Packard Bell hunts for new PC shop
[sacramento, calif.] Beleaguered Packard Bell NEC's Packard Bell division is believed to be eyeing agencies in California for a project to launch its next PC. Packard Bell has not been active with agency M&C Saatchi, New York, for about a year. Separately Mike Gold, senior VP-advertising and corporate communications and a one-time M&C Saatchi president, is expected to leave to rejoin the ad agency world. Mr. Gold and Senior VP-Marketing Mal Ransom hadn't returned phone calls at press time.
McD's beefs up test products
[oak brook, ill.] McDonald's Corp. is testing salads in a cup that can be shaken to toss with dressing, as well as new milkshakes and ice cream parfaits. Company officials last week told investors at a conference sponsored by Merrill Lynch & Co. it is testing more products today than at any time in the past 25 years. The company plans to expand its Big Xtra burger and improved fried and grilled chicken sandwiches to 3,000 of its 12,500 outlets this summer, according to a Merrill Lynch report. Bagel sandwiches will be rolled next month to 6,000 restaurants, the report said. A McDonald's spokesman confirmed the initiatives.
N.Y. Life seeks shop in $30 mil review
[new york] New York Life Insurance Co. put its estimated $30 million account into review. Incumbent TBWA/Chiat/Day has been invited to participate. Geduldig & Ferguson will handle the review.
Del Taco may move $10 mil account
[laguna hills, calif.] Del Taco, the 325-unit fast-food chain, is considering switching agencies for its $10 million creative account, now at Italia/Gal, Los Angeles. Select Resources International, West Hollywood, is handling the project. The client declined comment.
Ward's Signature Group opens $20 mil review
[schaumburg, ill.] The Signature Group, the direct marketing subsidiary of Montgomery Ward & Co., is reviewing its estimated $10 million to $20 million direct marketing account. The short list of agencies that pitched includes FCB Direct, Chicago, and Grey Direct, New York.
New ads readied for Benson & Hedges
[new york] Philip Morris USA is putting finishing touches on a new advertising direction for its Benson & Hedges cigarette brand, to break in May magazines. Philip Morris wouldn't discuss the creative or break date for its revamped campaign, from Leo Burnett USA, Chicago, but said that it is revising the effort to comply with the state attorneys general agreement that bars "anthropomorphic" figures in cigarette ads.
3Dfx breaking $10 mil campaign
[san jose, calif.] 3Dfx Interactive next week breaks a $10 million campaign from Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, San Francisco. 3Dfx is the top retail seller of performance/gaming PC graphics chips and video cards; the TV, print and Web campaign is billed as the biggest effort ever fielded in the category.
'Mountain Sports' iced six months after relaunch
[new york] Six months after relaunching Snow Country as Mountain Sports & Living, Miller Publishing Group is suspending publication of the magazine (see related story on Page 22). The seven-times-a-year title was purchased from The New York Times Magazine Group in November 1997.
P&G backs new Dawn Ultra with $10 mil campaign
[cincinnati] Procter & Gamble Co. today breaks an estimated $10 million TV and print campaign for Dawn Ultra PowerPlus dishwashing detergent from D'Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles, New York. The royal-blue, citrus-scented line extension for the category-leading brand, which began shipping to retailers in January, is reformulated to be better at removing greasy, stuck-on foods, P&G said.
Marty Orzio, a group creative head-copywriter who only worked on Mercedes-Benz of North America, is leaving Lowe & Partners/SMS this week. The agency said he will be a free-lancer and his departure has nothing to do with Lowe losing the account (see related stories on Page 10). He couldn't be reached for comment. . . . Procter & Gamble Co. to Grey Advertising, New York, effective April 1, for its global Clearasil skincare account, estimated at $40 million. Clearasil has been without an agency since P&G ended its relationship with Euro RSCG Tatham in January. . . . Avis Rent A Car launches a new $20 million ad campaign today expanding its "We work harder" tagline to "We work harder. For you." Bates USA, New York, handles. . . . DuPont de Nemours International's Dacron SBU unit to Doner, Southfield, Mich., for its estimated $10 million account for its Comforel, CoolMax, Supriva and Thermolite brands. Supriva is a new product and account; Rowland Worldwide, New York, is the incumbent on the others. . . . Pacific Gas & Electric Co. to J. Walter Thompson USA, San Francisco, from McCann-Erickson Worldwide for its $10 million-plus account. . . . Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Massachusetts to Partners & Simons, Boston, from Holland Mark Martin for the estimated $5 million to $6 million account. . . . Diamond Walnut Growers to Gardner, Geary, Coll & Young, San Francisco, from Y&R Advertising for a $5 million to $6 million ad campaign designed to move nuts from the dwindling holiday baking category into an everyday culinary