to cut Lowe loose
[montvale, n.j.] DaimlerChrysler's Mercedes-Benz of North America is expected to terminate Interpublic Group of Cos.' Lowe & Partners/SMS, New York, this week over concerns with its leadership woes and possible IPG conflicts with General Motors Corp. shops. Because of Omnicom Group's close ties to the Chrysler brands, its shops- BBDO Worldwide, New York; GSD&M, Austin, Texas; and Merkley Newman Harty, New York-or a spin-off unit are said to have the best chances for the $100 million account. Also in the running are True North Communications' Bozell Worldwide, also a Chrysler shop, and its Foote, Cone & Belding, New York.
Philip Morris opens
$50 mil Corp. review
[new york] Philip Morris Cos. is reviewing agencies for a $25 million to $50 million corporate ad campaign aimed at raising its profile by pointing out its good deeds such as support of the arts. The company didn't return calls by press time. Y&R Advertising, New York; Fallon McElligott, Minneapolis; Leo Burnett USA, Chicago, and Publicis & Hal Riney, San Francisco, are believed to be in the pitch.
Acura may pick shop
for $70 mil acc't
[san francisco] American Honda Motor Co. as early as today is expected to make a decision on whether to keep its $70 million Acura division regional dealer ad account at Suissa Miller, Los Angeles. Honda agency Rubin Postaer & Associates, Santa Monica, Calif., is thought to be in the running. Acura denied any changes are coming.
IOC sets meeting
with key sponsors
[lausanne, switzerland] The International Olympic Committee will hold a meeting for its 11 top sponsors in New York this week to discuss the current scandal involving the Salt Lake City Games, as well as a new branding initiative. A brand assessment and marketing plan was produced by Meridian Management, Atlanta, and Edgar Dunn & Co., San Francisco, a management consultant.
to name cheese finalists
[rosemont, ill.] Dairy Management said it's planning to pick a shortlist on its $30 million cheese account by late February. The group is believed to have been in contact with a number of agencies, including Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, San Francisco; Wieden & Kennedy, Portland, Ore.; and Euro RSCG Tatham, Chicago. Leo Burnett USA, Chicago, was the previous agency.
BP Amoco hears pitches
for European campaign
[london] BP Amoco, the result of BP's purchase of Amoco Corp., heard presentations late last week for a pan-European, new clear-fuels campaign. London shops Doner International, which has BP's brand and retail account, and M&C Saatchi, with corporate, pitched. Spending wasn't disclosed. In the U.S., Leo Burnett USA, Chicago, still handles Amoco; Doner, Southfield, Mich., has BP.
DaimlerChrysler revs up
$20 mil for minivans
[auburn hills, mich.] DaimlerChrysler is breaking a $20 million push for its combined Chrysler Town & Country and Plymouth Voyager minivans, celebrating 15 years of market dominance. Bozell Worldwide, Southfield, created five new 30-second commercials that will break this month on U.S. network and cable.
Bermuda Department of Tourism has narrowed the review of its estimated $12 million to $15 million account to four to eight ad agency and PR agency finalists, and heard last pitches late last week and today. The finalists-who each paired with a Bermudian ad agency-are expecting a decision this week. Incumbent was DDB Needham Worldwide, New York. . . . American Marketing Association, which administers the Effie awards for advertising effectiveness, is in the early stages of planning a new global Effie awards program. . . . Monsanto Co.'s Searle & Co. and Pfizer to the Media Edge, New York, to handle media buying responsibilities for Celebrex, the forthcoming drug for pain relief from osteoarthritis. . . . Burson-Marsteller today launches its first global advertising campaign in consumer publications, debuting in The Wall Street Journal and created in-house. . . . Mark Golin, 36, editor in chief of Dennis Publishing's upstart boys-will-be-boys title Maxim, is the new editor of Conde Nast Publications' young men's title Details. Michael Caruso, Details editor in chief, is leaving. . . . Colgate-Palmolive Co. will launch the Navigator-a new, premium-price toothbrush with a flexible head-in June, and has already shipped a new Star Wars line of children's toothbrushes and toothpaste to stores. . . . Just for Feet shelved its Super Bowl commercial after critics blasted its portrayal of an African runner hunted down and forced to wear shoes. The ad, from Saatchi & Saatchi, Rochester, N.Y., promoted a contest for a free Humvee sport-utility vehicle. . . . Microsoft Corp.'s MSN (www.msn.com) today unveils MSN WomenCentral, a site targeting women. Unilever will be premier sponsor in its first major commitment on MSN since signing a sponsorship pact last July. . . . SunAmerica has named four agencies in a review for its $10 million to $15 million account: Asher & Partners and Deutsch, both Los Angeles; Ammirati Puris