WCRS and The Leith Agency are on the final shortlist for the 10m Standard Life corporate advertising account.

WPP Group has acquired 37.34 per cent of Batey Holdings, a company which has 80.34 per cent of the Singapore-based ad group Batey Ads and which is one of the leading independent ad agencies in the Asia-Pacific region. WPP has an option to take a controlling stake in the business early next century.

Ocean Software, the games publisher, has consolidated its corporate business into Cheetham Bell. The exact spend is not known, but the publisher is running TV commercials, and the budget will be over 1m.

Mansfield Lang Direct Media has won the 4.5m centralised media planning and buying account for collectibles giant The Bradford Exchange.

Seamus O’Farrell, board account director at Abbott Mead Vickers.BBDO, is joining Bartle Bogle Hegarty in the new year as a group account director…

…BBH has been shortlisted for the $90m (56.25m) Levi-Strauss US business, with the incumbent agency FCB San Francisco, TBWA Chiat/Day of Santa Monica, California, BBDO Worldwide of Los Angeles and New York and Hal Riney & Partners of San Francisco, according to US press reports. BBH handles Levi’s European and Asian accounts.

BMP DDB is launching two advertisements for the National Dairy Council to persuade mothers to give their children more milk by reminding them how good it is for bones. The campaign breaks in women’s weekly and monthly magazines from the beginning of December.

The Cancer Research Campaign launches its first burst of TV advertising, through ad agency Wunderman Cato Johnson, on Boxing Day on Channel 4 and Sky. The fund-raising ads will centre around a dramatised real-life ‘Diary of a Survivor’, portraying a woman who survives cancer.

Weight Watchers International has renewed its year-long contract with The Duchess of York, despite parting with Lowe & Partners/SMS because of ‘creative and strategic’ differences. Advertising and media planning is under review.

Abbott Mead Vickers.BBDO’s subsidiary Momentum Integrated Communications has bought The O’Connell Partnership, which provides integrated marketing solutions for clients including Avon, Kerrygold and Next.

TMD Direct Manchester managing director Martin Conry has died. Conry had been md since 1994 and was also a director of Carat UK and Carat Insight.

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