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Publicis shifts H-P media to Optimedia

[san francisco] Publicis Groupe, responding to Hewlett-Packard Co. concerns following the agency group's acquisition of Saatchi & Saatchi, has shifted media buying on the tech giant's estimated $150 million to $200 million account to Publicis' Optimedia from Saatchi's Zenith Media, executives familiar with the situation said. Publicis also has formed a new entity, headquartered here and headed by Worldwide Account Director Harry Corsham, to handle regional implementation of Hewlett's global brand campaign from Goodby, Silverstein & Partners.

Winn-Dixie reviewing media, brand accounts

[jacksonville, fla.] Winn-Dixie Stores is looking at media specialists to handle its estimated $55 million media business, said executives close to the review. The supermarket chain also is reviewing brand agencies for its ad account. Agency of record Cook Marketing Communications remains a contender in both. Empower MediaMarketing in Cincinnati and Carat USA in Memphis, Tenn., are media contenders. Spokesmen at Cook and Winn-Dixie confirmed the review but would not name other participants.

`Business Week' starts $10 mil review

[new york] McGraw-Hill Cos.' Business Week is in the initial stages of a $10 million account review. The incumbent is Draft Worldwide, Chicago. Several agencies, including Korey, Kay & Partners, have been contacted.

Gap picks Modernista! for holiday ads

[san francisco] The Gap Inc. has hired Boston startup shop Modernista! to help its in-house agency develop a holiday advertising campaign, executives familiar with the situation said. A Gap spokeswoman would only confirm that an agency had been hired for two months on a project basis.

Sovereign, Arnold split after 6 months

[boston] Sovereign Bank New England and Arnold Integrated Solutions, a division of Arnold Worldwide, are parting at the end of November after just six months. Arnold handled creative for the estimated $9 million account, although the agency would not confirm the account's size. Sovereign said it wanted to consolidate its account, and Arnold could not participate because it handles PNC Bank out of the agency's McLean, Va., office. LevLane, Bala-Cynwyd, Pa., is Sovereign's other agency.

Verizon chooses wireless finalists

[new york] Verizon Communications will meet this week with agencies competing for its $300 million media buying account, as well as the three newly selected finalists for its $50 million Wireless Northeast regional account. Berenter Greenhouse & Webster, New York; Hill, Holliday, Boston; and Lowe Lintas & Partners Worldwide, Chicago, are contenders in the Northeast business. MediaCom, MindShare and Zenith Media, all New York; and Richards Group, Dallas, are among those in the media review. Verizon executives declined to comment.

Choice opens $40 mil agency search

[silver spring, md.] Choice Hotels International has launched a review for its estimated $35 million to $40 million account, which includes the Comfort, Quality, Clarion and Econo Lodge brands. The review, expected to include East Coast agencies, was prompted by the arrival of Wayne Wielgus as senior VP-marketing from Best Western International. Incumbent Gray Kirk/VanSant, Baltimore, hasn't decided whether to defend. Bajkowski & Partners, New York, is handling the review.

Subway works fast on Series ads

[milford, conn.] Subway Restaurants quickly snagged ad time for the first two games of the World Series on Fox, but was scrambling Oct. 20 for topical creative for the "subway series" matchup between New York's Mets and Yankees beginning Oct. 21. Chris Carroll, director-marketing for the company's Franchise Advertising Fund Trust, asked agency Messner Vetere Berger McNamee Schmetterer/Euro RCSG, New York, to quickly turn around creative concepts. "We can't shoot fast enough," he said, which eliminates players from the competing teams or recent ad star Jared Fogle.

BellSouth Wireless ad director Clark resigns after review

[atlanta] Wendy Clark, director of advertising for the former BellSouth Wireless, resigned last week. The move came as Cingular Wireless -- the merged wireless assets of BellSouth Corp. and SBC Communications -- selected BBDO Worldwide, New York and Atlanta, for its estimated $200 million account. Executives close to the review said there was dissension among the company's review panel, with Cingular President-CEO Stephen Carter making the final choice. SBC wireless incumbent GSD&M, Austin, Texas, and BellSouth wireless incumbent WestWayne, Atlanta, were the other contenders. A Cingular spokesman said "Stephen Carter did not overrule the advertising team and change the entire decision."

F.Y.I.

General Motors Corp.'s Chevrolet Division launched an estimated $25 million ad campaign for its Silverado Heavy-Duty pickup truck Oct. 21 during the World Series broadcast on Fox. Campbell-Ewald, Warren, Mich., handles. . . . Ashland Inc. breaks a new corporate branding program featuring a new logo today with a spread ad in The Wall Street Journal. Spending for the campaign, from Northlich, Cincinnati, was not disclosed. . . . Whitman Hobbs, 81, a longtime senior executive and creative director at Batton, Barton, Durstein & Osborn and later Benton & Bowles, died Oct. 8 of heart failure. Mr. Hobbs wrote bylined pieces for Advertising Age in the late 1950s and early '60s. . . . DirecTV on Oct. 24 breaks the first branding ads from its recently tapped ad agency of record Deutsch, Playa del Rey, Calif. . . . Walt Connelly, 42, to the new position of exec VP-executive creative director working on the Microsoft Corp. account at McCann-Erickson Worldwide, San Francisco, from creative director on Intel Corp. consumer advertising at Messner Vetere Berger McNamee Schmetterer/Euro RSCG, New York. . . . John Griffin to the new position of exec VP-chief operating officer at Hearst Magazines International; Mr. Griffin resigned as president of Rodale Inc.'s magazine division in January. . . . J. Walter Thompson USA, New York, which won the $100 million global Sun Microsystems account with Tonic 360, is close to finalizing a deal to acquire the interactive agency, with the new shop expected to be named Tonic 360@ JWT.

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