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Maserati to tap AG for

$10 million ad account

[englewood cliffs, n.j.] Ferrari North America's Maserati unit is expected to name Interpublic Group of Cos.' AG Worldwide, New York, this week as agency of record for its estimated $10 million account. The agency declined comment. After an 11-year absence, the Italian luxury carmaker will return to the U.S. in 2002 with the $75,000 3200 GT coupe. AG Worldwide handles other European luxury accounts including Chanel, Davidoff and Fendi.

Wieden lays off 38;

Clear Ink cuts staffs

[portland, ore.] Wieden & Kennedy April 6 laid off 38 employees, or 12% of its 230 staffers in Portland and New York, citing the slumping economy. This was the independent ad agency's first staff cut since 37 people were terminated in June 1998 after Nike reduced spending. In other West Coast job cuts, Clear Ink, Walnut Creek, Calif., laid off 15 employees, or 10% of its staff.

P&G launches Pampers bibs online

[cincinnati] Procter & Gamble Co. has launched Pampers Bibsters disposable bibs for sale online through its and Web sites. P&G in the past year has begun selling several new products online as a prelude to ultimate national retail launches, but a spokeswoman wouldn't comment on plans for a further rollout. P&G last week also launched online sales of its Tempo handkerchief brand in the U.S., with plans for retail rollout later this year or next. Bcom3 Group's D'Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles, New York, is agency for Pampers and Tempo.

Mazda North America to hike TV buy 45%

[irvine, calif.] Mazda North American Operations will increase its TV media buy by 45% this year vs. 2000. The brand spent $127 million in TV in 2000, according to Taylor Nelson Sofres' CMR. A new :30 for the 626 sedan from Doner, Southfield, Mich., arrives this week on national network and cable TV, with the MPV's new :30 due next week. They'll air through April before a new Protege spot breaks in May. Kristin Simmons, marketing director at Mazda, said there's no print for the two new spots because "this message is so emotional" it needs TV to convey it. Both spots will return to the rotation later in the year and continue the umbrella "Zoom. Zoom" brand theme.

Volkswagen considers Havas/McKinney deal

[paris] Havas Advertising could ink a deal as early as this week to buy McKinney & Silver, the traditional ad agency unit of troubled MarchFirst, as expected (AA, March 26). Analysts have estimated the deal at $30 million to $35 million. The agency that handles Volkswagen AG's Audi of America account likely will be folded into Havas' Arnold Worldwide Partners network instead of its flagship agency Arnold Worldwide, Boston, which handles the German automaker's Volkswagen of America. Raleigh, N.C.-based McKinney would report to Arnold Worldwide Partners Chairman-CEO Ed Eskandarian and would not change its name, according to insiders. Volkswagen initially did not want Audi to be part of Arnold for fear the $71 million account would be dwarfed by $350 million Volkswagen business. If a deal is delayed, insiders said, it will be because of the complexity of a deal that involves a company in danger of bankruptcy. MarchFirst has laid off thousands of employees, and its stock closed April 6 at 9 cents per share, down more than 99% from its 52-week high. Mr. Eskandarian and McKinney executives did not return telephone calls seeking comment.

CDC asks ad agencies for proposal

[atlanta] The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which late last year won $125 million from Congress to promote healthy lifestyles and exercise to tweens and their parents, asked ad agencies for proposals to develop a plan to use the money in an integrated effort that would combine advertising, public relations and events reaching out to local groups and schools. CDC said it would offer separate contracts to minority agencies to develop campaigns. CDC offered no requirement that media companies match every paid ad with a free ad, as mandated in the anti-drug campaign of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy. Although CDC has money for only a one-year program, it offered a contract for up to five years, hoping Congress would continue the program. Ad agencies must submit proposals by May 4.

Worst marketing year since `91

[new york] This year is shaping up to be the worst year for marketing and media since the recession year of 1991, according to Lehman Brothers. Analyst Kevin Sullivan started covering the sector with a forecast of 2% advertising growth in 2001, due to the slowing economy, compared to 10% growth last year. Agency consolidation will continue, driven by "the need for global scale to serve clients," said Mr. Sullivan. Clients, who now have three agencies on average, will also consolidate agency rosters, which will benefit the global holding companies, according to Mr. Sullivan's analysis.


Hewlett-Packard Co. this week launches two global print campaigns promoting printers and other business offerings, via Publicis Groupe's Publicis & Hal Riney, San Francisco. ... Omnicom Group's TBWA Worldwide has given TBWA/Chiat/Day, New York, President Carl Johnson the additional title of chief operating officer of TBWA Worldwide; TBWA/Chiat/Day, Los Angeles, President Tom Carroll takes the additional role of president of the Americas. ... Freedom Technology Media Group will stop publishing the 18-year-old print edition of Home Office Computing, effective with the April issue. ... Stewart Alter to exec VP-corporate strategy and communications at Interpublic's McCann-Erickson WorldGroup, New York, from senior VP-director of corporate communications at McCann-Erickson Worldwide, New York. Earlier in his career, Mr. Alter was a senior editor at Advertising Age. ... True North Communications' Temerlin McClain named Andy Ravan global account director for the Nortel Networks account, from account director at Delaney Lund Knox Warren & Partners, London. ... Ford Motor Co.'s Land Rover South Africa is now placing "apology" ads for a controversial print ad depicting a semi-nude African woman with artificially elongated breasts blown sideways in the tailwind of a Land Rover Freelander.

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