LATE NEWS: BANK OF AMERICA'S MEDIA ACC'T IN REVIEW: HOWATSON MAY JOIN PLAYBOY MAG UNIT: RED LOBSTER BREAKS $80 MIL 'FRESH' CAMPAIGN: ABC-TV NARROWS REVIEW TO 5 SHOPS: LAGARDERE, FILIPACCHI FORM $2 BIL PUBLISHER: NEW DISNEY MAGAZINE LAUNCH TO OPPOSE 'SI': TRADE-DRESS SUIT TURNS TO GALLO'S FAVOR: LEVI ASSIGNS DIRECT TO S.F.'S KADANOFF: DELL COMPUTER EXTENDS NEWSPAPER DIRECT TEST: STARWAVE PROMOTES LEFURGY, PHILLIPS: TROUBLED TELE-TV CHAIRMAN STRINGER EXITS: MACMANUS GROUP REORGANIZES MEDIA OPERATIONS AS MEDIAVEST: F.Y.I.

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[san francisco] Bank of America is reviewing its $45 million to $55 million media account, presently at Ketchum Advertising, San Francisco, according to an executive close to the bank. BofA moved creative and media planning in March to Deutsch, New York and Santa Monica, Calif., from Ketchum.

[new york] Playboy Enterprises is close to naming industry veteran Marianne Howatson president of its publishing group, which includes flagship Playboy. The high-level post has been vacant since the May 1994 departure of Michael S. Perlis, now president of TVSM. Ms. Howatson is currently with Cardinal Business Media, Norwalk, Conn.

[orlando, fla.] Darden Restaurants' Red Lobster chain today breaks an $80 million campaign with a new tagline: "Prepared so fresh you can taste it." Grey Advertising, New York, handles.

[new york] ABC Television Network has narrowed the contenders in its $35 million review to incumbent Grey Entertainment (pitching with Grey Advertising), Merkley Newman Harty, TBWA Chiat/Day and Fallon McElligott Berlin, all New York; and the Martin Agency, Richmond, Va. A decision is expected this week.

[paris]Lagardere Group, a diversified technology, defense and media group, plans to merge with Filipacchi Medias in a stock swap that gives Lagardere 66% of Hachette, publisher of Elle, Car & Driver and Premiere. Lagardere said the new company, to be known as Hachette Filipacchi Medias, will have $1.96 billion in annual revenues, making it the world's largest magazine publisher.

[new york] Walt Disney Co. is expected to announce this week the launch of ESPN Magazine, an every-other-weekly competitor to Time Inc.'s Sports Illustrated. The magazine, in development for months, is slated for a March 1998 launch. Gary Hoenig, formerly editor of the now-defunct ESPN Total Sports, a joint venture with Hearst Magazines, is editor.

[san francisco] Kendall-Jackson Vineyards & Winery will appeal a U.S. District Court jury verdict Friday vindicating the E&J Gallo Winery on allegations Gallo's Turning Leaf brand wines copied Kendall's Vintners Reserve trade dress.

[san francisco] Levi Strauss & Co. is expected to award its estimated $15 million direct marketing business to Miller Kadanoff, also San Francisco. Foote, Cone& Belding is the apparel company's agency of record and continues to represent Levi's traditional advertising.

[austin, texas] Dell Computer Corp. expanded its test of direct-response newspaper advertising to include 76 papers in 10 markets, with tests running through April in a buy coordinated by Newspaper National Network.

[seattle] Rich LeFurgy, VP-marketing and advertising at Starwave Corp., will move to New York in a new post overseeing ad sales and marketing for Web sites ESPNET SportsZone and ABCNews.com. The move is part of a reorganization after Walt Disney Co. acquired a one-third stake in the company last week. In a related move at the company, Tom Phillips, formerly senior VP-products and services at Starwave, was named president of the ABC News/Starwave venture (see earlier item on Page 40).

[new york] Howard Stringer resigned last Friday as chairman of Tele-TV amid rumors that he is negotiating a top strategic post at Sony Corp. of America. In a separate development, Tele-TV engaged in another round of non-contract layoffs, leaving its employee count hovering at only slightly more than 100.

[new york] MacManus Group has rebranded the international media operations of D'Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles as MediaVest, as expected. Mike Moore, DMB&B's worldwide media director, has been named president-CEO of MediaVest; Kevin Malloy becomes global media director, from media director-multinational clients for DMB&B. TeleVest, MacManus' separate U.S. media buying operation, is unaffected by the move. Separately, last week TeleVest won the $125 million TV buying account of J.C. Penney Co.

Casio has initiated a review for its $10 million account, currently at Merkley Newman Harty, New York. Merkley will not participate in the review. . . . Knight-Ridder is buying the Kansas City Star and Fort Worth Star-Telgram and Arlington [Texas] Star-Telgram along with two other newspapers from Walt Disney Co. for $1.65 billion. . . . Rick Colby to executive creative director and chief operating officer, Rogge Effler & Partners, Santa Monica, Calif., from creative director, Lois/USA, Los Angeles. Separately, Senior VP-Creative Director Pam Cunningham is leaving Rogge Effler. . . . Sara Lee Corp. tapped Streams Online Media Development, Chicago, to create a Web site. . . . Joe Rodriguez resigned last week as director of worldwide advertising at Novell, San Jose, Calif. . . . Schering-Plough, Liberty Corner, N.J., is said to be moving the healthcare accounts that remain at Warwick Baker & O'Neill, New York, to Messner Vetere Berger McNamee Schmetterer/Euro RSCG. Executives at Warwick, Messner and

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