SCHERING-PLOUGH OPENS MEDIA REVIEW

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[madison, n.j.] Schering-Plough Corp., marketer of the heavily advertised prescription drug Claritin, is conducting a review of all or part of its estimated $300 million media account. Lowe & Partners/SMS, New York, handles the Claritin direct-to-consumer media; TN Media, New York, does the media for the over-the-counter brands. For its corporate image ads, the company does media in-house.

Re/Max seeks agencies for $28 mil account

[englewood, colo.] Re/Max International sent out requests for proposals last week for an advertising agency review. Robin Henderson King, Re/Max advertising coordinator, confirmed the real estate company has been contacting shops, but said it was too early to comment on the review. Re/Max now handles advertising in-house; it spent $27.7 million in 1998 and $27.4 million through June 1999, according to Competitive Media Reporting. The review is being handled in-house.

Varsitybooks.com selects Burnett

[washington] Online bookstore Varsitybooks.com has selected Leo Burnett USA, Chicago, following a review. The estimated $10 million account for the site, which promises to sell college textbooks for up to 40% off, could include TV, radio, outdoor and print. Ads are expected to be in place before the beginning of the year. Burnett replaces K2 Design, New York.

Activists to meet with Clear Channel

[new york] Civil rights activist Rev. Al Sharpton, NAACP President Kweisi Mfume and Jim Winston, president of the National Association of Black-Owned Broadcasters, will meet with Lowry Mays, chairman of Clear Channel Communications, Oct. 26. The meeting will discuss how the company's merger with AM/FM, which creates the nation's largest radio company, will affect minorities.

AltaVista breaks $100 mil campaign

[palo alto, calif.] AltaVista Co. today unveils its new logo and TV commercials as part of its $100 million ad campaign from Wieden & Kennedy, Portland, Ore. The ads support a relaunch of AltaVista.

Ford debuts 'Millennium' push

[dearborn, mich.] Ford Motor Co.'s global "Millennium" campaign breaks with 2-minute roadblocks in time zones worldwide at 9 p.m. on Nov. 1, an executive close to the campaign said. The corporate image effort is from J. Walter Thompson USA, Detroit (AA, July 26).

ImproveNet opens $30 mil review

[redwood city, calif.] ImproveNet, an online service linking homeowners and remodeling professionals, has begun a review for its $30 million branding and database, direct response and online account. Left Field, San Francisco, had handled. Select Resources International, West Hollywood, Calif., is doing the review.

Hachette close to deal for 'George'

[new york] Hachette Filipacchi Magazines is close to completing its deal to gain majority control of George from the Kennedy family. An announcement could come as early as this week. Also expected is the appointment of a new editor and publisher. Carol Smith, formerly an executive with Miller Sports Group and the Parenting Group, was brought in as a marketing consultant for the company, and is working closely with George.

IBM drops blue look for new ads

[armonk, n.y.] IBM Corp. eschews its traditional blue letter-box corporate campaign in new brand positioning ads from Ogilvy & Mather, New York, labeled "IBM Innovations." Although still under the e-business umbrella, the new work that broke during the World Series focuses on how IBM will change the future of business, instead of individual business solutions. The tag: "This is the future of e-business." Spending was undisclosed.

Headlight.com seeks first shop for $10 mil account

[san francisco] Headlight.com has begun a review to pick a first agency for its $10 million account. Contenders include McCann-Erickson Worldwide and Ogilvy & Mather, New York; BBDO/West, San Francisco and Los Angeles; and other agencies. The review is being handled in-house. The online service offers training in leadership and other skills.

F.Y.I.

Fila is said to be considering BBDO Worldwide, J. Walter Thompson Co. and the Omnicom Group team of TBWA Worldwide and Merkley Newman Harty for its estimated $80 million account. . . . Pennzoil-Quaker State's Jiffy Lube International chain to Richards Group, Dallas, from the Smith Agency, Kansas City, Mo., for its $50 million account. . . . OurHouse.com to Black Rocket, San Francisco, as first agency for the Web-based provider of home improvement products, information and services; the account is estimated at $15 million-plus. . . . Disney Channel has narrowed its review for a $10 million branding assignment to six undisclosed agencies. Select Resources International, West Hollywood, Calif., handles. . . . George Jackson 'Jay' Hill III, 67, died Oct. 22 after an undisclosed illness. Mr. Hill co-founded Hill, Holliday, Connors, Cosmopulos, Boston, in 1968. . . . South Africa's Advertising Standards Authority appeals committee has decided to drop the ban on a controversial anti-rape TV commercial (see earlier story on Page 92), ruling the words used in the commercial were hyperbolic and not meant to be taken literally. . . . Pizza Hut goes to court today, with jury selection beginning in federal court in Dallas for its lawsuit against rival Papa John's International, seeking to stop the use of the competitive advertising slogan, "Better ingredients. Better pizza." . . . Success Multimedia Enterprises, publisher of monthly magazine Success, will be sold at auction Nov. 1. Inc. is a bidder. . . . Mike Lafavore, editor in chief of Rodale's Men's Health, resigned to pursue other opportunities; he had held that position since 1988, creating the monthly men's title that became one of Rodale's most successful launches. Greg Gutfeld, the title's editorial creative director, has been named editor as of January 2000. . . . Jeffrey S. Ahl, 38, associate publisher of U.S. News & World Report, and William Holiber, 43, former

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