Nextel Reviewing

Advertising Account

Nextel Communications Inc. said Friday that it was reviewing its creative and media advertising account, putting the big-spending telecom company account in play.

Nextel has used Mullen, a Massachusetts-based agency, as its agency of record for six years. It has used Initiative Media for its media buying. Nextel spent $160 million on measured media in 2001, according to the CMR tracking service.

"Nextel has grown and expanded significantly over the past six years, as have its marketing communications needs," said Mark Schweitzer, vice president of marketing at Nextel. He said the review does not reflect a lack of confidence in Mullen, and that the agency will participate in the review. "We feel it's time to review our marketing communications needs to confirm that we have the right combination of strategic and execution partnerships to meet our future needs," he said.

It has retained Roth Associates to consult in the search. Nextel will complete the review by the end of the second quarter.

Montgomery Rejects

Auction House License

Montgomery County's consumer affairs office denied Thursday a license for Sloan's Auction Galleries Ltd. to do business in the county.

Sloan's, which filed for bankruptcy protection in December, held sales without having a "second-hand personal property" license, county officials said. The license is designed to ensure that consignors do not sell stolen goods, but Sloan's let its license expire in July. The Rockville auction house then failed to pay a $500 citation the county issued. Now a U.S. bankruptcy judge in Greenbelt has said Sloan's must get the license to continue to operate. Sloan's had planned to hold another auction in January.

"We can't very well hold a sale without the license," said Colin R. Clarke, acting president of Sloan's. "We're considering what our next move is going to be."

Andre G. Sasson, chairman of Sloan's, said the firm would appeal the ruling this week. "There's nobody who wins by [the county's] actions. They're shutting down Sloan's for unjustifiable reasons."

Montgomery officials said they denied the license to Sloan's because it has numerous consumer complaints against it for failing to pay back millions of dollars it owes consignors and creditors.

A hearing to decide whether to grant Sloan's the business license will be held Feb. 18.