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[st. louis] Monsanto Co. has tapped FCB Worldwide, New York, for an estimated $30 million to $40 million new assignment for a line of products to be launched by its functional foods division. A Monsanto spokesman denied the company had conducted any review other than for its corporate ad account. FCB did not comment by press time.

Starcom also vying for Sears' $1.6 bil review

[hoffman estates, ill.] Leo Group's Starcom Media Services, is among the contenders for Sears, Roebuck & Co.'s estimated $1.6 billion media review. A decision is expected by mid-February. Also pitching are incumbents Young & Rubicam's Media Edge and Ogilvy & Mather, both New York.

Burnett top contender for DisneyQuest account

[burbank, calif.] Leo Burnett USA, Chicago, is the front-runner to become the first creative ad agency for DisneyQuest, Walt Disney Co.'s new interactive indoor theme park unit. Media spending is expected to hit $7 million to $10 million.

Subway cuts $60 mil review to trio

[milford, conn.] Subway has narrowed its $60 million media review to MediaCom, Western Initiative Media Worldwide and TN Media, all New York, with a decision expected in mid-February. Contenders in its creative review, which should be completed by mid-March, are still undisclosed. AAR/Bob Wolf Partners, New York, is handling both reviews. Publicis & Hal Riney, Chicago, was the previous agency for both assignments.

Lego turns to Starcom for media

[billund, denmark] Lego Co. has selected Starcom Worldwide to handle media buying and planning for Canada, the U.S., Latin America and northern Europe. The incumbent was Lowe Lintas & Partners Worldwide, which pitched with Western Initiative Media Worldwide for the estimated $50 million Americas assignment.

P&G partners with Oxygen Media

[cincinnati] Procter & Gamble Co. has entered into a $20 million strategic partnership with Oxygen Media for the Oxygen cable service as well as its sibling Web site (oxygen.com), Electronic Media reports. A P&G spokeswoman confirmed the deal, adding that six product lines are involved.

Homes.com ready to hire Citron

[menlo park, calif.] Homes.com, a site aimed at home buyers and sellers as well as renters, is close to hiring Citron Haligman Bedecarre, San Francisco, as its first agency. The site is preparing a marketing effort of up to $40 million.

Clorox readies two new Glad products

[oakland, calif.] Clorox Co. will roll two new Glad products into stores March 20 -- including Odor Shield odor-neutralizing garbage bags and Stand & Zip freezer bags -- backed by ads breaking July 1 from DDB Worldwide, San Francisco. Also on the way is a unified packaging overhaul for the Glad brand.

Empire Blue Cross seeking agency

[new york] Empire Blue Cross & Blue Shield is believed to be searching for an agency to handle its estimated $5 million account. There was no incumbent.

Ziff-Davis will merge into ZDNet

[new york] Ziff-Davis plans to merge into ZDNet after Ziff-Davis completes its ongoing auction of assets and pays off debt, bringing ZDNet out from under the shadow of the parent company. ZDNet has been a tracking stock, but it now will become an independent, Web-based venture that also will own Computer Shopper.

Replay seeks online agency

[mountain view, calif.] Replay Networks is looking for an online agency for an estimated $2 million in spending. Currently, the Content Project, Los Angeles, handles online work for Replay and is part of the review, along with Direct Connect, Redwood City, Calif., and a larger, unnamed digital player.

EStyle picks JWT West

as first agency of record

[los angeles] EStyle, whose flagship Web site is Babystyle.com, picked JWT West, San Francisco, as its first agency of record. JWT will handle a campaign for Babystyle.com, slated to launch this spring. The agency is expected to handle advertising for other Web sites eStyle plans to launch this year.

F.Y.I.

General Motors Corp. has made attractive buy-out offers to several senior executives, with announcements expected after this week's board meeting in Detroit, said executives close to GM who requested anonymity. A GM spokesman said late Friday no announcements were planned. . . . Pharmacia Corp. will serve as the name of the company formed by the merger of Monsanto Co. and Pharmacia & Upjohn. . . . Martin Levine, VP of DaimlerChrysler's Chrysler Jeep Division, will join BBDO Worldwide subsidiary PentaMark as president-CEO May 1. Mr. Levine, 52, will succeed Tom Clark, 63, who remains a vice chairman of BBDO Worldwide until he retires at the end of 2001. . . . Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids to Greer, Margolis, Mitchell, Burnes & Associates, Washington, from Smith & Harroff, Alexandria, Va., for its $2 million account. . . . Giant Screen Sports to Beyond DDB of DDB Worldwide, Chicago, as first agency for its large-format sports films; the account is estimated at $1 million. . . . RCN Corp. is said to be down to two contenders -- Kirshenbaum Bond & Partners, New York, and an undisclosed agency -- in its $20 million review. The previous agency was Angotti Thomas, Hedge, New York. . . . William J. Abbott to exec VP-advertising sales at Odyssey Network, New York; he was formerly an ad executive for the Fox Family Network. He succeeds John Barbera, who left the company six months ago. . . . Burger King Corp. this week will break an ad alerting consumers to the suffocation dangers associated with its Pokemon Big Kids Meal toy, following the second child's death linked to the toy. The ad is from BK agency Lowe Lintas & Partners Worldwide, New York.

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