LATE NEWS: TEXAS HOUSE COMMITTEE TO EXAMINE AD TAX STATUS: AMMIRATI A CONTENDER IN AMERITECH REVIEW: GATEWAY 2000 MULLS FINAL AGENCY CHOICE: HEINZ TO BOOST AD SPENDING 30%: PHILLIPS-VAN HEUSEN TO TBWA CHIAT/DAY: FORD UPS AD SPENDING WHILE CUTTING COSTS: ORAL-B NAMES LOWE FOR $15 MIL ACCOUNT: NIELSEN MEDIA RESEARCH OFFERS NEW ACCESS TOOL: CATALOGER SURVEY SHOWS MAILING RESULTS UP: VIDEO DEALERS GROUP PLANS $10 MIL CAMPAIGN: MCCANN-ERICKSON REORGANIZES GM DEALERSHIP SUBSIDIARY: F.Y.I.

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[austin, texas] Advertising and media groups' concern that Texas might be headed toward eliminating advertising's tax deductibility heightened last week after a Texas House panel declined to abandon consideration and set hearings for today and tomorrow on possible new taxes, including those on advertising. The House Select Committee on Revenue & Public Education is looking at a tax on agency advertising services, media buys in the state, magazine subscriptions and newspaper inserts.

[chicago] Ammirati Puris Lintas, New York, is one of the non-incumbent agencies participating in Ameritech's $100 million-plus corporate review. "Launching a review of this size draws a lot of attention. Agencies are coming out of the woodwork for this one," an Ameritech spokesman said. Roster agencies, including DDB Needham Worldwide and Leo Burnett USA, both Chicago; and Fallon McElligott, Minneapolis, are also participating. Cliff Freeman & Partners, New York, which handles Ameritech Cellular, is also said to be pitching.

[north sioux city, s.d.] Gateway 2000 met with finalists D'Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles, Los Angeles, and J. Walter Thompson USA, Chicago and New York, March 13 and 14. At press time, the PC direct marketer had not announced a winner in the review for a $70 million global agency.

[pittsburgh] H.J. Heinz Co.'s "Project Millenia" restructuring plan loss of the trade program will cost $90 million to $95 million in operating income for the fourth quarter, ending April 30. The jump in ad spending funds a return to TV for Heinz ketchup and added media weight for other products (AA March 3).

[new york] Phillips-Van Heusen awarded TBWA Chiat/Day the $35 million to $40 million account for its Bass, Gant, Izod and Van Heusen brands. A new campaign is expected in September.

[dearborn, mich.] Ford Motor Co. will likely increase product advertising this year, said Robert Rewey, group VP-marketing and sales. The expected rise would come as Ford tries to cut overall worldwide costs by $2.5 billion this year. The automaker spent $413 million in U.S. measured media on its Ford and Lincoln-Mercury brands during the first three quarters of 1996, according to Competitive Media Reporting.

[belmont, calif.] Oral-B Laboratories named Lowe & Partners/SMS, New York, to handle its $15 million account-which could grow to $30 million-previously at BBDO Worldwide, Los Angeles. Lowe said it will open a San Francisco office to serve its new client.

[new york] Nielsen Media Research is releasing a second generation of Direct Access Respondent Tools software. It gives customers direct access to the company's sample base so they can do many reports themselves that previously had to be ordered from Nielsen.

[new york] A Direct Marketing Association survey of the association's 450 catalog members, to be released later this month, shows catalogers are mailing fewer fall/holiday catalogs but improving results. For the 1996 fall/holiday season, 50% of respondents said they mailed more catalogs than the year before, a decrease from the past three years' levels. At the same time, 59% of respondents cited growth in response rates, 56% cited an increase in profits and 52% cited increased unit sales.

[encino, calif.] Video Software Dealers Association will spend $10 million to launch a consumer awareness campaign to drive traffic into video stores. It will include advertising, publicity, point of purchase and cross-promotions with Hollywood studios and consumer product companies.

[troy, mich.] McCann-Erickson Worldwide's office here last week dissolved McCann/SAS, its General Motors Corp. GMC dealer group arm, and formed SAS Partners. The new subsidiary will still handle 48 GMC dealer groups but only ads created with dealer-generated money. McCann will handle work for Pontiac-GMC divisions' matching funds given to dealer groups.

United Auto Group Chairman-CEO Carl Spielvogel resigned effective April 17. He will remain as a consultant until his contract expires Dec. 31, 2000. Vice Chairman Marshall Cogan takes over Mr. Spielvogel's duties. . . . Joel Hochberg to president-chief operating officer, Asher/Gould, Los Angeles, succeeding Bruce Silverman, who left the company. Mr. Hochberg resigned in January from Foote, Cone & Belding, Los Angeles, where he had been exec VP-managing director. . . . Polly Perkins, publishing director of Sports Traveler, is expected this week to sell the title to Petersen Publishing Co. and join the company as president of Petersen's Sport. . . . Tyson Foods is introducing Tyson Gourmet Selections, a four-item line of refrigerated meals designed to compete with take-out food. Consumer promotions, couponing, in-store advertising and sampling will support. Noble & Associates, Springfield, Mo., is Tyson's agency.

. . . Business Week announced changes in its sales department: Harry Somerdyk to senior VP-marketing/brand development from VP-marketing and Constance Bennett to VP-international sales from VP-sales Eastern region. . . . American Home Products Corp. to Grey Advertising, New York, for its approximately $4 million Anacin pain reliever account from Lois/EJL. . . . David Gallo, 57, co-president

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