[san francisco] Morgan Stanley, Dean Witter, Discover & Co. plans to award its online brokerage account to J. Walter Thompson USA, San Francisco. The account, now at Tracey Ryan Partners, is estimated at $5 million for the rest of 1997 with plans to spend up to $20 million in '98.
Kaplan Thaler, top creative at WRG, resigns
[new york] Linda Kaplan Thaler, exec VP-executive creative director at Wells Rich Greene BDDP, last week unexpectedly announced she was leaving the agency to devote time to music and other ventures. She will continue to consult for WRG, which did not announce a successor.
Media Web links built into new M'soft browser
[redmond, wash.] Microsoft Corp.'s next Internet Explorer browser likely will feature icons with direct links to Web sites of Walt Disney Co., Warner Bros. and The New York Times, according to a person familiar with those plans. Microsoft earlier confirmed the new browser will include links to PointCast, MSNBC and Intuit. The browser will be incorporated in the successor to Windows 95, putting the links before an even bigger audience.
ABC sets rates for :30s on new fall 'Disney'
[new york] ABC is selling a pricey package of six "special presentations" of the "Wonderful World of Disney," which debuts this fall. For $2.4 million, or $400,000 for six 30-second commercials, advertisers can buy one spot each on "The Lion King," "Pocahontas," "Aladdin," "Toy Story," "The Santa Clause" and "Babe."
Rodale Press to snag K-III's 'New Woman'
[emmaus, pa.] Although no contract has been signed, Rodale Press is expected to emerge as the new owner of K-III Communications Corp.'s New Woman, paying more than $15 million for the monthly, according to executives familiar with the deal. Industry observers believe Rodale will move the magazine's editorial focus more toward health and fitness to build a female boomer franchise as strong as its male franchise, Men's Health.
Midas narrows review to 4 shops
[chicago] Midas International has chosen four Chicago agencies as finalists for its $25 million account: Euro RSCG Tatham, DDB Needham Worldwide, Cramer-Krasselt and Foote, Cone & Belding. A decision is expected by the end of July. J. Walter Thompson USA, Chicago, resigned the account earlier this year.
Penske picks 2 finalists for $15 mil account
[troy, mich.] Penske Auto Center named two finalists last week for its $15 million account. McCann-Erickson Worldwide, Troy, and Campbell Mithun Esty, Minneapolis, will now do creative and media strategy assignments. A final decision is expected July 25. Harris, Baio & McCullough, Philadelphia, is the incumbent.
Schering-Plough limits media review to OTC
[liberty corner, n.j.] Schering-Plough Corp. appears to have switched the focus of its media consolidation review to the $70 million over-the-counter products business rather than its entire $145 million budget. Non-roster shop BJK&E Media, New York, is believed under consideration for the OTC business, though roster agencies, including Lowe & Partners/SMS, New York, have not yet been invited to pitch.
Bob Dole wins one: TV work for Target
[minneapolis] Former presidential candidate Bob Dole will appear in a commercial for a Target Superstore in Kansas. The spot, by Martin/Williams, Minneapolis, will air in Kansas markets starting July 21. This is the second TV commercial for Mr. Dole; earlier this year, he appeared in a Visa Check Card spot.
Saab reorganizes marketing department
[norcross, ga.] Saab Cars USA reorganized its marketing department following the departure of Marketing Director David Krysiek. Kristi August Smith becomes national ad manager from product planning manager; Chuck Mayer becomes manager-promotional marketing from promotions manager; and Sean McNamara becomes manager-product marketing from marketing manager, General Motors Corp.'s Electric Vehicle unit.
DreamWorks opens marketing office in N.Y.
[universal city, calif.] DreamWorks SKG will open a New York office this week to handle East Coast marketing and distribution of its films. Diane Loomis, formerly VP-East Coast publicity for Walt Disney Studios, will head up the New York marketing department. Joe Sabatino, previously senior VP and head film buyer for the Eastern division of AMC Entertainment, will head up eastern sales.
Research guru Bruce Goerlich is returning to D'Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles, New York, from VP-research at Western International Media, Los Angeles. . . . Western Wireless, Seattle, is in review for its $15 million to $20 million account. Incumbent Borders, Perrin & Norrander, Portland, Ore., will participate. Select Resources International, West Hollywood, Calif., is handling the review. . . . Bruce Kelley to president-CEO of a new, as-yet unnamed entertainment marketing venture being launched in the fall by Marvin Josephson, one of the founders of International Creative Management. Mr. Kelley had been exec VP and general manager, Lowe & Partners/SMS, New York. . . . Continental Airlines, Houston, has narrowed the field in its $50 million global review to incumbent Richards Group, Dallas; and TBWA Chiat/Day, Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide and Ammirati Puris Lintas, all New York. A decision is expected by mid-August. . . . The California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control is investigating whether rewards programs sponsored by Jim Beam Brands Co. and Sutter Home Winery comply with state laws that ban giveaways tied to alcohol sales. Sutter Home declined comment; Jim Beam said its program had received regulatory approval. . . . Los Angeles County Department of Health Services to Asher/Gould, Los