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Deal expected between G&J, 'Fast Company'

[boston] An agreement is expected as early as this week for Gruner & Jahr USA Publishing to buy Mort Zuckerman's Fast Company. Talks were heated going into the weekend, and signs of a pending sale ranged from one top G&J exec's canceled pre-holiday vacation to an FC staffer's explanation why co-founder and part-owner Alan Webber was unavailable much of Dec. 15: "There's lots of contract stuff going on." One exec cited a price around $225 million. G&J declined to comment.

GM's Olds scraps review for branding assignment

[detroit] General Motors' Oldsmobile division called off its review for a major branding assignment Dec. 15, three days after GM pulled the plug on Olds. It said incumbent Leo Burnett USA, Chicago, would handle all work as GM phases out the brand in the next one to three years. Burnett had pitched against McCann-Erickson Worldwide, Troy, Mich., and E. Morris Communications, Chicago.

DVC wins $20 mil Polaroid account

[cambridge, mass.] Polaroid Corp. awarded its $20 million sales promotion business to DVC Group East, Morristown, N.J. Finalists included TLPartnership, Wilton, Conn., and Leo Burnett NorthStar, Chicago. Communicator, Chicago, was the incumbent. Pile & Co., Boston was the consultant.

USA Network meets with advertisers

[new york] USA Network conducted a series of closed-door meetings with advertisers to get their input on the network's direction, Electronic Media reports today. News of the meetings follows revelations the cable network canceled the making of a TV movie about cyanide-laced Excedrin under pressure from Johnson & Johnson. The advertiser meetings were held under the direction of USA Cable President Stephen Chao. He said the comments from advertisers would "not necessarily guide" the kinds of programming USA puts on the air , but that he was interested in their input.

Congress mulls kids' ad campaign

[washington] Congress late Dec. 15 was expected to approve a $125 million ad campaign aimed at promoting a healthy lifestyle for children (AA, Dec. 4). Senate and House negotiators reached agreement Dec. 14 to include money for the campaign to "communicate messages that help kids develop habits that foster good health over a lifetime."

P&G and Yesmail launch Web magazine

[cincinnati]-Procter & Gamble Co. and Yesmail Dec. 15 debuted online magazine S (www.s-mag.com), billed as offering "Simple ways to get more out of life," including articles and tips on simplifying household chores. The site also has ads featuring offers for samples, sweepstakes or special services from P&G and others.

Envoy delays Leagas Delaney deal

[toronto] Canada's Envoy Communications Group delayed its $85.8 million acquisition of London hot shop Leagas Delaney from January to March 31 due to "market conditions." Envoy's share price has slipped since it announced the deal last month. Envoy Chief Financial Officer Joe Leeder told analysts: "We've extended the closing date to give Envoy the ability to finance this transaction in a better market environment."

Coke to launch casual-clothing line

[atlanta] Coca-Cola Co. said it would launch branded Coca-Cola Wear casual clothing line in the U.S. within the next 18 months to two years. The line includes jackets, jeans and T-shirts. No advertising will accompany the launch.

Vogel to join BBDO's PentaMark agency

[troy, mich.] BBDO Worldwide said Mike Vogel will join its new PentaMark Worldwide agency Dec. 31 as chairman-CEO from FCB Worldwide, Southfield, Mich. He will oversee Daimler- Chrysler Corp.'s estimated $2.4 billion account, won in a shootout with FCB.

Editor calls merger of

gay media `undecided'

[los angeles] The merger, announced last April, between two leading gay media entities-Liberation Publications, publisher of The Advocate, and Internet company PlanetOut-is "undecided," wrote Advocate Editor in Chief Judy Wieder in the magazine's Jan. 16 issue. PlanetOut CEO Megan Smith said the deal will be completed after PlanetOut's pending merger with Gay.com "in whatever form that makes sense." Ms. Smith declined to say if the terms of that deal had changed or may yet, saying that information was confidential. Ms. Wieder did not return calls.

Germany plans to lift

ban on retailer discounts

[berlin] The German Ministry of Justice and Economy will soon repeal the Rabattgesetz law, which only allows retailers to offer discounts of up to 3% during limited sale periods. The law has severely limited the ability of foreign e-tailers to operate in Germany and has held back German online retailers from competing abroad. The Rabattgesetz was one of the first laws passed by the Nazi government, which was keen to protect shopkeepers from competition by larger stores, many of which were owned by Jewish families.

F.Y.I.

The Association of National Advertisers and the American Association of Advertising Agencies issued guidelines for agency review consultants. The recommended rules include requirements that consultants keep information confidential, disclose possible conflicts of interest and refrain from asking agencies to pay fees to participate in a review. . . . The Jelly Belly brand of the Herman Goelitz Candy Co. has four finalists in the review for its estimated $6 million to $7 million advertising account, including Pickett Advertising, Highway One, and Kirshenbaum Bond & Partners West, all San Francisco, and Clear Ink, Walnut Creek, Calif.. . . . Matt Hofherr, 32, was named managing partner, director of business development, at TBWA/Chiat/Day, San Francisco, from the same position at Citron Haligman Bedecarre, San Francisco . . . . Federated Department Stores narrowed the review for its estimated $2 million branding account for its East and West divisions of Macy's to Amster Yard, New York, Arnold Ingalls Moranville, San Francisco, and a possibly a third shop.

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