Interpublic lawsuit moves ahead
[new york] Interpublic Group of Cos.' civil suit against former Lowe & Partners/SMS executive Marvin Sloves made some progress last week when New York State Supreme Court Judge Franklin set a Nov. 30 deadline for discovery in the upcoming trial. Expected to give depositions are such agency heavyweights as Interpublic Chairman-CEO Phil Geier, Omnicom Chairman-CEO John Wren and Lee Garfinkel, chairman-chief creative officer of Lowe. Interpublic is suing Mr. Sloves for damages, alleging he improperly influenced client Mercedes-Benz USA to leave Lowe.
Mahl exits ESPN for ask.com
[new york] Jeffrey Mahl, ESPN's senior VP-advertising sales, has resigned to take an executive position at ask.com, the Web site owned by Ask Jeeves. Mr. Mahl could not be reached at press time, but an ESPN spokesman confirmed the resignation. Mr. Mahl's resignation comes as ESPN parent Walt Disney Co. is conducting a search for someone to lead an integrated ABC Sports/ESPN ad sales unit (AA, June 21). The ESPN spokesman said no successor is being named at this time. Ask Jeeves went public last week.
Moser departs shop he co-founded
[san francisco] Mike Moser, exec VP of Goldberg Moser O'Neill, is leaving for personal reasons, the agency said. Mr. Moser, 46, a creative who had been working with brand planning most recently, co-founded the 9-year-old shop. Goldberg Moser is now partially owned by Interpublic Group of Cos.
Former Ammirati execs open shop
[new york] Former Ammirati Puris Lintas President Steve Gardner and Creative Director Tom Nelson have formed a new agency, Gardner/Nelson Project. The duo is currently working on a project for WingspanBank.com, a newly formed venture of Bank One and its First USA unit (see story, on Page 18). The shop is expected to announce other clients in the next several weeks.
KFC sandwich may be pushed up
[louisville, ky.] KFC may launch its new sandwich line in late August, a month earlier than expected, according to an executive familiar with marketing plans for one region. The company declined to comment. The five-item line is KFC's bid to boost lunch sales. Ads from Y&R Advertising, New York, will feature the animated Col. Sanders character.
'Time Digital,' AOL talk joint promo
[new york] Executives from America Online and Time Inc.'s Time Digital, the eight-times-a-year title sold on newsstands and sent to Time subscribers, are in discussions to craft a joint promotion deal to sell Time Digital subscriptions via AOL in exchange for promotional space in the magazine. Earlier this year, AOL and Hachette Filipacchi Magazines explored a deal to do a custom published title for AOL members, but those talks fell apart.
Lincoln reveals new tagline
[irvine, calif.] Lincoln Mercury Co., Automotive News reports today, will unveil a new tagline this summer with the launch of its new LS sedan: "Lincoln. American luxury." Deborah Wahl, Lincoln Mercury's new marketing communications manager, said the tag will be added to all other ads as new vehicles and brand campaigns are launched later this year. When asked why Lincoln is dropping "What a luxury car should be" after more than a decade, she explained the brand wants to use the tag globally when it starts a push abroad, expected next year.
Forrest Mars dies; son of Mars Inc. founder
[miami] Forrest Mars Sr., son of Mars Inc.'s founder, died here last week at the age of 95. The demanding and mercurial Mr. Mars parted ways with his father, Frank, in 1932 and, armed with the recipe for Milky Way, left to form his own company in Europe. He later rejoined the family business. He's credited with the creation of M&M's, international expansion and diversification into rice and pet food. Mr. Mars also championed the then-new idea of advertising candy in the 1950s. Mr. Mars retired from the company, which now has a $400 million ad budget, in 1973.
Paul Atkinson, 46, to VP-advertising sales, America Online, Dulles, Va., from VP-advertising, The Wall Street Journal, New York.
. . . Healthshop.com, San Francisco, to Amazon Advertising, first agency for an account expected to be $8 million to $10 million. The account was awarded following a review handled in-house. Other competitors were not disclosed; there was no consultant. . . . Stephanie Cook to senior VP-director of leadership strategy, D'Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles, New York, a new position, from an independent consultant. Previously, Ms. Cook was exec-VP-director of strategic planning at Lowe & Partners/SMS, New York. . . . Chris Chalk to director of account planning, Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, San Francisco, from director of account planning and managing partner, TBWA/
Chiat/Day, Playa del Rey, Calif. Mr. Chalk will share that title with John Steel, VP-account planning director. The two plan to divide clients much in the manner the agency divides accounts among creatives.
. . . Bruce Mowery to VP-marketing, GreenTree.com, San Francisco, a new position at the online health store, from principal and a consultant at Ellipsis, an Atherton, Calif., consultancy. . . . Avis Rent A Car System has named six semifinalists for its $30 million account: Ammirati Puris Lintas, Deutsch, Kirshenbaum Bond & Partners, Lowe & Partners/SMS, McCann-Erickson Worldwide and Publicis, all New York. The review is being handled by Pile & Co., Boston. Avis put the account into review last month after Bates Worldwide, New York, resigned the business. . . . Toysrus.com has awarded Leo Burnett USA, Chicago, and its Starcom Worldwide media unit responsibilities for its newly relaunched e-