Sega's ESPN game unit parts ways with Wieden
[San Rafael, Calif.] Sega's Visual Concepts, marketer of ESPN-branded sports games, split with Wieden & Kennedy, New York, after nine months, the marketer and agency said. Spending was estimated at $10 million when Wieden won the account. Wieden's Portland, Ore., office has been courting competing sports video-game maker Electronic Arts (creator of category-leading Madden football games), executives familiar with the situation said. An Electronic Arts spokesman denied any changes in its relationship with See, San Francisco (the former Odiorne Wilde Narraway & Partners).
Three shops left in $300 mil AOL review
[Dulles, Va.] Time Warner's America Online said three finalists remain in the review for its $300 million offline media account: Aegis Group's Carat, New York; Publicis Groupe's Starcom MediaVest, Chicago; and incumbent Interpublic Group of Cos.' Initiative Worldwide, New York. Not advancing are: WPP Group's Mediaedge:cia ,Omnicom Group's OMD and Publicis' Zenith Optimedia. Pile & Co., Boston, is handling the review.
Key role in store for Kelly in reworking of AOL sales
[New York] As part of a major revamp of America Online's sales unit, Time Warner's Michael J. Kelly is expected to succeed AOL Exec VP-Interactive Marketing Lisa Brown, who left, and become AOL's ad sales chief, said executives. An announcement could come this week. Mr. Kelly's title will be different than Ms. Brown's and his responsibilities broader. They will include overseeing search-engine-related revenue-generating activities as well as other e-commerce deals. A name change in the interactive marketing group is likely. Mr. Kelly currently is president of Time Warner's Global Marketing Solutions group. AOL and Time Warner spokesmen declined to comment. See Adage.com QwikFIND aap27y
More P&G brands share in WNBA sponsorship
[Cincinnati] Procter & Gamble Co., in the second year of sponsoring the National Basketball Association's WNBA, is adding its Crest and Bounce brands, bringing the number of its brands in the deal to nine. It will also extend advertising to all WNBA arenas. P&G advertises during game broadcasts on the ABC, ESPN2, Oxygen and NBA-TV networks and will continue ads on WNBA.com and its presenting sponsorship of the "Mind, Body and Spirit with Summer Sanders" show on NBA-TV. Spending was not disclosed.
GM's Cadillac eyes more Zeppelin tunes
[Detroit] General Motors Corp. is exploring the possibility of using more Led Zeppelin songs for its Cadillac broadcast ads, said Cadillac General Manager Mark Laneve. He said the rock band's "Rock and Roll" has been featured in Caddy ads for two years and has given "audio equity" to the campaign, from Publicis' Chemistri, Troy, Mich.
Hershey, Nascar team for a Kisses wedding
[Hershey, Pa.] In a nod to TV reality-shows, Hershey Foods will stage a Valentine's Day wedding next month at the Daytona International Speedway during the Hershey's Kisses 300 Nascar race. Hershey will run 12 15-second spots for Kisses, via WPP's Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide, New York, during the NBC race telecast. NBC will run two 60-second spots featuring the history of the couple, chosen in a Hershey's Tie-the-Knot promotion.
Intro ads start for hybrid Lexus SUV
[Torrance, Calif.] Toyota Motor Sales USA last week broke print ads for its Lexus RX400h sport utility, due this fall, that position it as "the world's first luxury hybrid." A 60-second TV ad will air through January on all domestic flights of American Airlines and United Airlines. The ads are the first phase of an introductory campaign that will run through fall. Spending was not disclosed. Publicis' Team One Advertising, El Segundo, Calif., handles.
Northlich assigned ads for Noxema, Old Spice
[Los Angeles] Universal Group awarded Northlich, Cincinnati, advertising, promotion and public relations duties for Old Spice and Noxzema razors, shaving preparations and skincare products, without a review. Spending was not disclosed. There was no incumbent agency. Universal licenses the Old Spice and Noxzema brand names from Procter & Gamble Co. It plans its first-ever cable TV and print ads for the product lines this spring.
North America president named at Unilever HPC
[Greenwich, Conn.] Unilever said Harish Manwani will succeed Charles Strauss as president of Unilever HPC in North America. Mr. Manwani, 50, currently heads Unilever's Home and Personal Care unit in Latin America. Mr. Strauss, 61, will retire in May.
The National Football League said its new NFL Network plans to rerun the commercials from CBS's Feb. 1 Super Bowl telecast in a special show at 11 p.m. ET on game day and then later in the week. The NFL said the Super Bowl ads are already rerun online over Time Warner's America Online after the game and that it was in the process of securing advertiser permissions for the NFL Network airing. ... The media mix supporting Democratic presidential candidate Howard Dean will include a race car competing in Nascar's Busch Series beginning next month. Driver Brian Weber's car will bear a "Howard Dean for President" logo on its hood and sides. "Team Dean Racing" is independently funded and not authorized by the candidate or his committees. ... The anti-tobacco American Legacy Foundation breaks new creative Jan 12 in its youth-targeted "truth" campaign. The new "Connect truth" ads will appear in TV, radio, print and online. Crispin Porter & Bogusky, Miami, and Havas' Arnold Worldwide, Boston, handle. Creative employs an orange dot icon to link together pieces of information and to challenge teens to think about their perceptions of the tobacco industry and its products. Spending was not disclosed. ... Former Conde Nast Publications Exec VP Cathy Viscardi Johnston and her husband, Doug Johnston, former publisher of Conde Nast's Vanity Fair, signed a one-year deal to launch Connecticut Cottages & Gardens in September for Cottages & Gardens LLC. The Johnstons operate the Westport, Conn.-based Midway Communications consulting firm. ... Grey Global Group's J. Brown/LMC Group, Stamford, Conn., is forming a first-of-its-kind joint venture with Crossmark, Dallas, one of the two leading brokers serving the package-goods industry. The new unit, called the J. Brown Agency, will be majority owned by Grey and combine Grey's retail and co-marketing unit (whose clients include Procter & Gamble Co. and Altria Group's Kraft Foods) with Crossmark's 6,000 retail representatives to run in-store advertising and promotion programs.