Denying it has sweaty palms, Saatchi & Saatchi is downplaying the decision by Singapore-based Visa International to review its estimated $20 million advertising business for the Asia-Pacific region, including Australia and New Zealand.

"This is a mandatory review," claims a Saatchi executive. "We had a three-year contract, and now the client . . . is obligated to have a review at this time.'' The business has been handled by Saatchi since 1997 when it snatched the account from J Walter Thompson.

Squaring-up to Saatchi and its media partner Zenith Media is the Omnicom-owned team of BBDO Worldwide and Optimum Media Direction. Also pitching are Euro RSCG Worldwide with media partner Motivator, a jointly-owned venture with WPP’s MindShare which services only Euro RSCG clients.

News source: Advertising Age - Daily Deadline