Heart FM Radio is holding a pitch for its account. Incumbent agency Mellors Reay & Partners says it has ‘withdrawn from the pitch’. McCann-Erickson Birmingham, which handles the media, is thought to be pitching against two other agencies for the account.

A millionaire Saudi prince, who has business links with pop star Michael Jackson and investments in Disneyland Paris and Apple Computer, has taken a three per cent stake in Cordiant. Prince al-Waleed ibn Talal has paid an estimated 25m for the stake.

BP has launched a new international advertising campaign in the US, through agency WB Doner, using special effects from George Lucas’s Industrial Light & Magic.

Tanner Krolle, the upmarket leather brand owned by Chanel, has appointed Leagas Delaney to handle the 500,000 ad account for the launch of a new premium range for men and women.

Arc Advertising is understood to have held talks with Leagas Shafron Davis about a possible merger of the two agencies. They are currently pitching separately for the merged 12m ad account for Royal Sun Alliance against J Walter Thompson and McCann-Erickson.

Playboy TV (right) is understood have held talks with other advertising agencies after a disagreement with its incumbent agency Maher Bird Associates over production costs. The client said it was still working with MBA and refused to comment further.

Purchasepoint new business director Arni Wookey and board director Chris McColl have quit the Lopex-owned direct marketing agency without another job to go to. As part of the shake-out 13 support staff have also gone.

Grey-Dorland Berlin, the Grey subsidiary, has landed Honda’s $23m (14m) creative account. Though Bates Germany, Frankfurt handles Honda’s product advertising, creative work was previously sourced through Dentsu-owned CDP London. Dentsu’s new Dusseldorf-based agency, Cayenne, also pitched for the business. A media planning and buying agency has not been decided on…

… CDP has recruited Adam O’Conor from Ogilvy & Mather Direct as a new account director for Honda.

Commercial Union is understood to have drawn up a shortlist of five agencies for its 3m creative advertising account.

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