BK's Brenneman Resigns CEO Post Ahead of IPO

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[miami] The man credited with dressing up Burger King Corp. for its planned initial public offering unexpectedly resigned. Greg Brenneman, chairman-CEO of the No. 2 burger chain, said April 7 that he will return to his private-equity firm, TurnWorks, after less than two years and consistent comments that he planned an extended stay with the chain. The company named President-Chief Financial Officer John Chidsey as new CEO, effective immediately. The company's board named Brian Swette, an independent director, as non-executive chairman. It is not believed that Burger King's marketing played a role in Mr. Brenneman's departure.

BMW taps GSD&M, Publicis for dealer work

[chicago] BMW of North America has awarded creative duties for the German automaker's dealers to GSD&M, Austin, Texas, and Publicis Worldwide, Dallas. A BMW spokeswoman said Omnicom Group's GSD&M will be the lead agency, backed up by the Publicis Groupe shop. The creative work will involve TV, radio, interactive and outdoor. BMW dealers and dealer association spent $153.6 million on advertising last year, according to TNS Media Intelligence.

Time Inc. slashes another 250 positions

[new york] Time Inc. cut another 250 or so jobs April 7 in its latest, largest and perhaps last round of cutbacks aimed at reducing costs and reallocating resources. The mid-level and junior-level workers shown the door almost all came from the business side of operations at a long list of titles. "We do believe this is the vast majority of staff reductions for the foreseeable future," a Time Inc. spokeswoman said. The company still employs about 12,000 people.

Gap begins search for media-planning partner

[san francisco] Gap Inc.'s flagship Gap brand is looking for a partner to work with its in-house media-planning team, a company spokeswoman said. The assignment involves strategic consulting for Gap and its various sub-brands, including Baby Gap, Gap Kids, Gap Maternity and Gap Body. Contenders include Omnicom's PHD (which currently buys TV for Gap brands); Aegis Group's Carat; Publicis Groupe's Starlink; independent Palisades Media Group; and WPP Group's Mediaedge:cia. Publicis' Starcom, the incumbent, split with Gap earlier this year after winning the $200 million planning and buying account for Macy's. The retailer in 2005 spent $96 million in media on its main and sub-brands, according to TNS Media Intelligence.

IPG chief accountant gets $1.1 million package

[new york] Interpublic Group of Cos. said in a filing it would pay Christopher Carroll, its new senior VP-controller-chief accounting officer, a salary of $483,500, an annual incentive plan target of 50% of salary and long-term incentives with an annual target of $350,000. That totals about $1.1 million a year if he gets the incentives. The salary matches that of predecessor Nick Cyprus, whom Interpublic terminated last month.

Nissan taps Zimmerman for regional Hispanic biz

[los angeles] Nissan North America moved the regional portion of its U.S. Hispanic account to Zimmerman & Partners Advertising, Fort Lauderdale, Fla., the Omnicom Group retail specialist that handles Nissan's regional general market work. The Vidal Partnership, New York, retains the national business that is the bulk of Nissan's Hispanic account. Nissan said the move, effective April 1, is "due to the increase of national advertising requirements as our product line and our volume continue to grow."

Check-cashing company lands NBA sponsorship

[miami] The National Basketball Association's Miami Heat has signed La Bamba Check Cashing as its presenting sponsor for the upcoming playoffs. Described by the Heat as "a thriving, local South Florida Hispanic-run business," La Bamba Check Cashing will be entitled to have its name and logo incorporated into the Heat playoff theme: "White Hot HEAT: The 2006 HEAT Playoffs-Presented by La Bamba Check Cashing." The La Bamba Check Cashing name and logo will also be present on various forms of signage, both inside and outside of American Airlines Arena. Terms of the deal were not announced.

FYI ...

Carl Kravetz, chairman-chief strategic officer of independent Hispanic agency Cruz/Kravetz:IDEAS, Los Angeles, took over as chairman of the Association of Hispanic Advertising Agencies at the group's semi-annual meeting. Jackie Bird, president-CEO of one of WPP Group's Hispanic shops, Wing Latino, New York, was voted chairman-elect to succeed Mr. Kravetz after his one-year term. ... Out magazine, part of LPI Media, named Aaron Hicklin to be its new editor, ending a search that began when Brendan Lemon left last October. Mr. Hicklin had been editor in chief at BlackBook, the progressive-culture magazine. LPI was acquired last November by San Francisco's PlanetOut for about $32 million. ... Deborah Burns, who had been VP-publisher at Elle Girl magazine, was named VP-publisher at Hachette's Metropolitan Home. She succeeds Ann Triece, who will leave the company. ... Interpublic Group of Cos.' Initiative North America named Larry Orell chief operating officer and Amanda Ploughman exec VP-director of business development. Both report to Richard Beaven, CEO North America. Mr. Orell was formerly exec VP-general manager, Northeast region, and Ms. Ploughman was most recently managing director of Initiative, Canada. . . . Conde Nast Publications' Vogue has hired digital agency Organic to redesign ShopVogue.com, a retail shopping site. A significantly expanded ShopVogue.com Web site will debut in Sept. 2006. ... Republicans said they will hold their 2008 national convention Sept. 1-4, just three days after the Democratic National Convention that year. The move could minimize the effects of the traditional bounce the Democrats get from their convention, but the timing presents a potential nightmare to media companies who could have to move people and equipment across the nation in 72 hours. Neither party has announced the site of its 2008 convention.
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