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Fox slims down pitch list for $1bn media account

NEW YORK - Fox Filmed Entertainment is understood to have trimmed its $1bn (£525m) consolidated media account review to three agencies: WPP's MindShare; Publicis Groupe's ZenithOptimedia; and Aegis Group's media arm Vizeum.

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The review, which is being handled by US-based search consultancy Select Resources International, was launched last month. Select called the action a "strategic move" to bring all the companies media into one shop by the end of this year.

The account covers advertising for movies, home entertainment and programming from Twentieth Century Fox, Fox 2000 Pictures, Fox Searchlight Pictures, Fox Atomic, Fox Animation and Twentieth Century Fox International.

The move follows news last week that Interpublic Group network agencies, Initiative and Universal McCann, turned down an invitation to pitch for the account, because of conflict arising from its win of the US work for competitor Lion's Gate Films.

Omnicom Group is understood to be asked to pitch, but like Interpublic, has conflict because it handles the Universal Studios domestic US media account.

Fox Filmed Entertainment , part of Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation empire, has an annual advertising spend of $1bn, with $750m of the company's spend in the US.

Recent releases from Twentieth Century Fox include 'John Tucker Must Die', starring 'Desperate Housewives' actor Jesse Metcalfe, and 'My Super Ex-Girlfriend', starring Uma Thurman.

In the US, MindShare handles Fox's TV and radio buying with Omnicom's Organic working on the company's online media buying. In the UK, Publicis Groupe's Starcom handles Fox's £35m media account.

The review does not include the business handled by Allied, Fox's US national newspaper agency.

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