MILLER PLAYS OFF VINTAGE: LITE LINE TO TOUT QUALITY

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[milwaukee] Hoping to craft a quality message for its best-selling brew, Miller Brewing Co. will play off Miller Lite's old motto, "A fine pilsner beer," in new general and Hispanic market campaigns set to break in March. The humorous ad campaigns also will feature celebrities. Fallon McElligott, Minneapolis, handles general market advertising, while Uno Comunicaciones, Dallas, a unit of Square One, has Hispanic. Both agencies referred calls to the marketer.

BP Amoco taps Doner for European fuels effort

[london] BP Amoco selected Doner International to handle a Europe-wide clean-fuels campaign, according to executives close to the situation. The assignment is said to have both corporate and retail elements. Doner, which also has BP's brand and retail account, bested M&C Saatchi, which handles corporate advertising. Spending wasn't disclosed.

New Pepsi ads using `celebrity element'

[purchase, n.y.] Pepsi-Cola Co.'s new ad campaign for its flagship brand will have a celebrity element, but won't be driven by a star as were past campaigns that featured Michael Jackson and Cindy Crawford, an executive close to the beverage company said. The marketer is slated to unveil the new work for bottlers March 4. The campaign, from BBDO Worldwide, New York, is expected to be launched on ABC's Academy Awards broadcast March 21.

American Media said to be close to sale

[new york] Publishing industry executives are buzzing that American Media, tabloid publisher of National Enquirer and Star, is close to a deal to sell to either Hachette Filipacchi Magazines or to an investment group led by Hachette President-CEO David Pecker.

Merger rumor fly on Saatchi, True North

[new york] Rumors of merger talks between Saatchi & Saatchi and True North Communications, Chicago, swirled last week. Executives at both Saatchi and True North declined comment, but one insider said there had been no such discussions.

HP breaking $100 mil business PC campaign

[palo alto, calif.] Hewlett-Packard Co. today begins a $100 million print brand campaign for business PCs, using the theme "Engineered on a human level" to push reliability, service, support, performance and value. Ads start in the U.S. and Canada and expand to Europe, Asia and Latin America March 1. This is HP's first global PC brand campaign and the first work from Publicis & Hal Riney, San Francisco.

Intel puts $300 million behind Pentium III intro

[santa clara, calif.] Intel Corp. said it will spend $300 million on advertising, marketing and promotion for Pentium III in the biggest marketing campaign in Intel's history. The integrated campaign uses the theme "This way in," positioning the new chip as a door to the future. Teaser TV spots from Messner Vetere Berger McNamee Schmetterer/Euro RSCG, New York, broke Feb. 14 in the U.S., Europe and Asia.

Coca-Cola to begin national ads for Citra

[atlanta] Coca-Cola Co., rolling out its Citra grapefruit soda from limited markets, this spring will launch its first national ad campaign, a planned TV and outdoor effort. A previous campaign from agency Goldberg Moser O'Neill, San Francisco, was tagged "No thirst is safe."

Helene Curtis readies Salon Selectives extension

[chicago] Unilever's Helene Curtis unit will introduce an extension of its Salon Selectives haircare line targeted at colored hair this summer. Salon Selectives Color Shield shampoos and conditioners will be in stores in June, backed by a TV and print campaign. DDB Needham Worldwide, Chicago, is the agency for Salon Selectives. A company spokeswoman would not disclose spending, but Helene Curtis spent $38 million on Salon Selectives in the first 11 months of 1998, according to Competitive Media Reporting.

Blockbuster kicks off Rewards loyalty program

[dallas] Blockbuster introduces Blockbuster Rewards, a loyalty program, today in its 4,200 stores nationwide via Brierley & Partners, a Dallas-based direct marketing agency. A separate direct-mail package created by Cadmus Direct Marketing, Charlotte, N.C., will be mailed in early March to 10 million non-Blockbuster Rewards customers.

F.Y.I.

Daewoo Group is consolidating its $108 million domestic Korean advertising business this month with Korad, Ogilvy & Mather, Seoul. The account previously was split with 11 other agencies. . . . J.D. Edwards & Co. to Shafer, San Francisco, from Ketchum Advertising, Pittsburgh, for the software marketer's estimated $10 million account. . . . H.J. Heinz Co. is expected to announce a major restructuring this week at the Consumer Analysts Group of New York conference being held in Florida. . . . Chic by H.I.S. to Amodeo/Pettit from Spike/DDB, which resigned the account last month. All three are New York based. Spending on the account is estimated at $9 million. . . . MacManus Group, as expected, launched MediaVest Worldwide as its global media company. Irwin Gotlieb, formerly president-CEO of TeleVest, was named president-CEO of the new company. TeleVest, as well as all the media resources of D'arcy Masius Benton & Bowles and N.W. Ayer & Partners, have been folded into MediaVest .. . . Bermuda Department of Tourism selected J. Walter Thompson USA, New York, as agency of record for its estimated $12 million account. JWT will work with Bermudian agency Tango Multi-Media in Hamilton. DDB Needham Worldwide, New York, is the previous agency. In other tourism news, Aruba Tourism Authority last week awarded its estimated $10 million account to the Martin Agency, Richmond, Va. . . . PMK, Hollywood, Calif., an entertainment public relations company, will be acquired by Momentum Worldwide, New York, the events and promotions unit of McCann-Erickson WorldGroup. . . . Microsoft Corp., aborting its year-old attempt to make Slate a subscription service, reverted Feb. 12 to offering free access

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