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Zenith sees deeper ad spending decline

[london] Zenith Media is forecasting a 3.4% drop in worldwide ad spending in 2001 to $327.5 billion, with the U.S. market plummeting 6%. "Our main change since Sept. 11 has been to lose a further 0.5% of U.S. growth in 2001 and a full point in 2002," Zenith said in its Dec. 3 forecast. The U.S. decline will continue in 2002, the media agency said, with ad spending now forecast to fall 1.5%. Zenith's worldwide outlook for 2002 is for growth of 0.8% as other regions escape more lightly than the U.S. Zenith is owned by Publicis Groupe and Cordiant Communications Group.

Wieden, Goodby believed among Saturn finalists

[detroit] General Motors Corp.'s Saturn Corp. said it picked four or five finalists, including incumbent Publicis & Hal Riney, from among 10 undisclosed agencies invited to pitch for next fall's $100-million-plus Ion small car launch. Saturn declined to name the finalists, but they are believed to include two GM roster shops, Bcom3 Group's D'Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles, Troy, Mich. and Interpublic Group of Cos.' McCann-Erickson Worldwide, New York; Omnicom Group's Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, San Francisco; and independent agency Wieden & Kennedy, Portland, Ore. The agencies declined to comment. A decision is due by March 31.

Marketing dept. revamp at Miller Brewing

[milwaukee] Miller Brewing Co. is expected to reorganize its marketing and sales departments, perhaps as soon as this week, according to several people close to the company. There was speculation brand managers for regional brands may move out of Miller's Milwaukee headquarters and into areas where those brands are strong. Miller declined comment but disclosed it is working with consultant Sergio Zyman's Zyman Marketing Group on Miller identity work and brand strategy. The No. 2 U.S. brewer, part of Philip Morris Cos., has been struggling with declining share.

Dentsu up in first day's trading

[tokyo] Dentsu, Japan's biggest ad agency, raised almost $85 million from its initial public offering Nov. 30 on the Tokyo Stock Exchange of 25,000 new shares. In addition, existing investors sold 110,000 shares. Dentsu's share price opened at $3,411 a share and closed at $3,798 in Tokyo.

Rothmans tops RJR bid for Santa Fe Natural

[toronto] Canada's Rothmans bid $353.7 million in cash, stock and debt for Santa Fe Natural Tobacco Co., topping a $320 million cash offer from R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Holdings and Rothmans' own previous offer of $275 million. Privately held Santa Fe markets additive-free niche cigarette Native American Spirit. The Sante Fe board met Nov. 30 to consider the Rothmans and RJR bids.

FYI

WPP Group-backed Luminant Worldwide Corp. is considering a sale or bankruptcy reorganization, management revealed in a quarterly report filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission last month. Management said it did not anticipate cash on hand could support the company for the rest of the year. Luminant executives could not be reached at presstime. ... J. Walter Thompson Co., Chicago, lost its top creative, Executive Creative Director Dennis Ryan, 38, to Omnicom Group, where he will be chief creative officer of the new Chicago-based Omnicom agency being formed to handle PepsiCo's $350 million in Quaker Oats Co. accounts. A successor to Mr. Ryan at JWT was not immediately named. Read more: AdAge.com QwikFind AAM83H. ... Mike Bosman, president-chief operating officer of Interpublic Group of Cos.' Foote, Cone & Belding North America, will leave that post by Christmas, FCB sources said, and the position will not be filled. The New York-based job was created in June 2000 when Mr. Bosman, then chairman-CEO of FCB South Africa, Johannesburg, took the assignment. Mr. Bosman did not return a call seeking comment. ... Layoffs hit three New York agencies. Interpublic's McCann-Erickson cut at least 5% of its creative department, or about six people, said a person familiar with the situation; Interpublic shop Bozell let go 3% of its 420 employees, a person there said; and independent Cliff Freeman & Partners said it let go 12 of its 110 employees. ... Procter & Gamble Co. in January breaks introductory ads for Torengos Tortilla Chips that tout the triangular white-corn chips as "Curved for serious dipping." The brand debuts in stores today. The ad effort, from Bcom3 Group's D'Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles, New York, will include TV and print ads that position the chip as less messy and drippy than other offerings because of its shape. Spending was not disclosed. Like P&G's Pringles, Torengos are stacked in resealable canisters. ... Caribbean Tourism Organization, Barbados, to Ground Zero, Los Angeles and New York, for its $18 million account. ... CNF, Palo Alto, Calif., owner of Emery Worldwide and Menlo Logistics, to Grant, Scott & Hurley, San Francisco, from Citigate, San Francisco. Spending was not disclosed.

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