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AT&T Wireless agency decision expected soon

[redmond, wash.] A decision on AT&T Corp.'s $400 million AT&T Wireless account is anticipated early this month. Three finalists-Interpublic Group of Cos.' FCB Worldwide, New York, Omnicom Group's TBWA/Chiat/Day, Playa del Rey, Calif., and WPP Group's Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide, New York-made presentations to AT&T Wireless executives June 29. FCB, which is defending the account, has worked around the clock on its pitch for nearly four months while continuing to work on the account; ads break July 9 and July 12 heralding the spinoff of AT&T Wireless. Consultant MagiKbox, Cos Cob, Conn., has handled the review. (See article, P. 4.)

Interpublic applies to trademark Magna name

[new york] Interpublic last month applied for a service mark with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office for the name Magna Global for ad-agency services including advertising, marketing, media and art design. Interpublic executives wouldn't confirm the name or how the services will fit into the four pillars of Interpublic's restructured organization, but one executive with knowledge of the company said its affiliated agencies and reporting lines were still being determined. Some executives speculated Magna would be the updated name for the True North network, although others believe Magna will have a role within Interpublic's fourth unit, currently under the working title of Advance Marketing Communications. The Advance unit is expected to include a range of specialty marketing units from sports marketing to training services. Interpublic also has registered for a URL for magnaglobal.com, which will be managed from the U.K., according to Register.com. (See article, P. 4.)

Primedia said to be buying Emap titles

[new york] Primedia could announce a deal for Emap USA as early as today, The Wall Street Journal's WSJ.com reported late June 29, citing a sale price of about $515 million. "No deal has been done," Tom Moloney, Emap PLC's chief operating officer, told Advertising Age, who added "in the current market that would be a very good price, don't you agree?" Emap USA had sought a deal worth at least $600 million. A Primedia spokesman had no comment.

Kia seen hiring Eastwood as marketing chief

[irvine, calif.]As Kia Motors America is poised to announce the hiring of a new marketing chief, talk is swirling the automaker may split with davidandgoliath, Los Angeles. Kia is said to be hiring Tom Eastwood, an ex-Nissan North America vet, as exec VP-sales and marketing. Both Mr. Eastwood and Kia denied that. When asked if the agency was in trouble on the $119 million account, a Kia spokesman said "I wouldn't think so since we haven't hired a new exec VP yet." See AdAge.com for more details.

Pepsi-Lipton to break ads for Matika

[purchase, n.y.] PepsiCo's Pepsi-Lipton partnership will break ads for its new Matika juice-tea soft drink in August, according to executives close to the brand. The rollout will cover print, TV and radio work by WPP's J. Walter Thompson, New York. The non-carbonated high-end beverage will come in five flavors and will hit select markets in August. The agency referred calls to Pepsi, which could not be reached by press time.

Phase2Media plans reduction in staff

[new york.] Online media shop Phase2Media is dramatically scaling back its organization in an effort to find future options for its business. The number of cuts wasn't known at press time, but the company said it would only maintain "a core team of finance, advertising operations and affiliate operations." Company officials declined to comment. Phase2Media laid off 40 people, or 30% of its staff, in April.

Campbell-Ewald wins Michelin account

[greenville, s.c.] Michelin North America awarded its $35 million domestic branding account to Interpublic's Campbell-Ewald, Warren, Mich., after an extensive review. Campbell-Ewald bested sibling shops Carmichael Lynch, Minneapolis, and Martin Agency, Richmond, Va. Specific scope of the assignment is still being decided, but the agency will handle media planning and buying, with some support from sibling Initiative Media for spot broadcast and out-of-home efforts. Michelin, the U.S. unit of No. 2 French tire maker Groupe Michelin, ended its 17-year relationship with DDB Worldwide, New York, in February and is facing a variety of business and marketing challenges. This spring, Michelin inked an agreement with Ford Motor Co. to supply tires for its vast replacement program following Ford's recall of 13 million Firestone-branded tires of Bridgestone/Firestone.

FYI

TMP Worldwide, which runs the Monster.com career site, said it was acquiring rival HotJobs.com in a stock swap valued at $460 million. The HotJobs site will continue to operate separately. ... The Australian Tourist Commission abandoned its single global agency arrangement with Bcom3 Group's D'Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles and split its $17 million account among several shops, including Omnicom's TBWA Worldwide and OMD. ... Reckitt Benckiser shifted the remaining $15 million to $20 million of North American assignments for its household brands to Interpublic's McCann-Erickson, New York. The home-care marketer consolidated its $300 million global account with the agency last year. ... Procter & Gamble Co. is testing its Imina line of skin-care and hair-care products for women of African descent in 20 Dallas stores. No ad agency has been named. ... Acapulco-El Torito Restaurants is in talks with Perceive, Long Beach, Calif., for its anticipated $2 million to $3 million account. ... Silversea Cruises christened Publicis Groupe's Fallon, New York, for an estimated $3 million assignment. Fallon beat Bcom3's Bartle Bogle Hegarty; DiMassimo and Ground Zero, all New York; and Havas Advertising's McKinney & Silver, Raleigh, N.C., and MDC Communications Corp.-backed Crispin, Porter Bogusky, Miami. ... The Academy for Educational Development is meeting with ad agencies about an estimated $35 million effort for Medicare and Medicaid aimed at educating older consumers about their health-care options. ... American Suzuki Motor Corp. kicks off a cross-promotion July 5 with retailer Bed Bath & Beyond. Shoppers can get a $30 gift card at the chain or online for test-driving the XL-7 sport utility and enter a sweepstakes to win the SUV and the retailer's merchandise. The promotion runs through Sept. 10. The automaker hopes to generate 10,000 test drives for the SUV.

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