[culver city, calif.] WPP Group's Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide laid off 10 of its 130 staff members, becoming one of the latest agencies to cut back. Another, AKQA, San Francisco, formerly Citron Haligman Bedecarre, cut as many as three dozen of the 170 employees in its San Francisco office. Separately, Fleishman Hillard's Chicago office laid off 12 staff members on April 19, confirmed Robert McEwen, general manager of the Omnicom Group public relations unit. He said the office, which handles such clients as SBC, Ameritech, Kellogg Co. and Abbott Laboratories, was one of a "handful among the 77 offices" to make such a cut over the past three months.
Daewoo to pick AOR, double ad spending
[compton, calif.] Daewoo Motor America expects to pick an agency of record as soon as this week after a quiet review for its estimated $90 million account, more than double its 2000 spending. The finalists, all in California, are: Sagon-Phior, Sherman Oaks; E Squared and 4X4, both Los Angeles. All prior ads were done on a project basis. The South Korean car importer in 1997 tapped four regional shops, but changed strategy. Earlier this month, Daewoo named Mendoza Dillon and Asociados, Newport Beach, Calif., its first Hispanic agency of record. Separately, Daewoo inked a deal with Emap USA, Los Angeles. B&C Advertising, Los Angeles, created a print ad, arriving in the July issue of Motor Trend magazine. The ad will promote Daewoo's first U.S. sweepstakes, seeking a name for its upcoming minivan, now code-named U100.
GM, American Isuzu to consolidate media
[detroit] John Middlebrook, VP-general manager of vehicle brand marketing and advertising at General Motors Corp., said GM is working with American Isuzu Motors to consolidate its media buying at Interpublic Group of Cos.' General Motors Mediaworks, Warren, Mich. GM, which owns 49% of Japan's Isuzu Motors Ltd., said last week the money-losing Tokyo carmaker will announce a restructuring plan in May. Mr. Middlebrook also said Subaru of America, in which GM holds a 20% stake, won't be part of the media consolidation.
Saab USA goes with Lowe Lintas
[norcross, ga.] Saab Cars USA said Lowe Brindfors, Stockholm, won't open an office nearby to service its $30 million U.S. account. Instead, the account will be handled by Interpublic Group of Cos.' sibling Lowe Lintas & Partners, New York. Separately, in a belt-tightening move, Saab offered early-retirement packages to 20% of its 180 U.S. staffers, although few ad staffers are impacted. Lowe, New York, handles GM's estimated $200-million GMC truck account. GM also owns Sweden's Saab AB. Saab consolidated its global account at Lowe Brindfors in January, a loss of the U.S. account for Interpublic's Martin Agency, Richmond, Va.
Kids' TV upfront season off to stagnant start
[new york] The weakly anticipated $800 million kids' TV upfront season is off to such a stagnant start that media buyers expect to be able to demand 1% to 5% decreases in rates this year. Presentations from several kids' programmers are currently under way. But Nickelodeon is ahead of the pack, thanks to deals struck last spring to sell a sizable percentage of its upfront inventory in two-year deals for this current season and next year (the 2001-2002 season), according to advertising executives. Nickelodeon executives would not comment. (See AdAge.com for more.)
Updated FTC report on violence to be released
[washington] Seven months after a Federal Trade Commission report blasted the movie, video-game and music industries for marketing adult-rated violent content to kids, the FTC this week unveils an update to the report that threatens to quickly rekindle the Congressional firestorm. One person familiar with new report's details said the update wouldn't be as extensive as the September report, but would track the effect of changes made by the entertainment industry after the initial report. However, it couldn't be determined whether the new report will conclude those changes have been sufficient. (See AdAge.com for more.)
PentaMark to announce appointments
[troy, mich.] Omnicom's BBDO Worldwide will announce April 23 the executive titles for its recently formed PentaMark Worldwide, which won Chrysler Group's consolidated, global $1.8 billion creative and media account last fall. Under the current structure, the agencies handling the account are PentaCom, BBDO and InterOne Marketing Group. They will apparently all disappear under the new agency, which declined comment.
MindShare wins $50 mil Symantec account
[cupertino, calif.] The Los Angeles office of WPP's MindShare has been awarded the worldwide media agency of record account worth $50 million for Internet security outfit Symantec's Consumer Products Division and Symantec's Enterprise Solutions Division. The company is well known for creating software such as the Norton Antivirus program. The account will be overseen by MindShare, Los Angeles, with regional operations based in Europe, Australia, and Japan.
Compaq readies new global brand campaign
[houston] Compaq Computer Corp. is putting the finishing touches on a global brand campaign and is set to break the first elements by May 3, said a spokeswoman. True North Communications' FCB Worldwide, New York, handles the account, with billings estimated at $350 million. The new effort is expected to move beyond the "Inspiration Technology" positioning to showcase the benefits of Compaq business solutions. The company all but disappeared from TV since last year except for direct response-style spots for its Presario consumer PC line.
True North costs Interpublic $2.34 billion
[new york] True North Communications will cost Interpublic a $2.34 billion, and the deal ends the years of bidding among Interpublic and four other companies, according to documents filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission. In a registration statement for the 67.7 million shares of stock used in the deal, True North reveals discussions with four unidentified suitors from 1998 to 2001. The statement also discloses talks in 1999 between True North management and a private equity firm about taking the agency private in a management buyout. (See AdAge.com for more.)
Volkswagen readies Internet radio station
[auburn hills, mich.] Volkswagen of America is readying an Internet radio station that will play music from its TV commercials by Havas Advertising's Arnold Worldwide, Boston. The site at (www.radiovw.com) will air around the clock. The automaker was among the first in its industry to use obscure music in its TV ads. One of earliest examples is the 1997 Golf commercial, which used the out-of-print song "Da da da," from a German band.
Samsung breaks first-ever global campaign
[seoul, south korea] Samsung Electronics on April 21 broke its first global brand campaign, an estimated $400 million effort created by True North's FCB Worldwide, New York. The first several 30-second TV spots planned broke on CNN, VH1, ESPN and TNT and on NBA basketball on NBC. The inaugural spot, entitled "Anthem," features a multi-ethnic cast engaging with Samsung products including a flat screen TV monitor, MP3 player, and watch phone. The tagline, "DigitALL, Everyone's Invited," appears at the end of the spot. Additional spots, plus print and interactive ads break in coming weeks in North America, before rolling out in 30 countries. (See AdAge.com for more.)
Lombardi joins McCann-Erickson
[san francisco] Dante Lombardi, 35, an associate creative director on Hewlett-Packard and other accounts at Omnicom's Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, San Francisco, has joined Interpublic's McCann-Erickson, San Francisco, as exec VP-executive creative director on Microsoft. Mr. Lombardi will partner with Walt Connelly, exec VP-executive creative director, as the lead creative team on Microsoft under Kevin Moehlenkamp, chief creative officer and exec VP.
Best Buy Co. has selected Digitas, Boston, to handle its digital and interactive work, previously handled by Omnicom's DDB interactive unit, Tribal DDB. An executive at Tribal confirmed the account move. Digitas declined to comment, and billings were unavailable. ... Jack Rotherham left Wenner Media April 20 after a short stint as exec VP-group publisher. ... The Walt Disney Co. will be folding its Mr. Showbiz and Wall of Sound sites in favor of running the two sites' content on the site of US Weekly (usweekly.lycos.com), a Disney spokeswoman confirmed. In February, Disney bought a 50% stake in the Wenner Media magazine. ... Jason Klein, 40, CEO of Time Inc.'s Time4 Media unit (formerly Times Mirror Magazines), left the company April 20. His replacement will be Mark Ford. ... Gardner Geary Coll is said to be joining with another San Francisco shop, Katsin/Loeb. ... Pennzoil-Quaker State Co.'s Jiffy Lube International sent requests for proposals out to 13 undisclosed agencies for its estimated $8 million account. ... Consultant Wanamaker Associates received proposals from undisclosed agencies for Cingular Wireless' direct-response business. The review will most likely be narrowed to six direct shops this week, according to people close to the situation. A final decision is anticipated by the end of May or early June.