has since shifted its direct account into Blowfish Advertising.
Mark Mayhew, UK country manager at Morgan Stanley, refused to confirm the reports: 'We categorically deny having spoken to any agencies.'
The search comes amid a reshuffling of Morgan Stanley's top executives in the US. John Mack resigned as its president. The chief financial officer, Robert G Scott, was picked to succeed him. Both had worked at Morgan Stanley before it bought Dean Witter in 1997. Philip Purcell, who came from Dean Witter, remains as the chairman and chief executive officer. At the time of his resignation, The Wall Street Journal reported that Mack quit after a power-sharing struggle with Purcell.
The agency hunt follows January's announcement that the company plans to shorten its name to Morgan Stanley.