TD Bank

is preparing to hire a new lead ad agency, displacing

Interpublic Group's Tierney Communications

office in Cherry Hill, both companies say.

Advertising Age has identified TBWA/Chiat/Day as TD's lead creative brand, social, and digital agency. TD says it hasn't made its decision final.

How will Tierney Communications, which employs about 100, survive the loss of a big, international creative client? The bank will still pay the firm to represent it in community-relations work in the Canada-based company's network of East Coast branches from New England to Florida.

Tierney says its other clients include wholesale-drug distributor AmerisourceBergen, Cambria hotels, Dow Chemical Co. (which is in the process of merging with DuPont Co.), McDonald's, Peco, Shire Pharmaceuticals, and Verizon Wireless.

"After conducting a thoughtful and comprehensive review of our agency relationships over the last several months, TD Bank is in final negotiations with potential agency partners" to improve its brand advertising, strategy, digital and social media work, bank spokeswoman Judith Rusk Schmidt tells me.

Ad Age wrote in May that TD, which has spent nearly $200 million a year on ads seeking banking and financial customers, had been looking for a change.

TD will continue to use "marketing support in community initiatives" from Tierney, Schmidt adds.

"Tierney has enjoyed a 20-plus-year relationship with TD Bank, and we look forward to continuing our partnership," in TD's branch towns, Tierney senior vice president Tim Spreitzer tells me.

Tierney Communications - started by Philadelphia ad man Brian P. Tierney, who also headed the group that owned the Inquirer, the Daily News, and from 2006 to 2010 - was sold by its founder to an Interpublic predecessor in 1998.

Tierney himself left the firm in 2003, when it employed more than 200, and now runs Brian Communications in Conshohocken.

More cuts at DuPont

Shares in DuPont Co. dropped 0.7 percent Tuesday to close at $69.62 (still near its high for the year) after reporting better-than-expected third-quarter sales and profits.

The company has delayed the target date of its merger with Dow Chemical into early 2017, as regulators on four continents scrutinize its impact on chemical prices, CEO Ed Breen told investors.

During a Q&A session, analysts asked: Shouldn't at least one of the Big Four competition regulators - in the United States, Europe, China, or Brazil - have approved the merger by now?

DuPont-Dow will still be smaller than its largest multinational seed and pesticide competitors, so regulators are more likely to approve the deal, Breen said.

Noting that Breen's predecessor, Ellen Kullman, blamed "centralized management" for slowing DuPont product innovation, analyst Mark Connelly, of Credit Agricole Securities, asked, "What's different now?"

Breen said his group had cut a layer of senior management, consolidated R&D, and realigned factories so they report to the business managers they produce for, and is now preparing to cut operating expenses, plan factory closings, and squeeze vendors to cut procurement costs.

215-854-5194 @PhillyJoeD