[auburn hills, mich.] Chrysler Group will announce Nov. 5 it has inked a deal with Celine Dion for its Chrysler brand vehicles. The pact includes her appearance in at least one TV spot, according to an executive close to the situation. The singer's love songs match the brand's "Drive=Love" ad tag from Omnicom Group's BBDO Worldwide, Troy, Mich. Chrysler declined to comment. Last year, Dodge inked a multi-million-dollar deal with Aerosmith, sponsoring the band's tour and using its music in ads. That deal, and the Dion project, were handled by Omnicom's Arnell Group, New York.
Levi Strauss taps FCB for Signature jeans
[san francisco] Advertising for Levi Strauss & Co.'s new discount-store brand, Levi Strauss Signature jeans, was assigned to Levi Strauss roster shop Foote, Cone & Belding Worldwide, San Francisco, an Interpublic Group of Cos. unit. FCB had been the Levi's brand jeans agency until 1998. Publicis Groupe-backed Bartle Bogle Hegarty, New York, now handles the Levi's jeans brand. Spending for Signature, sold in Wal-Mart Stores, was not disclosed, although work will initially be limited to in-store efforts.
Nike opens holiday advertising push
[beaverton, ore.] Nike broke its major holiday ad effort Nov. 3 with a commerical tagged "Made to move." In the spot, cross-country runners are dramatically depicted in a style meant to evoke wild horses. Two other TV ads break later. Independent shop Wieden & Kennedy, Portland, Ore., handles. Spending was expected to exceed $10 million.
Universal McCann joins Richemont media roster
[london] Luxury-goods marketer Richemont awarded an estimated $50 million media buying and planning account, covering North America plus Latin America/ Caribbean, to Universal McCann, New York, a unit of Interpublic's McCann-Erickson World Group, after a review, said Universal McCann. The agency will create a separate buying group for Richemont. Incumbent Plaza Advertising, Richemont's in-house marketing agency, will continue to work on co-op business with Universal McCann. WPP Group's Mediaedge:CIA and Omnicom's OMD, both Richemont roster shops outside the U.S., also competed for the assignment. Interpublic's Avrett Free & Ginsberg, creative shop for Richemont's Van Cleef & Arpels brand, participated in the review with Universal McCann and will add media planning for that brand and for Richemont's Mont Blanc. Richemont did not return calls.
McDonald's to unify $25 mil Boston biz
[oak brook, ill.] McDonald's Corp. is expected to name a single winning agency for a $25 million consolidated account involving five co-ops that make up its Boston region. A shootout between the incumbents on the business, Publicis' Leo Burnett USA, Chicago, and Havas' Arnold Worldwide, Boston, initially ended in a stalemate last week, keeping the ad assignments divided between the two agencies. People close to the situation later said, however, that McDonald's is now expected to name a single winner.
Reebook launches `NBA' line of shoes
[new york] Reebok International introduces its National Basketball Association-branded shoe this week, supported by a TV campaign from Omnicom's Arnell Group, New York. Spending was not disclosed. Reebok's NBA Master Link and NBA Denial, the first two styles in the line, are in the $70-to-$75 price range and feature the NBA logo. Chicago Bulls star Jalen Rose will wear the Denial sneaker this year and appears in the first TV spot. A third shoe, the Mad Talent, will be introduced next year. The NBA shoe is part of a 10-year, $200 million deal Reebok signed with the NBA last year.
Novartis, Vlasic award business to Grey
[new yorK] Novartis CIBA Vision and Pinnacle Food Corp.'s Vlasic Pickles and Condiments awarded ad assignments to Grey Global Group's Grey Worldwide, New York. Grey's New York and Duesseldorf, Germany, offices will handle a global assignment for CIBA Vision, previously at Publicis' Publicis, New York. Spending was not disclosed. The estimated $10 million Vlasic account was awarded after a review involving Mezzina Brown & Partners and Interpublic's Hill, Holliday, Connors, Cosmopulos, both New York, and Top Spin, Princeton, N.J. Interpublic's FCB, New York, was the incumbent.
NFC, AFC title games get later start times
[new york] Start times for the Jan. 19 National Football League conference championship games were pushed back to 3 P.M. (on News Corp.'s Fox) and 6:30 P.M. (on Viacom's CBS) in a bid for bigger TV audiences. Previously, the championship games started at 12:30 P.M. and 4:30 P.M.
At least 20 staffers were laid off last week at Forbes Inc., including about a dozen at Forbes.com, representing more than 10% of that unit's staff. Forbes Magazine Group President Jim Berrien declined to comment on the cutbacks, but said he "guaranteed" Forbes magazine would finish the year as the ad page leader in its category, thanks in part to its upcoming 85th anniversary issue. ... John Lauck, 46, was named president, Arby's Franchisee Association, the marketing arm of the Triarc Cos. restaurant chain, from chief marketing officer of GroceryWorks.com, recently sold to Safeway. He succeeds Lloyd Fritzmeyer, now exec VP-sales and marketing, Garden Fresh Restaurant Corp. Doner, Southfield, Mich., handles Arby's. ... American Isuzu Motors, with sales and ad spending down, parted with Omnicom's Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, San Francisco, and shifted creative to Akron, Ohio-based retail shop Malone Advertising. Isuzu, partly owned by General Motors Corp., declined to comment. Malone said its first campaign will break at the end of the year for Isuzu's new Ascender sport utility vehicle. Spending was not disclosed. Isuzu media planning and buying remains at Publicis' General Motors Planworks and Interpublic's General Motors Mediaworks. ... Arnold Worldwide, Boston, has ended consideration of acquiring parts of the New York operation of Panoramic Communications' Earle Palmer Brown, executives close to the situation said. ... Natural-cereal marketer Kashi Co. planning a multimedia branding push, assigned its account to Amazon Advertising, San Francisco, 35% owned by Leo Burnett. Spending was not disclosed. ... General merchandise and food retailer Meijer is contacting agencies about its ad account, an executive familiar with the situation said. Meijer did not return calls. It spent an estimated $16 million in measured media from January to June this year, according to Taylor Nelson Sofres' CMR.