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[NEW YORK] The National Collegiate Athletic Association said it forced Viacom's CBS to pull a Miller Lite "Catfight" sequel commercial from its April 5 telecast of the "Final Four" NCAA men's basketball semifinals and from tonight's national championship game because it was too racy. WPP's Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide, New York, handles Miller Lite. A spokesman for SABMiller's Miller Brewing Co. said CBS didn't pull the spot because Miller already had decided to postpone all new "Catfight" ads because of the war. He said he did not know why the NCAA objected to a spot that ended with two men in a mud-pit.

Hearst eyes `Cosmo TV' as new U.S. channel

[los angeles] Hearst Corp. has put on the fast track development of plans to bring its Cosmopolitan Television channel to the U.S., Ad Age sibling TelevisionWeek reports today. Cosmopolitan Television is the top-rated women's network in Spain, where it was launched three years ago. Last July, it premiered in Latin America as well.

RJR cutting event work, `reallocates' resources

[WINSTON-SALEM, N.C.] R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., "reallocating" marketing resources, split with at least one of its events and promotions agencies amid reports it is exiting the event and field marketing arena. In February, RJR said it intends to withdraw as title sponsor of Nascar's Winston Cup racing series because of changed "business dynamics." The Group III Promotions events and promotions unit of Interpublic Group of Cos.' DraftWorldwide, a Camel agency since 1982, said it was told last week it had been cut from the RJR roster. Other RJR agencies declined to comment or could not be reached. RJR declined to comment on agency terminations but said it has been "reallocating some of our resources to make our marketing more efficient and effective."

Toyota opens $65 mil campaign for Sienna

[torrance, calif.] Toyota Motor Sales USA breaks a $65 million ad blitz on national TV today for its second-generation Sienna minivan. "Kids rule" is the theme. Publicis Groupe's Saatchi & Saatchi, Los Angeles, created four TV spots taken from kids' points of view. In an integrated push with Time Inc.'s Time for Kids, targeting 6-to-12-year olds, the Sienna will be the sole advertiser in three issues, promoting a sweepstakes, family vacation planner, free film screenings at Regal Cinema theaters and book club tour with Barnes & Noble.

Dell brand chief exits for SBC post

[round rock, texas] VP-Global Brand Strategy Scott Helbing is leaving Dell Computer Corp. to join telecom services giant SBC Communications as senior VP-consumer marketing, Dell and SBC said. Mr. Helbing, who managed Dell's agency relationships, most recently with Omnicom Group's DDB Worldwide, Chicago, was responsible for Dell's enterprise ad campaigns and spearheaded the popular "Steven" consumer ad effort. No successor was immediately named.

Unilever exec takes Olive Garden position

[orlando] Darden Restaurants' Olive Garden named Unilever executive John Caron, 45, to be exec VP-marketing, a vacant post. Mr. Caron was VP-general manager for Unilever Best Foods North America. Grey Global Group's Grey Worldwide, New York, handles Olive Garden.

`Atlantic Monthly's' Kelly killed covering Iraq war

[boston] Atlantic Monthly editor at large and Washington Post columnist Michael Kelly was killed April 3 in what the Post said was a vehicle accident while covering the Iraqi war with the U.S. Army's Third Infantry Division. Mr. Kelly, 46, an award-winning editor and writer, was the first U.S. journalist to die in the Iraqi campaign. Mr. Kelly won a National Magazine Award in 1992 for his writings in The New Republic on the 1991 Iraqi war. He went on to write for The New York Times, The New Yorker and the Washington Post and served as editor of The New Republic before being named editor at the National Journal and The Atlantic Monthly. See AdAge.com QwikFIND aao57g .

IPG says board could appoint new auditor

[new york] Interpublic Group of Cos. told shareholders it may replace PricewaterhouseCoopers, its auditor since 1952. Interpublic's proxy statement asks shareholders to confirm PWC's appointment for 2003 but explicitly notes the board "may still appoint new independent auditors at any time during the year if it believes that such a change would be in the best interests of Interpublic and its stockholders." Interpublic declined to comment.

FYI . . .

American Chemistry Council awarded a $50 million integrated image campaign assignment to WPP's Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide, with Ogilvy PR, Ogilvy One and Ogilvy Interactive, all New York, after a review. ... Kirk Souder, co-founder of Los Angeles agency Ground Zero, was named president-executive creative director at Publicis Groupe's Publicis & Hal Riney, the agency said. He assumes duties previously held by Publicis & Hal Riney President Scott Marshall, who becomes CEO. Agency founder Hal Riney was named chairman emeritus last June. ... ATA Holding Corp.'s ATA Airlines, Indianapolis, shifted its $25 million account to Romani Brothers, Chicago, from Publicis Groupe's Publicis, New York. Romani Brothers was opened last month by Bernie Pitzel, who headed the ATA account when it was previously at Pitzel & Pollack Advertising, Chicago. ... Discount retailer Meijer awarded its $46 million advertising account to DeVito/Verdi, New York, said executives familiar with the situation. See AdAge.com QwikFIND aao56v ... PepsiCo ended a five-year relationship with WPP's J. Walter Thompson in mainland China as part of the cola marketer's global alignment with Omnicom Group. Pepsi is moving Pepsi and Miranda to BBDO's Shanghai joint-venture, BBDO CNUAC. ... Kipp Cheng, 34, was named VP-public affairs, American Association of Advertising Agencies, New York, effective April 28, from managing editor of Allegiant Media's DiversityInc, New Brunswick, N.J. He succeeds senior VP-public affairs John Wolfe, now executive editor of Hearst Magazines' House Beautiful. ... Western Wireless awarded its estimated $15 million account to Publicis' Publicis in Mid America, Dallas, after a review, said executives close to the matter.

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