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[new york] Michael Kassan, the former North American president-chief operating officer of Interpublic Group of Cos.' Western Initiative Media Worldwide, and Interpublic have settled a lawsuit and arbitration action brought by Mr. Kassan seeking $63.5 million for breach of contract and defamation of character. A joint statement indicated "no details of the settlement will be released," and said, "separately, Interpublic announced that it has completed its regularly scheduled audit of the financial operations of Western and is satisfied with the results."

Grey may create

unit for P&G business

[new york] Grey Advertising is considering a plan to spin off its Procter & Gamble Co. personal-care account into an independent unit, according to executives close to the agency. Observers said the move could be a way to reward the veteran P&G creative team. The new shop would house brands including Pantene haircare and Cover Girl cosmetics. A Grey spokesman said he was unaware of such a plan.

Plastics Council opens $20 mil review

[washington] The American Plastics Council is looking for an agency for its estimated $20 million account. About 15 East Coast shops are being invited to participate. D'Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles, Troy, Mich., is the incumbent. AAR/Bob Wolf & Partners, New York, is the consultant on the review.

La Quinta shops $9 mil account

[las colinas, texas] La Quinta Inns has launched a review for its $6 million to $9 million account. The incumbent is Publicis, Dallas. Chris Trick, director of national marketing, cited a need for "different perspectives both strategically and creatively" as the reason for the review. He declined to provide a timetable, but hinted that an agency in the South or Sun Belt might have an advantage; the bulk of La Quinta's 303 properties are in those regions.

Frankel ponders merger, sale

[chicago] Frankel again is looking at selling out or merging and has retained Goldman, Sachs & Co. to examine the possibilities. In September 1996, Frankel said it was considering going public, but postponed that in March 1997. Frankel's 1998 gross income was $88 million.

MediaVest, Western rethink deal

[new york] A proposed media deal between MacManus Group's MediaVest and Interpublic Group of Cos.' Western Initiative Media Worldwide is said to have hit some snags after MediaVest Chairman-CEO Irwin Gotlieb announced he would leave to take the top job at WPP Group's MindShare. MacManus also is said to be considering a deal with Grey Advertising's MediaCom, although those talks are believed less serious than those with Interpublic.

BMW kicks off $50 mil 3 Series effort

[woodcliff lake, n.j.] BMW of North America breaks its model-year 2000 campaign for the 3 Series coupe today with three new national TV spots. Spending for the campaign, which includes TV, print, outdoor and Internet banners, should equal the $50 million spent for 1999's 3-series, a BMW spokesman said. Creative is by Fallon McElligott, Minneapolis. Separately, BMW Motorcycles this month will break two national TV spots from Merkley Newman Harty, New York.

Altrec.com taps McCann for account

[bellevue, wash.] Altrec.com, an outdoor and active travel lifestyle Web site, has selected McCann-Erickson Worldwide, Seattle, as its agency of record to launch a $5 million to $10 million nationwide, fourth-quarter advertising campaign. Hammerquist & Halverson, Seattle, previously handled local business and print advertising. A Microsoft Expedia spokeswoman confirmed the Altrec.com account wouldn't constitute a conflict; McCann is currently in a review for the Expedia business.

Taco Bell maintains TBWA

will retain $200 mil account

[irvine, calif.] Taco Bell, responding to rumors it was considering moving its $200 million account from TBWA/Chiat/Day, Playa del Rey, to its local maketing agency FCB Worldwide, Santa Ana, issued a statement late last week saying it has "no plans to change" its agency relationship.

Online insurance site

launches today

[san francisco] Online insurance site eCoverage.com (www.ecoverage.com) launches today. The site, backed by Softbank Technology Ventures and Softbank-backed E-Trade and E-Loan, will offer individuals quotes, sales, account management and claims-filing capabilities for auto, home and marine insurance policies. The company last week named Kowloon Wholesale Seafood Co., Santa Monica, Calif., as agency of record. Its launch campaign breaks this week in financial publications. TV and radio will follow next month. (For full story, see adage.com.)


Chris Pula left Buena Vista Pictures Marketing last week. He had been president of Buena Vista. Senior executives Geoffrey Ammer and Oren Aviv assume Mr. Pula's duties, with the titles of co-president of marketing. . . . Gene Federico, a founder and longtime executive of Lord, Geller, Federico, Einstein, New York, died last week in Pound Ridge, N.Y., after a bout with prostate cancer. He was 81. . . . Patrick Lemarchand, 51, to the new position of chairman-CEO, North America operations, Havas Advertising's Diversified Agencies division, New York, from chairman-CEO, Atlas Editions for the USA, France and the rest of Europe. . . . Susan Blank, VP-corporate sales for Conde Nast Publications, was tapped by Hachette Filipacchi Magazines President-CEO Jack Kliger to be the next publisher of troubled Mirabella. . . . E-Trade has begun contacting agencies for its online advertising account. Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, San Francisco, agency for broadcast, print and outdoor, is participating in the review. . . . Teledyne Water Pik is searching for an agency for its estimated $6 million

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