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Microsoft readies reaction to ruling

[redmond, wash.] Microsoft Corp. is said to be weighing at least half a dozen advertising possibilities to react immediately to the antitrust decision expected this week. Options under consideration include TV spots featuring its top executives, an approach it took right after the original ruling; airing customer and partner testimonial-style ads; and spots flagging why a break-up would hurt the tech industry. U.S. District Court Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson's ruling is expected to split the software giant in two. McCann-Erickson/A&L, San Francisco and New York, is the agency of record.

Computer Associates narrows $100 mil search

[islandia, n.y.] Computer Associates has narrowed the search for its first global agency to handle an estimated $100 million account. A spokesman for the business software company confirmed four finalists: BBDO Worldwide, DDB Worldwide, D'Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles and Y&R Advertising, all New York. Schell Mullaney, New York, previously handled.

Ditka, Bradshaw to break SAG ranks

[los angeles] Two more Screen Actors Guild members will be breaking ranks with striking actors to appear in TV ads, according to executives. Former NFL football coach and player Mike Ditka, and Fox Sports analyst and former NFL player Terry Bradshaw will do spots to be shot in the next few weeks. The advertisers involved are not known.

Individual Investor running out of cash

[new york] Individual Investor Group, the personal finance publisher, is running out of cash and could be forced to suspend operations this summer, Crain's New York Business reports. In a Securities & Exchange Commission filing, the publicly held company said its working capital "will be insufficient to fund its operations and capital requirements beyond the middle of the third quarter of 2000, unless the company is able to obtain additional equity or debt financing." Chairman-Editor in Chief Jonathan Steinberg is seeking $6 million to keep his operation afloat through yearend.

Initiative wins $350 mil in accounts

[los angeles] Media agency Initiative Media North America said it has racked up $350 million in new business in the first quarter of this year by signing up 40 to 50 new accounts -- many from the dot-com industry. Some of the biggest clients include Disney's California Adventure, a new Walt Disney Co. theme park; Albertsons.com; and CheapTickets.com.

Y&R enlarges Chicago office for Sears

[hoffman estates, ill.] Y&R Advertising is beefing up its Chicago office to better service Sears, Roebuck & Co.'s increasingly promotional ad account, a senior agency executive on Sears said. The New York office remains the lead agency.

McNeil adds Tylenol gift Web site

[fort washington, pa.] McNeil Consumer Healthcare is expanding marketing for Tylenol by launching a Web site (getwell.com), where consumers can purchase customized gifts for sufferers of ailments ranging from allergies to strep throat. The site, and banner ads supporting it, were developed by Medical Broadcasting Co., Philadelphia.

Execs shuffled at GMO/Hill, Holliday

[san francisco] Boston-based Hill, Holliday, Connors, Cosmopulos has revamped management in its GMO/Hill, Holliday agency here, naming Nancy Hill, 42, president, from VP-director of business development. She assumes the title from Brian O'Neill, who moves to vice chairman and retains his chief creative officer title. Also, Mike Massaro, chief operating officer, will leave the agency. Terry Carleton, exec VP in Boston, will split his time between Boston and San Francisco and assume Mr. Massaro's responsibility on technology accounts.

McDonald's set to renew Olympics sponsorship

[oak brook, ill.] With a nod of confidence despite a bribery scandal, McDonald's Corp. is expected to announce June 6 its continued Olympic sponsorship with the 2002 Winter Games in Salt Lake City and 2004 Summer Games in Athens.

`Daily Deal' hunts shop for its $5 mil account

[new york] TDD, backed by investor Wasserstein Perella, is searching for its first agency to handle a $5 million account for financial newspaper The Daily Deal's print and online editions. Mad Dogs & Englishmen, Dweck, Doremus & Co., M&C Saatchi and Hampel/Stefanides are involved.

F.Y.I.

Upromise.com is said to have met with Hill, Holliday, Connors, Cosmopulos, Boston; and McCann-Erickson Worldwide and Y&R Advertising, both New York, about its $20 million to $30 million account review (AA, May 29). . . . Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, San Francisco, has dropped out of the ad review for DirecTV's $150 million account, citing a conflict with its newly won Sirius Satellite Radio account. . . . Coca-Cola Co. will launch a $15 million TV and print campaign from Berlin, Cameron & Partners, New York, the first for its Dasani water brand. . . . Ed Kelly, publisher of Travel & Leisure and longtime American Express Publishing Corp. employee, is expected to be named as president of the company this week. Daniel Brewster had been president-CEO; today he begins his new job as president-CEO of Gruner & Jahr USA Publishing. . . . General Motors Corp. began advertising its new, cross-brand online incentive program June 4 in Parade, to be followed by ads in national newspapers. McCann-Erickson Worldwide's Troy, Mich., handles. . . . Della Femina/Jeary & Partners and Grace & Rothschild have merged to form Della Femina, Rothschild, Jeary & Partners, New York. . . . Choice Hotels International's Comfort Inn & Suites line has linked with Nintendo of America on a Pokemon summer promotion. National radio and print from Gray Kirk/VanSant, Baltimore, will support. . . . Ellen Kunes, the editor in chief of O, the Oprah Magazine, resigned from the newly launched title, to spend more time with her twin toddlers. Ms. Kunes said the decision was hers, and that she will remain with the magazine through a transition period. . . . Zion Communications is looking for a first agency to handle its $15 million account. Select Resources International, West Hollywood, Calif., is managing the review.

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