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Ad-agency jobs see first increase in a year

[washington] U.S. ad-agency employment rose in June for the first time in a year, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Agency staffing rose 0.7% to 183,600 in June, returning employment to the level of March 2002 in the first month-over-month gain since June 2001 (see TurnSignals, P. 8). However, Interpublic Group of Cos., grappling with slumping revenue, this quarter is cutting 700 more jobs worldwide, or about 1.3% of staff, on top of the 6,800 eliminated in a restructuring begun a year ago. Interpublic employed 52,300 people as of June 30; a spokesman said most people affected by the new cuts already have been told.

American Express breaks U.S. Open effort

[new york] American Express Co. breaks a campaign this week to support its sponsorship of the U.S. Open tennis championship. The effort, from WPP Group's Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide, is the card's largest U.S. Open effort in its five-year-old sponsorship and the first one to include TV spots. The campaign includes print, outdoor and online efforts and promotions featuring tennis champions including Monica Seles and Jennifer Capriati.

Wunderman, Ogilvy, Draft in United review

[chicago] Agencies participating in the $50 million loyalty-program review for UAL Corp.'s ailing United Airlines include WPP siblings Young & Rubicam's Wunderman Worldwide and Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide's OgilvyOne, as well as Interpublic's DraftWorldwide, all Chicago, according to executives with knowledge of the review. Draft and Ogilvy declined to comment. Executives at Wunderman could not be reached. Incumbent Brierley & Partners, Chicago, Dallas and Los Angeles, which is 20% owned by WPP, would not "comment or speculate on the business affairs of any of our clients, including United Airlines," said Brierley President Micky Houston. Triad Consulting Corp., Troy, Mich., is handling the review. Neither Triad nor United would comment.

Jim Beam seeks advice from agencies

[Deerfield, Ill.] Future Brands' Jim Beam Brands Co. is hearing advertising insight from agencies, putting into question its three-year relationship with its agency of record, Y&R Advertising, Chicago, according to a person close to the situation. Y&R referred calls to the client. The marketer, which hired Tom Hernquist as senior VP-marketing this spring, did not return calls seeking comment, and Mr. Hernquist could not be reached. Jim Beam Brands spent $18 million on measured media last year and $9 million in the first five months of this year, according to Taylor Nelson Sofres' CMR.

McDonald's awaits approval on settlement

[oakbrook, ill.] McDonald's Corp. on Sept. 17 will learn whether a Cook County, Ill., Circuit Court judge will approve a preliminary agreement to settle various class-action suits resulting from last year's promotional game scandal. If approved, McDonald's plans to give away 15 $1 million prizes in a sweepstakes similar to the $10 million make-good game conducted last fall. It expects to run the giveaway around the end of 2002 or beginning of 2003 and will have awarded the entire $25 million originally stolen in the fraud scheme. Legal notices of the proposed settlement have begun appearing in major publications, including USA Today and Parade. McDonald's declined to comment. QwikFIND aan89k

Arena Football inks NBC deal, rolls out new logo

[new york] The Arena Football League, heading into its 17th season in February armed with a multiyear national broadcast deal with General Electric Co.'s NBC, is rebranding itself with a new logo. The AFL's deal with NBC, its first with a broadcast network, calls for both sides to split revenue from the broadcasts. NBC will also get 5% of any future growth of AFL franchises, currently valued between $6 million and $12 million.

Hyundai dealers tap Richards as agency

[Dallas] The four Hyundai Motor America Dealer Advertising Associations selected independent Richards Group, Dallas, as agency of record. The shop won creative for the South Korean automaker in May. Billings for the two accounts is $360 million, according to Richards. Dealer ads from Richards break in October on TV, radio, print, outdoor and point of sale. Aegis Group's Carat North America continues to handle media. The dealer groups' separate contracts with Hyundai's former creative shop, Cordiant Communications Group's Bates USA West, Irvine, Calif., were to expire Sept. 30, though Bates earlier had resigned.

FYI . . .

The New York Times is adding semi-regular features to its New York Times Magazine. They are "Portfolio," 10 consecutive pages of photography; "Diagnosis," which traces a doctor's thought processes on specific cases; "Crash Course," which features experts on news topics; and "Domains," a visual feature focusing on celebrities' and newsmakers' interiors. "Diagnosis" makes its debut Sept. 8. ... The University of Miami broke a campaign for its football team aimed at increasing home-game attendance. The effort, from MARC USA, Pittsburgh, portrays the players in anime-style as having superhuman powers. ... Novartis Consumer Health consolidated business for over-the-counter cold remedies Triaminic and TheraFlu at DDB Corbett, the health-care unit of Omnicom Group's DDB Worldwide. The accounts had been at Havas' Arnold McGrath Worldwide, New York. ... Yum Brands' Yum Restaurants International named Randy Gier, 41, chief marketing officer from chief marketing officer of Pizza Hut. ... Cadbury Schweppes will launch an in-store promotion for Yoo-hoo that entreats skateboarders, in-line skaters and bikers to "Stick it Down Under." Cadbury units Mott's and Snapple Beverage Group-each of which hold responsibility for different Yoo-hoo items-will partner for a sweepstakes offering a trip to Australia to hang out with pro skater Jaren Grob. ... Campbell Soup Co. signed a partnership with Olympic figure skater Sara Hughes to feature the gold medalist on more than 150 million labels of chicken-noodle soup and to act as the first spokesperson for its Labels for Education program. ... Emirates Airline, Dubai, United Arab Emirates, narrowed its review to two shops: Mad Dogs & Englishmen, New York, and Leagas Delaney, San Francisco.

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