– Snyder Continues to Weigh Bids
BOSTON–Some of the major holding companies are approaching Snyder Communications’ invitation to bid on its holdings, including Boston’s Arnold Communications, with caution, sources said. The high price tag–estimated at $1.5-2 billion–coupled with complex legal and accounting issues, owing to Snyder’s restructuring, are among the issues curbing interest. “It’s tough to throw a party and have no one show up,” said one potential bidder last week. In December, Snyder engaged investment banker Deutsche Bank Alex. Brown in Baltimore to screen offers for its major holdings, which also include Bounty SCA Worldwide, Brann Worldwide and Circle.com. Potential suitors were said by sources to include Publicis, which last week closed on its deal to buy Chicago-based direct marketer Frankel. Arnold insiders said Publicis was interested in the Boston shop two years ago, when it was sold to Snyder in a stock transaction then valued at around $120 million. Publicis chairman and CEO Maurice Levy last week declined comment when asked about his interest in Snyder. Shares of Snyder were trading at around $19 on Friday, up from a 52-week low of 11 3/4 but down from its high for the same period of $41.

– Union Bay Bands With Toth
BOSTON–Seattle Pacific Industries’ Unionbay denim brand will invest $15 million in advertising, beginning with this spring’s “Unsigned band,” an independent music-themed campaign created by Toth Brand Imaging in Concord, Mass. The budget is a 50 percent increase over 1999. As with previous work, “Unsigned band” plays off the UB name.

– Quick & Reilly to Consolidate Account
NEW YORK–Quick & Reilly, the discount brokerage firm, is planning to split its estimated $5 million account, the client said in a statement, between Hill, Holliday, Connors, Cosmopulos, Boston, the agency of record for Q&R parent firm FleetBoston Financial Group, and Wieden & Kennedy, New York. Publicis, New York, the incumbent, was invited to compete on project assignments but declined, the statement said.

– Cambridge Technology Narrows to 3 Shops
BOSTON–CGN Marketing & Creative Services was eliminated from contention in the review for Cambridge Technology Partners’ $4-5 million ad account, said Rick Hooker, an official with Pile and Co., which is overseeing the search. Finalists are Gearon Hoffman and Pagano Schenck & Kay, both Boston, and Allen & Gerritsen in Watertown, Mass.

– Onward & Upward
BOSTON–Arnold Communications has promoted Margie Sullivan to executive vice president, director of creative services. Sullivan joined the Boston agency’s audio-visual department in 1982, when it was known as Humphrey Browning MacDougall. … Hill, Holliday, Connors, Cosmopulos has appointed Jonathan Mellin chief financial officer replacing Robert Angell, who is now COO at Zentropy Partners in Cambridge, Mass. Mellin previously was CFO at First Communications, an Ohio-based venture that specializes in acquisitions in the trade show and career-fair industries.