[basel, switzerland] Swiss pharmaceutical company Roche Holdings has awarded creative duties on its $30 million Tamiflu to independent GSW Worldwide, Columbus, Ohio. GSW confirmed the win but referred calls to the client. Roche could not be reached for comment. Roche has spent less than $2 million on Tamiflu in the last two years. But executives close to the pitch said the account is expected to be worth close to $30 million now that Roche has upped production as a response to a possible pandemic outbreak of avian influenza.
Wal-Mart taps Select to handle $578M review
[bentonville, ark.] Wal-Mart Stores has chosen Select Resources International, Santa Monica, Calif., to manage its $578 million advertising and media review, according to executives familiar with the situation. Incumbents GSD&M, Austin, Texas, (an Omnicom unit) and Bernstein-Rein, Kansas City, Mo., are defending. SRI and Wal-Mart executives couldn't be reached for comment.
Reckitt splits account between JWT and Euro
[new york] Reckitt Benckiser is expected to split its brands between WPP Group's JWT and Havas' Euro RSCG, the remaining two contenders in the review for its $300 million global business. The move comes after Interpublic Group of Cos.' McCann Erickson pulled out of the review at the insistence of SC Johnson, which is a client of Interpublic's FCB. Reckitt started the review to trim its roster to two agencies. Interpublic confirmed McCann's withdrawal. A Reckitt spokesman said the company does not comment on agency relationships.
Expedia in review; Deutsch not participating
[seattle] Online travel agent Expedia.com is putting its $170 million ad account in review, the company confirmed. Current agency of record, Interpublic's Deutsch, Los Angeles, said it will not defend. A company spokeswoman said Expedia was "looking for new creative ideas." Donna Wells, senior VP-marketing, will lead the review.
P&G parks all razor business at BBDO
[cincinnati] Procter & Gamble Co. will shift overseas creative duties for Gillette blades and razors from Interpublic's McCann Erickson to Omnicom's BBDO Worldwide effective Aug. 15, a spokeswoman said. The move puts all blade and razor work under BBDO, which already handles the Gillette and Venus brands in the U.S. and most global markets. The duties included those brands and some local brands in Latin America and "other select developing markets," the spokeswoman said, adding that conflicts were not an issue. McCann also handles P&G rival L'Oreal, and while the two are not competitors in razors and blades, P&G has been exploring moving the Venus brand into other beauty- and personal-care categories.
A-B buys Rolling Rock from InBev for $82M
[st. louis] Anheuser-Busch bought the Rolling Rock brands for $82 million from InBev USA and will brew the beer outside its traditional Latrobe, Penn., brewery starting in August. A-B has yet to assign advertising for the brands. InBev, the Belgian brewer, had indicated earlier it was looking to sell Rolling Rock to concentrate on its import brands in the U.S., among them Beck's, Bass, Labatt and Stella Artois.
Cadillac offers content for Xbox racing game
[detroit] Liz Vanzura, global marketing director of General Motor Corp.'s Cadillac unit, teamed the brand with Microsoft to offer the first free downloadable content for Xbox 360's Project Gotham Racing 3. Owners of the game and can add Cadillac's three V-Series performance models to the race. The top 100 gamers get elite status that gives them exclusive goodies. Cadillac said it wants to build awareness and consideration among males 28 to 35 for its V-Series.
Motorola opens first retail store in Chicago
[chicago] Motorola is racing to open a store on North Michigan Avenue-its first retail outlet-on June 5, before archrival Nokia Corp. can open its own store just a block away, Crain's Chicago Business reports today. Motorola, the world's second-largest maker of cellphones behind Nokia, is close to signing a temporary lease for the former Terra Museum of American Art, according to people familiar with the plan. Separately, Motorola this week is expected to unveil the Q, almost six months after it was scheduled to hit the market.
MLB unveils new anti-steroid effort
[new york] Major League Baseball and the Partnership for a Drug-Free America used the first night of interleague games to launch their latest anti-steroid ad, a TV spot featuring the banners and medals of a school's winning team evaporating because a player hurt by steroids wasn't there. "Sometimes kids just don't see it," said the ad from BBDO, New York, that broke May 21 on ESPN's Sunday Night Baseball telecast. "Steroids can ruin bones, tendons, organs and dreams." Major League Baseball launched the ad campaign last year.
Coke signs pro angler as Vault spokesman
[atlanta] Coca-Cola North America has signed a sponsorship agreement with reigning Bassmaster Angler of the Year Aaron Martens for its Vault Hybrid Energy soda. Mr. Martens will represent the brand through the 11-event Bassmaster tournament circuit. He will wear a Vault-branded jersey, drive a Vault-wrapped boat and truck and make appearances for the brand.
FYI . . .
The American Legacy Foundation breaks a new documentary-style version of its Truth anti-tobacco campaign today that features a "correspondent" investigating some of the ideas of Big Tobacco. Havas' Arnold Worldwide, Boston, and Crispin Porter & Bogusky, Miami, handle American Legacy.