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Amazon narrows review to Burnett and Wieden

[seattle] Amazon.com apparently has narrowed the review for its $50 million global account to two shops, believed to be Leo Burnett, Chicago, and Wieden & Kennedy, Portland. Other participants include TBWA/Chiat/Day, San Francisco, DDB Worldwide, Chicago, and Leagas Delaney, London and San Francisco. Amazon.com global brand marketing director Becky Roberts said "we aren't commenting on the review." FCB Worldwide, San Francisco, was the incumbent.

Levi Strauss to support regional retail efforts

[san francisco] Levi Strauss & Co. has decided to put some marketing dollars behind the regional efforts of its retailers, a company spokesman said. "We have made a decision to better support retailers on a regional level," the spokesman said, adding, however, the apparel manufacturer has not decided whether it will be cutting back on its national TV buys and shifting to regional print and TV buys instead. Levi's has been upping its media budget in recent months, spending $103 million on ads for the first 11 months of 2000, up from almost $100 million for all of 1999.

Vivendi may sell its Havas brand name

[paris] Havas Advertising may lose its name, now licensed from shareholder Vivendi. Last week Vivendi Chairman Jean-Marie Messier said his company will sell brands or names it owns but considers weak and cited Havas as an example. Havas Chairman Alain de Pouzilhac said, "If he thinks the brand is so weak, maybe we will get [the name] for one franc."

Interpublic may be bidding for True North

[new york] A Securities and Exchange Commission filing raised speculation that Interpublic Group of Cos. is bidding for True North Communications. Interpublic filed a registration statement Feb. 27 regarding its $265 million acquisition of Deutsch, New York, and offered a revised version March 1, which added, "Interpublic is currently engaged in a number of preliminary discussions that may result in one or more substantial acquisitions." True North and Interpublic officials declined to comment.

IBM begins multimillion dollar Linux push

[armonk, n.y.] IBM Corp. this week debuts a six-story billboard in New York's Times Square supporting Linux. The board marks the first wave of a multimillion-dollar effort supporting the free operating system. IBM will tout the Linux message within its "eServer" campaign, created by WPP Group's Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide, New York.

Kellogg to launch Powerpuff Girls cereal

[battle creek, mich.] Kellogg Co., in partnership with Turner Broadcasting System's Cartoon Network, will launch a limited-edition Powerpuff Girls cereal this month. The crisp-rice cereal with "fizz-in-your mouth" rice clusters will get a 30-second spot starting March 26 on the Cartoon Network. Bcom3 Group's Leo Burnett USA, Chicago handles.

CBS, NBC, Fox emerge as sweeps victors

[new york] CBS, Fox and NBC were the winners in the February sweeps period-while ABC was the clear loser. CBS scored big on the back of its reborn Thursday night with "Survivor" and drama "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation." CBS earned an overall-households rating victory with a 9.3, up 2% from last year, as well as improving 10% in the key adults 18-49 demographics, the most prized audience group for advertisers. NBC maintained the top spot for adults 18-49, with a 5.4. But its numbers were down 4% vs. a year ago. Fox was in second place with a 5.2 adults 18-49 number up 8% vs. a year ago. ABC's adults 18-49 numbers fell a big 27% to a 4.4.

4A's, IAB agree on online-media buying terms

[new orleans] The American Association of Advertising Agencies and the Internet Advertising Bureau agreed to terms for online media buying at last week's 4A's Media Conference. The terms-following a marathon negotiation session that began at 5:30 p.m. and ended at 2 a.m. Feb. 28-are expected to be announced this week.

Court overturns FCC rules on cable ownership

[washington] In a case brought by what is now AOL Time Warner's Time Warner Entertainment, a three-member panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit unanimously overturned Federal Communications Commission rules that block any single company from owning cable systems reaching more than 30% of cable subscribers nationally and preventing cable owners from using more than 40% of their systems for their own channels.

FYI

Apple Computer, Cupertino, Calif., this week breaks a TV campaign for its latest crop of iMacs. The ads, via Omnicom's TBWA/Chiat/Day, Playa Del Rey, showcases iMacs in new colors. ... Steven Thibodeau, managing director-operations at Scient Corp., New York, joins Kirshenbaum Bond & Partners unit Dotglu as president. ... Christine Miller was named exec-VP for marketing for Discovery Networks, U.S., from exec-VP and chief marketing officer for Discovery.com. ... Pickett Advertising, San Francisco, acquired tech-ad agency Winkler Advertising

...Stephen Blacker, senior VP-market research for Conde Nast Publications, is leaving to form a start-up called Marketing and Media Solutions. He will be replaced by Scott C. McDonald, 49, director of research at AOL Time Warner ... Verizon Information Services, Dallas, tapped Interpublic's Deutsch, New York, for its estimated $30 million to $50 million national SuperPages business-directory account ... U.S. Bankruptcy Court is expected to approve the sale of the Drypers brand and Drypers Corp.'s North American operations to Hong Kong diaper maker DSG International, for $38.5 million. Drypers has a 3% share of the $4 billion U.S. disposable-diaper category. ... Georgia-Pacific Corp. will roll out Dixie Rinse & ReUse disposable plates nationally May 6, backed by an estimated $10 million in TV, radio and print from Omnicom Group's DDB Worldwide, New York.

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