[new york] SFM Media, the largest U.S. media independent, is said to be getting close to a deal to be acquired by Paris-based Havas Advertising. Both sides admit they have been in talks for about a year but deny an agreement is imminent. Most of SFM's billings come from clients of Havas subsidiary Euro RSCG, including MCI Communications Corp.
McD's picks 5 insiders for top marketing posts
[oak brook, ill.] McDonald's Corp. has appointed company insiders to the top marketing posts -- divisional marketing leader -- at the five U.S. divisions created last summer to decentralize management. They are Neil Golden, Western division; Carol Koepke, Midwest division; Dan Howell, Great Lakes division; Dan Ryan, Southeast division; and Tom Crockett, Northeast division. The Western division will be headquartered in Irvine, Calif., while the other four will remain part of corporate headquarters here for now, a spokesman said.
Frontier reviews $10 mil account
[rochester, n.y.] Frontier Corp. is conducting an estimated $10 million review of its telecom assignments. Fewer than five agencies have been contacted to pitch the account; no more will be invited, a Frontier spokesman said. The company's current agency, Infantino Associates, Rochester, is involved in the review. Frontier, the fifth-largest long-distance company in the U.S., is evaluating shops as it gets a more national focus.
Cordiant cleared for Bates, Saatchi split
[london] British authorities cleared Cordiant to complete the split-up of Bates Worldwide and Saatchi & Saatchi Worldwide. The U.K.'s High Court approved Cordiant's plan to transfer nearly $549 million worth of capital to Saatchi & Saatchi, one of the two holding companies that emerge as part of the deal. The stock of Saatchi and the new Bates parent, Cordiant Communications Group, will begin trading separately in London and New York Dec. 15 (see related story on Page 22).
Pan Am invites 12 shops in $10 mil review
[miami] Pan Am Corp. has begun an agency review for its Pan American World Airways subsidiary, estimated at $5 million to $10 million in ad spending. A dozen agencies, including incumbent Weller O'Sullivan Zuckerman & Lightcap, New York, were invited, said Rich Blake, VP-marketing. He declined to name the others, but said the review is concentrated on agencies in the East Coast, particularly south Florida. The three or four finalists will be chosen by week's end and a decision is due by yearend.
Ryder to hear from 2 finalists for $20 mil
[denver] Ryder TRS will hear presentations this week from two finalists for its $20 million account review. Campbell-Ewald, Warren, Mich., and D'Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles, Troy, Mich., are vying for the truck rental operator's first account under its new ownership. Fallon McElligott, Minneapolis, and Grey Advertising, New York, dropped out last month.
NBA to debut first nat'l ads for 2ball
[new york] The National Basketball Association launches this week its first national ad campaign in support of its NBA 2ball kids grass-roots program. The effort, being handled in-house, includes a spot that will air during national game broadcasts on TBS Superstation, Turner Network Television and NBC. The NBA also will support with a print ad and in-arena signage. McDonald's Corp. was the title sponsor in 1997, but in 1998, the NBA will let teams find title sponsors in their respective markets.
Sears opens review for Orchard hardware chain
[hoffman estates, ill.] Sears, Roebuck & Co. has begun a review for the ad account of its Orchard Supply & Hardware stores, a chain of 68 California stores acquired 16 months ago. Incumbent EvansGroup, San Francisco, along with Sears agencies Y&R Advertising and Ogilvy & Mather, are in the pitch. Spending for the first half of 1997 was almost $6 million.
Newly consolidated GPU Energy begins agency search
[reading, pa.] GPU Energy has sent out a request for proposals for unspecified assignments now that its consolidation is final, merging Jersey Central Power & Light, Pennsylvania Electric and Metropolitan Edison. GPU currently uses agencies Gilbert, Whitney & Johns, Whippany, N.J.; Kelly Michener Inc., Lancaster, Pa.; and Tom Reese & Associates, Wyomissing, Pa.
FedEx could become title sponsor of CART series
[memphis, tenn.] Federal Express Corp. wouldn't comment on rumors in the sports marketing industry that it has signed a deal to become the first title sponsor of the Championship Auto Racing Team series of racing events next year. The three-year deal would rename the circuit the FedEx Championship Series. FedEx agency BBDO Worldwide, New York, is believed to be working on an ad campaign promoting the marketer's sponsorship.
ADT Security Services to Rapp Collins Worldwide, New York, from Devon Direct, Berwyn, Pa., for its estimated $6 million direct mail and collateral business. . . . Reebok International has signed deals with the Sydney Organizing Committee for the Olympic Games and the Australian Olympic Committee to become an "official supporter" of the 2000 Summer Olympics and "the official sports brand" of the 1998 and 2000 Australian Olympics teams. . . . Miller Brewing Co. has agreed to sell its 20% stake in Molson Breweries back to Molson Cos. and Foster's Brewing Group. The three companies also have agreed to create a joint venture to manage Molson and Foster's brands in the U.S. . . . Scott S. Parmelee, 40, to publisher of Outside from associate publisher as of the January issue, succeeding owner and founder Lawrence Burke, who will focus on the growth