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Circuit City parts with Doner on $150M account

[chicago] Circuit City has parted with independent Doner, Southfield, Mich., the agency for its $150 million account, and is joining the ranks of marketers parceling out work on a project basis. Doner CEO Alan Kalter said the agency's contract ended at the end of February and will not be renewed. "They believe they don't need a full-service agency," he said. He added that Circuit City's new CEO, Phil Schoonover, originally came to the retailer from competitor Best Buy, which has a significant in-house advertising agency. "Their model is Best Buy, which Phil Schoonover came from, which doesn't have an agency," said Mr. Kalter. "They want us to work on projects where work would be speculative and compensation would be based upon acceptance of the spec work, and we don't have any interest in doing that." Circuit City declined to comment.
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GM to consolidate regional dealer business

[detroit] General Motors Corp. will consolidate its regional dealer ad accounts for the Buick-Pontiac-GMC division, a spokeswoman said. The three incumbents are pitching the estimated $150 million account: two Interpublic ventures, McCann/Jay Advertising, which has Buick, and Lowe/Jay Advertising, which has GMC; and Burnett-Martin, a Publicis Groupe partnership of Burnett's Detroit-area office and the Birmingham, Ala., dealer specialist with Pontiac. A decision is expected in May.


Lowe suspends Lace, launches internal probe

[new york] Lowe Worldwide confirmed that the network has suspended Lowe London Chief Executive Garry Lace with pay "in order to pursue an internal investigation into certain matters." Mr. Lace is believed to have had meetings with Frank Lowe before Mr. Lowe announced his London agency startup in December and took Lowe London's biggest client, the $85 million Tesco supermarket account. Lowe said in a statement March 3 that the investigation should be concluded by the end of March.



Adidas holds review for $200M media work

[new york] Sneaker and apparel maker Adidas-Saloman has launched a review for its global media account now that it has acquired rival Reebok, executives said. Combined, the two companies have spent more than $200 million according to TNS Media Intelligence. But Adidas wants to consolidate the media at one shop. Aegis Group's Carat now handles Adidas' global media. Omnicom Group's PHD has the Reebok media account in the U.S; several shops handle Reebok's media outside the U.S.


NBC wins two nights during February sweeps

[new york] NBC took two golds and a bronze during the February sweeps. The period which ran from Thursday, February 2 to Wednesday March 1, saw NBC win in households with a 9.6 rating and a 15 share, and in total viewers with a 5.6 rating and 13 share. However, in the 18-to-49-year-old demographic, NBC was vanquished by ABC and Fox; CBS came in last. ABC ranked first with a 5.3/13; Fox came in second 5.0/13; NBC third with a 4.9/12 and CBS last with 3.5/9. A rating point is the equivalent of 1.1 million households.


Westbrook returns to the Fallon fold

[minneapolis] Fallon Worldwide Chairman Pat Fallon is teaming up once again with Bill Westbrook, Fallon president-executive creative director from 1993 to 1996 during the shop's period of high growth. The agency said Mr. Westbrook, 61, is not a replacement for Executive Creative Director Paul Silburn, who left earlier this year, nor is he Mr. Fallon's successor. The pair will work to restore the strength of the Minneapolis office, now with 300 employees, and to build "the agency for the future," the agency said. Mr. Westbrook had been working as a consultant to Publicis Groupe sibiling shop Leo Burnett and P&G.
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IAB expects 30% rise in Net ad revenue for 4Q

[new york] In figures pointing to another booming year online, the Interactive Advertising Bureau estimated Internet advertising revenue for the 2005 fourth quarter to exceed $12.5 billion. That's a 30% increase over the previous revenue record of $9.6 billion in fourth-quarter 2004, and the highest quarter reported to date, according to the study by the IAB and PricewaterhouseCoopers.


Chrysler opens review for custom publisher

[Detroit] Chrysler Group has begun a review for a publisher to handle production of its slick Chrysler, Jeep and Dodge owners' magazines, an account worth more than $10 million and a business that's been handled in the U.S. by Meredith Corp. since 2002. Meredith is participating in the review along with companies like Rodale, Hearst Magazines and London's Haymarket Publishing, according to executives. Joe Eberhardt, exec VP-global sales and marketing at Chrysler Group, is said to favor Haymarket, which handles Dodge, Jeep and Chrysler owner magazines in Europe. A Chrysler spokeswoman declined to comment. A Meredith spokesman said that the company is participating.


FYI...

Heineken appointed independent agency StrawberryFrog, New York, to create a global campaign linking it with the James Bond movie to be released later this year, the first to star actor Daniel Craig as the latest James Bond. ... Celebrity fragrance expert Coty will this fall launch a scent based on the hit ABC TV show, "Desperate Housewives." Coty declined to comment on marketing plans behind the launch. ... Frito-Lay's Doritos brand this month launches "Destination Doritos" on specially marked packages and on its Web site, offering two getaway prize packages daily from travel site Orbitz.com through April 21. . ... Future U.S., publisher of enthusiast magazines like Guitar World , bought Revolver, the hard-rock and heavy metal magazine, from Harris Publications. Terms were not disclosed. ... Fox-backed My Network TV signed up a major local group, Sinclair Broadcast, last week in a deal that will take My Network TV's coverage up to 35% of the U.S. ... The International Herald Tribune is moving to eliminate 36 positions this year in a bid to cut costs, according to Michael Golden, publisher. ... Jonathan Anastas, 38, to VP-marketing Network Live, an entertainment network formed through a venture of AOL, XM Satellite Radio, and AEG to produce live content such as Live 8 and other concerts.
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