[new york] Andersen Consulting acquired Citron Haligman Bedecarre, San Francisco, and plans to expand it into a network through acquisitions of agencies in New York and Europe, said an executive close to the transaction. Andersen purchased Citron through a partnership with Sequoia Capital, a venture capital firm. Tom Bedecarre, chairman of Citron, denied his shop had been purchased. He said it was "working on a project" with an offshoot company of Andersen.
Mercedes C-Class breaks $25 mil effort
[montvale, n.j.] DaimlerChrysler's Mercedes-Benz USA breaks the $20 million to $25 million launch of its redesigned C-Class sedans today in print, with national TV arriving Sept. 15. Merkley Newman Harty, New York, created a trio of TV spots aimed at a thirtysomething target, younger than the C-Class line's current average age of 48. Print ads use the tag "The new C. Live. A lot."
Postal Service leans to Burnett
[washington] The U.S. Postal Service this week is expected to name Leo Burnett USA, Chicago, as its main agency, replacing FCB Worldwide, New York. FCB may keep direct marketing and interactive work for the business; the total account is estimated at $139 million. Other agencies expected to be named for portions of the business include Admerasia, Bravo and Chisholm-Mingo Group, all New York; and Frankel, Chicago.
Direct Partners snags $20 mil
[san francisco] Direct Partners landed more than $20 million in new business with client wins from E*Trade Bank, iMotors and Shutterfly. The marketing services agency, a member of Omnicom Group's Diversified Agency Services, is developing a multimillion-dollar national direct-response TV campaign for E*Trade. Direct Partners will launch integrated campaigns for online used car retailer iMotors and Web-based photo service Shutterfly.
Cuervo readies first global campaign
[new york] Jose Cuervo International next month will roll out its first global ad campaign, with U.S. spending estimated at $12 million, double last year's level. The "Viva Cuervo" campaign, the first from agency AG Worldwide, New York, will initially be print and outdoor. TV spots are likely overseas, with domestic TV planned for its margarita mix. United Distillers & Vintners/North America is the distributor.
ABC lets J&J sponsor `Gideon's' debut
[los angeles] For the launch of its 1-hour hospital drama, "Gideon's Crossing," in October, ABC is offering a single presenting sponsorship to Johnson & Johnson, according to several executives. The first episode comes from an extra-long pilot centering on a man's fight with cancer; ABC decided to leave the episode untouched and put together the special offer. J&J will get 60-second spots at the beginning and end of the debut, as well as future promotional tie-ins. An ABC spokesman was unavailable for comment.
`Tribune' ad columnist Lazarus dies
[chicago] Chicago Tribune advertising columnist George Lazarus died Sept. 8 as he was riding the train to work. Mr. Lazarus, 68, covered advertising and marketing for three newspapers in Chicago and wrote a syndicated column distributed on the Knight-Ridder newswire. His Tribune column ran for 27 years.
CKE replaces CEO, Hardee's exec
[anaheim, calif.] CKE Restaurants replaced its CEO and appointed a new chief marketer for the Hardee's Food Systems chain. The company also announced it was selling the 125-unit Taco Bueno chain to Red Tail Ventures for $90 million. Andrew F. Puzder, president-CEO of CKE's Hardee's Food Systems, will take on additional duties as president-CEO of the parent company, replacing Tom Thompson, who resigned. The company also named Brad R. Haley exec VP-marketing for Hardee's, from chief marketing officer, Churchs Chicken.
Showtime names Burnett for $45 million account
[new york] Showtime Networks tapped Leo Burnett USA and Starcom USA, both Chicago, for its $35 million to $45 million advertising and media account. The Bcom3 Group units were selected over incumbents Y&R Advertising and sibling unit Media Edge, both New York.
Spanfeller exits as president of Ziff Davis consumer group
[new york] Jim Spanfeller, president of Ziff Davis Media's Consumer Magazine Group, resigned his position Sept. 7 "to pursue other interests." The move comes as the company plans to reorganize some business units. Many of Mr. Spanfeller's responsibilities will be assumed by Scott Crystal, exec VP-publishing director of the Consumer Magazine Group. Mr. Spanfeller wasn't immediately available for comment.
ConAgra has pledged to spend an estimated $20 million against the Healthy Choice line, nearly double the $11 million in measured media in 1999, according to Competitive Media Reporting. The effort, part of an overall revitalization of its Healthy Choice portfolio, kicks off with a TV campaign this month from Grey Worldwide, New York.
. . . Volkswagen France to MediaCom, Paris, from Carat 2010 for its its $115 million French media buying acount. . . . Coca-Cola Co. has signed a two-year agreement to advertise on ReplayTV, a personal TV service . . . National Peanut Board to Ogilvy & Mather, Atlanta, to develop the first ad campaign promoting peanut usage in the U.S. The $10 million campaign is expected to debut in late fall. . . . Dan Rubin, 48, to the new post of VP-new business development, Gruner & Jahr USA Publishing, New York, from president of retail sales and marketing, Time Inc. Also: Peg Farrell, 51, to the long-vacant position of publisher of Family Circle, from VP-publisher of Hearst Magazines' Country Living. . . . Willy Wonka Candy Factory in November will launch Nerds Rope, a gummy rope coated with Nerds candies. The Nestle USA unit will support the extension with an extensive TV campaign from Dailey & Associates, West Hollywood, Calif. . . . Donna Salvatore, 47, to CEO of Starcom MediaVest Group's MediaVest USA, New York, from president-U.S. broadcast, succeeding Kevin Malloy, currently exec VP-international, who held the CEO post on an interim basis.