LATE NEWS: SUN TURNS TO LOWE FOR $70 MIL GLOBAL ACCOUNT: UNITED AD THEME MAY BE 'RISING': TRUE NORTH GIVES MASON 1-YEAR EXTENSION: PLAYTEX REVIEWS $15 MIL ACCOUNT: SPRITE ADS WILL TAKE NEW DIRECTION: TCI BEGINS HUNT FOR PROGRAMMING CHIEF: BLACK & DECKER TO UNITE $30 MIL ACC'T AT MCCANN: E*TRADE MAY MOVE $18 MIL TO GOTHAM: VIRGIN FLIES TO TV IN $11 MIL CAMPAIGN: F.Y.I.

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[mountain view, calif.] Sun Microsystems chose Lowe & Partners/SMS, New York and San Francisco, to handle its $60 million to $70 million global account. Lowe will do all creative and buy the bulk of global media; some countries will use local agencies for media. Former agency was J. Walter Thompson USA, San Francisco. Ad Director Tracey Stout cited Lowe's strategic thinking, "teamwork" or chemistry, and creativity. First ads are expected in three to six months.

[elk grove village, ill.] United Airlines' new campaign from Fallon McElligott, Minneapolis, breaks May 22 and is expected to emphasize the one-word theme "Rising." Calling the campaign "complex," a United spokesman denied a single-word emphasis and said other themes associated with the carrier, such as "Friendly skies" from previous agency Leo Burnett Co., Chicago, and the song "Rhapsody in Blue" "will never go away."

[chicago] True North Communications' board approved a one-year extension of Chairman-CEO Bruce Mason's contract, which was set to expire in June. The extension was agreed to last month at a board meeting in San Francisco and comes as Mr. Mason continues to talk with agencies and holding companies about business combinations with True North. Among those rumored to have talked with True North in recent months are Bozell and MacManus Group. True North executives would only say they are having many talks.

[chicago] Sara Lee Corp.'s Playtex intimate apparel, which parted ways last month with Saatchi & Saatchi Advertising, New York, is conducting a review of its estimated $15 million account. Among the agencies in the pitch: Y&R Advertising, DDB Needham Worldwide, Grey Advertising and Interpublic Group of Cos.' Ammirati Puris Lintas and Gotham units, all New York.

[atlanta] Coca-Cola USA this week launches TV advertising for Sprite that's said to mark a new creative direction for the brand, currently advertised under the "Obey your thirst" tagline. Lowe & Partners/SMS, New York, is the agency.

[denver] Tele-Communications Inc. is looking to hire a chief of programming who can develop friendly business relationships with cable networks. TCI President Leo J. Hindery Jr. told analysts last week about the plans. Reporting to the new hire will be Jedd Palmer, the TCI senior VP in charge of programming who has been in the center of controversy during the last six months as TCI has juggled its programming lineups.

[towson, md.] Black & Decker is expected to consolidate its $30 million domestic account at McCann-Erickson Worldwide, New York. McCann and Fallon McElligott Berlin, New York, have been handling.

[san francisco] Online brokerage services company E*Trade is expected to move its estimated $18 million account to Gotham, New York, from J. Walter Thompson USA, San Francisco. JWT won the business less than two months ago and launched a $10 million TV campaign for E*Trade the weekend of March 14.

[norwalk, conn.] Virgin Atlantic Airlines is upping its media budget to use the unusual theme of calming "panic" before takeoff in a new branding spot to break this week from CMG Communications, New York and

Norwalk. The five spots in the estimated $11 million-plus spot campaign are Virgin's first TV ads in two years.

[new york] Bruce Judson, general manager at Time Inc. New Media, resigned his post April 11 citing plans to pursue entrepreneurial Internet ventures. Mr. Judson is the unit's second top executive to resign in the last four months; President-Editor Paul Sagan left late last year. Mr.

Judson was viewed as a candidate for president. Insiders said VP-Ad Sales and Marketing Linda McCutcheon is now the strongest contender.

[camden, n.j.] Campbell Soup Co. this week announces what it's calling the "world's largest food drive," in conjunction with the National

Association of Letter Carriers' "Stamp Out Hunger" program. Campbell will urge consumers in mailings to 90,000 households in 1,300 cities to put canned goods out on May 10 for distribution to local food banks. Spot radio, developed in-house, and point of purchase will support.

Aamco Transmissions is searching for an agency for its estimated $13 million account. Group Two, Philadelphia, had handled. . . . Pearle Vision

Centers has six agencies vying for its $26 million account: W.B. Doner &

Co., Southfield, Mich.; McCann-Erickson Worldwide; Angotti, Thomas, Hedge; and Gotham, all New York; Wyse Advertising, Cleveland, and DDB Needham

Worldwide, Dallas. Incumbent GSD&M, Dallas, is not participating. . . .

Carol Manning to director of worldwide advertising, Novell, San Jose,

Calif., from director of integrated marketing programs. She succeeds Joe

Rodriguez, who is leaving. . . . Casio to Fresh Carats, New York, from

Merkley Newman Harty for the consumer electronics marketer's $10 million account. . . . Hiram Walker & Sons is said to have awarded its $10 million

Canadian Club business to DDB Needham Worldwide, New York, after a review that included incumbent Lois/EJL, Los Angeles. . . . Lexmark International to Grey Advertising, New York, from Merkley Newman Harty for the consumer electronics marketer's $10 million account. . . . Hiram Walker & Sons is said to have awarded its $10 million Canadian Club business to DDB Needham Worldwide, New York, after a review that included incumbent Lois/EJL, Los Angeles. . . . Lexmark International to Grey Advertising, New York, from Goldberg Moser O'Neill, San Francisco, for its estimated $10 million consumer printer account.

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