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[san francisco] U.K.-based Leagas Delaney is selling its San Francisco office to local management and will open a new U.S. office in New York this fall. The San Francisco office, which recently lost two key accounts, will be bought by the current management team of Wayne Buder, Ken Kula and Vince Engel and be renamed. Terms were not disclosed. Leagas Delaney Chairman Tim Delaney said he will work with the new San Francisco agency on two accounts, Doc Martens and newly won software marketer Nvidia.

Cast of 1,000 star in anti-tobacco spot

[washington] American Legacy Foundation breaks a new TV spot in its "Truth" campaign July 8 that depicts 1,000 youths, in sight of the Brown & Williamson Tobacco Corp. building in Louisville, Ky., laying down in the street as one holds a sign saying: "Tobacco kills 1,200 people a day. Ever think of taking a day off?" Havas' Arnold Worldwide and Maxxcom-backed Crispin Porter & Bogusky, Miami, handle American Legacy. The spot will run for eight weeks on cable networks and on News Corp.'s Fox broadcast network. Spending was not disclosed.

AT&T Wireless mulls dropping mLife effort

[redmond, wash.] AT&T Wireless is considering two alternative brand campaigns from Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide, New York, one of which would drop the mLife theme introduced in January 2002, according to people familiar with plans. The campaign proposals come after the marketer told the agency it was dissatisfied with its TV ads but pleased with performance of Ogilvy's retail effort. At least two agencies are believed to be circling the account. An AT&T spokesman wouldn't comment on the possibility that the marketer will switch agencies, and he praised results of the mLife campaign. AT&T Wireless measured spending last year was $664 million.

Ex-Sears PR chief to head Citigate unit

[chicago] Former Sears, Roebuck & Co. PR and government affairs chief Ron Culp, 55, was named managing director at Incepta Group's Citigate Sard Verbinnen financial and corporate communications agency and will open an office for the agency in Chicago, its first outside New York. At Sears, Mr. Culp served for 10 years as senior VP-public relations and government affairs.

A SAG election looms as ad talent talks near

[los angeles] The Screen Actors Guild faces a contentious summer election in the weeks leading up to the start of talks with the ad industry for a new talent contract. SAG President Melissa Gilbert will seek re-election after SAG members narrowly defeated a proposal she backed to merge with the American Federation of Television & Radio Artists, SAG's bargaining partner in the ad-industry talent labor talks. Negotiations start after Labor Day; the current contract ends Oct. 30.

Microsoft shuffles ethnic shops before push

[redmond, wash.] Microsoft Corp. is preparing a major branding push targeting women and ethnic small-business owners, a company executive said. Joanna Fuller, diversity marketing manager, said those groups are not using technology "as strategically as their general-market counterparts are." Microsoft last week moved its African-American account to GlobalHue, 49% owned by Interpublic Group of Cos., and its Hispanic account to independent Lopez Negrete Communications, Houston. UniWorld Group, New York, 49% owned by WPP Group, was the incumbent. Interpublic's McCann-Erickson Worldwide, San Francisco, is Microsoft's general market agency.

Sizzler USA ads offer satisfaction guarantee

[sherman oaks, calif.] Worldwide Restaurant Concepts' Sizzler USA touts a "satisfaction guaranteed" promise in ads featuring its St. Louis BBQ Spare Ribs that break today in California markets. Advertised product guarantees are uncommon in restaurant marketing. Kovel/Fuller, Culver City, Calif., handles. Spending was not disclosed. Creative, with a style based on reality-TV, captures the reaction of passersby trying ribs served on plate by a "Try-It" guy. The ad offers a free meal if customers are not satisfied.

Media rules published, FCC faces new attacks

[washington] Critics attacked new Federal Communications Commission media ownership rules following their formal publication last week. Dissenting FCC Commissioner Michael Copps, a Democrat, predicted higher ad rates are likely, citing unspecified reports that media companies were trying to force marketers to buy stations they did not want. The rules permit the creation of bigger TV station groups and allow more media cross-ownership in local markets.

FYI . . .

DaimlerChrysler's Chrysler Group breaks ads for its upscale Crossfire coupe today with a campaign themed "Dreamed in America. Crafted in Germany." Omnicom's BBDO, Detroit, handles. Spending was not disclosed. Media include: an Internet roadblock of banner ads July 8 on five Web sites; a CD-Rom insert in four magazines featuring Celine Dion's music; and a TiVo Showcase effort. ... Gary Neel was named worldwide account director for General Motors Corp. at Interpublic Group of Cos.' McCann-Erickson Worldwide, a new post, and will lead McCann regional GM directors in more than 45 countries. Mr. Neel continues as managing director, McCann-Erickson Detroit, Troy, Mich. In the U.S., McCann handles Buick and GM corporate ads. ... Polaroid said it is talking to agencies on an invitation-only basis about its global account, at Public Groupe's Leo Burnett Worldwide and Starcom, Chicago, since 2000. Polaroid spent an estimated $15 million in U.S. measured media last year, said TNS Media Intelligence/CMR. ... Kao Corp.'s Andrew Jergens Co. cut to four the number of agencies competing for its $90 million ad account: New York-based shops Kirshenbaum Bond & Partners, Wolf Group, Havas' Arnold Worldwide and Interpublic's Hill, Holliday, Connors, Cosmopulos. QwikFIND aao82n . ... Lilly ICOS, the marketer of Viagra competitor Cialis, will be the presenting sponsor for the Western Open golf tournament beginning in 2004 under a three-year deal signed with the PGA Tour and the Western Golf Association. The new name for the tournament was not immediately disclosed, nor were the financial terms of the deal. Grey Global Group's Healthy Grey, New York, handles the Cialis launch in the U.S. U.S. approval for Cialis is expected later this year. QwikFIND aao82w. ... Kim McGill was named marketing director for North American products at General Motors' Cadillac, Automotive News reported, replacing Susan Docherty, who will attend General Motors' Stanford Sloan Fellows Program in California for one year. Ms. McGill had been Cadillac's director of retail development. ... "Orphan brands" marketer Aurora Foods (Duncan Hines, Aunt Jemima and others) agreed to sell a 65% equity stake to private equity firm J.W. Childs Associates for $200 million as part of an ongoing bankruptcy restructuring plan. Interpublic's Lowe, New York, handles.

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