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Y&R staff moves seen as Lincoln exits Irvine

[irvine, calif.] Some of the 200 Y&R Cos. staffers here that work on client Lincoln Mercury will follow the client when the Ford Motor Co. division moves its headquarters back to Dearborn, Mich., said David Murphy, CEO of the WPP Group unit. Speaking after a meeting of Y&R Cos. staff last week, Mr. Murphy would not say how many Y&R staff will move but said he expected the Irvine office to employ at least 200, including some still on Lincoln Mercury, after the move is complete. He would not disclose current employment totals at Y&R Cos. The Irvine agency still handles Ford's Irvine-based Jaguar and Land Rover accounts, which spent $76 million in measured media through July, according to Taylor Nelson Sofres' CMR. In the same period, CMR said Lincoln Mercury spent $94 million. The office also works for Mattel, Sony Corp. and Yum! Brands' Taco Bell.

New Lexus SUV gets $35 mil TV ad launch

[torrance, calif.] Toyota Motor Sales USA's Lexus launches advertising for its third SUV, the midsize GX 470, on Nov. 18 with a $35 million national broadcast and cable TV campaign from Publicis Groupe's Team One Advertising, El Segundo, Calif. Its theme is "A new kind of adventure begins." Two of five new 30-second spots will air nationally and the others regionally via dealer ad groups. Magazine ads, outdoor in 10 markets and online ads support. Print is slated for January issues of Time4Media's Ski, Conde Nast Publications' Vanity Fair, Conde Nast Traveler and Gourmet and Golf Digest Co.'s Golf Digest.

Sun Microsystems launches global push

[santa clara, calif.] Sun Microsystems Nov. 11 kicks off a global brand campaign in Dow Jones & Co.'s The Wall Street Journal to show corporate technology buyers that Sun is more than a provider of high-end servers. It includes in its launch phase at least a dozen print ads in newspapers, business weeklies and monthlies and it will position Sun as an alternative to rivals such as Dell Computer Corp., Hewlett-Packard Co., IBM Corp. and Microsoft Corp. Interactive and direct marketing also support. No TV is planned this year. Spending was not disclosed. WPP Group's J. Walter Thompson, San Francisco, handles Sun. Grey Global Group's Beyond Interactive and Grey Direct, both San Francisco, handle Sun's interactive and direct marketing.

General Mills shifts D'Arcy brands to Saatchi

[minneapolis] General Mills said four brands, worth roughly $175 million in ad spending, will move to Publicis' Saatchi & Saatchi, New York, from Publicis' D'Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles, New York. New D'Arcy owner Publicis intends to close D'Arcy. The former D'Arcy brands-Pillsbury, Old El Paso, Green Giant and Progresso-join Cheerios and other General Mills brands already at Saatchi. Some D'Arcy employees will join Saatchi, a General Mills spokeswoman said, but offered no specifics. Peter Hubbell, the D'Arcy exec VP-group account director on General Mills, will move to Saatchi, said executives familiar with the situation. The move marks a consolidation of General Mills' $600 million-plus U.S. ad budget within two networks: Saatchi & Saatchi and Interpublic Group of Cos.' Campbell Mithun, Minneapolis.

BK marketers weigh ideas to reignite sales

[miami] Marketers at Diageo's Burger King Corp. are under pressure after sales disappointments since July 1 led to the disclosure last week that the investment groups committed to buy BK from Diageo have asked to renegotiate the $2.26 billion purchase price. After a blitz of new products, BK said it is considering a national push for its trademark Whopper as well as at "regional programs and tailoring local initiatives to appeal to different competitive sets."

Delta `Blue Skies" ads tout its Atlanta hub

[atlanta] Delta Air Lines Nov. 11 launches its "Blue Sky" campaign with ads promoting Delta's frequent service to top business destinations from its Atlanta hub. Publicis' Leo Burnett USA, Chicago, handles. Media include national newsweeklies and Atlanta TV, radio and out-of-home. The campaign is to run through March. Spending was not disclosed.

Universal Pictures sets `franchise' brands unit

[universal city, calif.] Universal Pictures created a new unit, The Brand Group, to create long-term marketing and licensing packages for its franchise theatrical and home video releases, such as "Jurassic Park" and "The Mummy." It will also focus on the Universal brand name. Universal Pictures Senior VP-National Promotions Beth Goss was named exec VP of The Brand Group. Universal Pictures is a unit of Vivendi Universal Entertainment.

OMD overhauls management ranks

[new york] Omnicom Group's media unit, OMD, has overhauled its management ranks, naming Page Thompson chief strategic officer, OMD USA, to the new post of CEO of OMD North America. Monica Karo, managing director OMD West, adds the role of chief strategic officer. Meanwhile, two executives have left: Mike Drake, managing director of the New York office, and Kristina Allen, director of business development.

FYI . . .

Mark McLaughlin on Nov. 11 is to be named president, FCBi, New York, a new post at the interactive and direct marketing unit of Interpublic's Foote, Cone & Belding Worldwide. He had been managing director of Havas' Euro RSCG Circle, New York. Euro RSCG Circle CEO Charlie Tarzian will assume Mr. McLaughlin's responsibilities until a successor is named. ... Final work by Omnicom's GSD&M, Austin, Texas, for Ford Motor Co.'s Land Rover North America will be a teaser TV spot, breaking soon, for the Freelander SE3 model, which goes on sale in a few weeks. The account moved this year to Y&R Cos., Irvine Calif., which will soon break ads in support of "Land Rover Holiday" sales, set to begin around Thanksgiving. Spending was not disclosed. ... An executive at New York printing company Darbert Offset Corp., VP-Sales Steven Briggin, pleaded guilty Nov. 7 in U.S. district court to bid rigging and conspiracy to commit mail fraud involving the payment of kickbacks to a purchasing agent at New York ad agency Impact in exchange for business. ... The new 24-hour College Sports Television cable network said it will locate its headquarters and a 20,000-square foot street-level broadcast center at Chelsea Piers in New York City. The network starts broadcasting Feb. 23. ... Former Gemstar-TV Guide Senior VP Kevin McAuliffe joins Universal Television Group as senior VP-cross-selling initiatives in a newly created cross-selling unit at the Vivendi Universal Entertainment unit. Universal Television Group is the parent division of USA Network, The Sci-Fi Channel and Trio. ... An ad agency executive said an unidentified Gap Inc. stores division is soliciting agency reels for an assignment. Gap Inc. divisions Banana Republic and Old Navy handle advertising in house. Gap stores' coming holiday campaign is handled by Laird & Partners, New York.

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