BASKING RIDGE, N.J.-AT&T today is expected to name five or six finalists for its estimated $200 million to $300 million direct marketing consumer long-distance account. Sixty-one now handle parts of the business. AT&T is said to have insisted that winners resign conflicting accounts. It expects to name two or three agencies to share the entire account.
NEW YORK-DDB Needham Worldwide's office here is laying off an estimated 20 people, including creatives and account staffers, as a result of reorganizing into four clusters with individual responsibility for profit and loss (AA, March 14). Separately, the cluster headed by creative directors Bob Mackall and Jack Mariucci is expected to handle the Joseph E. Seagram & Sons account.
CHICAGO-The U.S. Patent & Trademark Office has overturned a controversial patent of a frequently used method of combining video, text, sound and graphics in multimedia software programs. Patent Commissioner Bruce Lehman last week denied each of 41 claims in a highly unusual review of the Compton's NewMedia patent. Joint owners Tribune Co. and Encyclopaedia Britannica had no comment on the reversal, which they have 60 days to appeal and which could have produced tens of millions of dollars in royalties. "This is a real victory for developers and publishers of multimedia titles," said Philip Dodds, executive director of the Interactive Multimedia Association.
LONDON-Eurotunnel, the English-French consortium administering the 32-mile tunnel linking the countries, halted a $37.5 million marketing campaign from BMP DDB Needham in the U.K., France, Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany, citing delays in starting the passenger rail service. The introduction, originally set for May, may be postponed until late summer.
NEW YORK-The National Football League is said to be considering a plan to make its scandal-plagued marketing arm, NFL Properties, and other independent business divisions directly accountable to NFL President Neal Austrian. The NFL began a management review of its business divisions following the dismissal earlier this month of NFLP President John Flood, when it was learned he made an investment violating NFL rules.
RIO DE JANEIRO-Banco do Brasil has split its new $75 million, four-part account between two small Brazilian agencies, Giovanni & Associados Propaganda and Master Comunicacao & Marketing, Curitiba. Since the government permits each agency to hold only one account, the winners must decide which they will relinquish to the second-place agency.
BOSTON-Gillette is preparing a U.S. introduction of SensorExcel shavers and blades, which have a series of flexible narrow fins in front of the blade that stretch skin for a closer shave. Already available in Europe, it's expected to first be marketed here for men and then for women via BBDO Worldwide, New York. Separately, Warner-Lambert's Schick, a Gillette rival, will introduce this May a new women's system called Silk Effects supported with an estimated $12 million marketing campaign, including print and TV, from J. Walter Thompson USA.
NEW YORK- Ogilvy & Mather has decided against forming a spinoff agency led by Exec VP-Creative Head Bill Hamilton and Senior VP-Executive Creative Director Rick Boyko.
LONDON-The U.K.'s Advertising Standards Authority banned Benetton's latest controversial print ad displaying a dead Croatian soldier's blood-stained clothes. The authority received more than 100 complaints about the ad.
NEW YORK-Church & Dwight's Arm & Hammer will run the first major print campaign for baking soda in nearly 30 years, starting this week. The estimated $8 million effort, from Partners & Shevack, focuses on the hundreds of uses for the 150-year-old household product. Eight ads will run through the end of the year in women's, babies' and parents' magazines, including Cosmopolitan, Family Circle and New Woman.
ORRVILLE, Ohio-J.M. Smucker Co. moved its estimated $15 million account to Leo Burnett USA, Chicago, after 35 years with Wyse Advertising, Cleveland and New York. The account was the only business for Wyse's New York branch, which will remain open with a significantly reduced staff. Smucker will continue to use its longstanding tagline-"With a name like Smucker's, it has to be good"-developed by Wyse.
SAN MATEO, Calif.-Software marketer Electronic Arts parted company with Goldberg Moser O'Neill, San Francisco, and is taking its $8 million to $10 million account to Odiorne Wilde Narraway Groome, a new San Francisco agency formed by two creatives who worked on the account at Goldberg and an account exec who later went to work for Electronic Arts.
WOODCLIFF LAKE, N.J.-BMW of North America breaks a TV and print campaign today introducing a convertible version of the 318i, comparing the $29,900 price to classic BMW convertibles, like a 1957 507 model now valued at $225,000. Mullen, Wenham, Mass., handles the nearly $70 million account.
NEW YORK-Generation Xers aren't troubled by price when it comes to preserving beauty, concludes the 1994 Mademoiselle Beauty Study of 1,000 women ages 18 to 29. The study bucks earlier notions that tough economic times have made twentysomething women especially price sensitive. Instead, 95% said if a beauty product works, price doesn't matter.
ATLANTA-Coca-Cola Co. is rolling out nationally its PowerAde sports drink, backed by an estimated $30 million in ad support from McCann-Erickson Worldwide, Seattle. The brand's first national advertising breaks next month and features two-sport athlete Deion Sanders.
MINNEAPOLIS-Rollerblade, a unit of Benetton Sportsystem, will break a new TV campaign on broadcast and cable TV on April 25 from Carmichael Lynch, Minneapolis, only the second U.S. TV effort in Rollerblade's history. "Colette," targeted at young adults, tells the comical tale of a love-struck skater, while "Martian," aimed at kids, presents an alien's fascination with Rollerblade's new Blade Runner Pro 500 model.
WOODBRIDGE, N.J.-Sunshine Biscuits is introducing a reduced-fat line of cookies and crackers, including Hydrox, Cheez-It and Vienna Fingers. The products, rolling out this spring and summer, will be supported by free standing inserts, with creative handled by Geraghty & Roman, Hightstown, N.J.
LONDON-British Telecom is introducing a new on-egg campaign from Holmes & Marchant Blitz, High Wycombe, by branding 13.5 million eggs with the company's logo and the slogan "Wake up to BT's new daytime rate." A 10 million-egg campaign costs an advertiser $60,000, and Holmes said the minimum assignment it will accept is 2 million eggs-equivalent to a week's sales of a small U.K. grocery chain.
MINNEAPOLIS-Fingerhut Cos. said it will start "S" The Shopping Network, a new home shopping channel offering housewares, electronics and other merchandise. The company has signed long-term agreements with two cable systems to reach more than 4 million households.
COMINGS & GOINGS
Terrence L. Stecz, 39, to president, a new post at the Whitehall-Robins consumer healthcare products division of American Home Products Corp. from president, A.H. Robins Consumer Products.
Berlusconi's TV networks warned: Italy's media watchdog, Garante per l'Editoria, warned TV networks to follow campaign regulations or lose their licenses temporarily. The warning came after personalities on Silvio Berlusconi's Fininvest endorsed their boss during regular programming. He is running for office in the March 27-28 elections and could become prime minister if his party wins a majority of Parliament.
Japanese discounter alters ads: Discount retailer Aoyama Trading stopped ads called misleading by the Fair Trade Commission because they misrepresented the store as discounting merchandise already being sold at low prices. Agency Hakuhodo, Hiroshima, also produced Aoyama ads for unavailable merchandise.
Euro RSCG may start second network: Euro RSCG is considering whether to create a second European network before the end of summer. It would consist of agencies Euro RSCG already owns, including WCRS, London; El Dorado, Paris; and Synergie, Suresnes, France.
Coke to claim it's `real' in U.K.: Coca-Cola is reportedly planning a multimillion-dollar U.K. campaign claiming to be the "real" cola, with TV and print from Bartle Bogle Hegarty, London. The ads would counter Cott, a Canadian bottler and soft-drink marketer planning a May U.K. cola introduction for a private-label brand, to be marketed with retailer Sainsbury and possibly others.
Baltic pet food spots restricted: Baltic states' health ministries have asked channels to run pet food TV spots only after 11 p.m., following complaints from pensioners who cannot afford meat. Mars, Inc. subsidiary Masterfoods, marketer of Whiskas and Pedigree brands, was named. Its agency, Age Reklaam, Tallinn, Estonia, said Mars accepted the rule.
BMZ may lose Henkel due to merger: Ad networks BMZ Europe, Duesseldorf, owned by FCB Publicis, and Groupe FCA, Paris, owned by Publicis, will merge, together handling $600 million in billings. However, a conflict between BMZ's Henkel cosmetics business, worth about $40 million, and FCA's larger L'Oreal business is expected to result in a review of the Henkel cosmetics.
Schindler lifts spirits: Schindler Lifts, a 120-year-old Swiss elevator company, rode a wave of good publicity by offering film passes in Australia's financial press on March 16. Its in-house ads read, "`Schindler's List,' a moving story about people. Schindler Lifts, a story about moving people."
International agency finalists named: Advertising Age's International Agency of the Year finalists are Bartle Bogle Hegarty, London; Leo Burnett Co., Bangkok; Casadevall Pedreno, Madrid; DM9, Sao Paulo; Lintas, Paris; and Nordskar & Thorkildsen Leo Burnett, Oslo. The winner will be announced in the annual Agency Report on April 13.
IN REVIEW: U.K. do-it-yourself chain Do It All is eyeing GGT, BMP DDB Needham and incumbent Cogent, all London, for its $27 million account. ... Allianz Versicherungs is reviewing its $24 million German insurance account with incumbent Euro RSCG, Duesseldorf, and four other shops. .*.*. Brash Holdings narrowed the pitch for its $10 million Australian music store account to Box Emery & Partners, Clemenger/BBDO, DDB Needham, Mojo Australia and incumbent George Patterson Advertising, all Sydney.
ACCOUNT ACTION: Barilla's $20 million pasta account for France, Germany, Greece and Spain to DDB Needham, Paris, from TBWA. .*.*. Bosch-Siemens Hausgeraete's $9 million German household appliance account to Rempen & Partner, Duesseldorf, from HSR&S/SMS.
Sprint's new $40 million business-to-business account to Grey Advertising, New York. Finalists included Wells Rich Greene BDDP; Lintas; and J. Walter Thompson USA, San Francisco, which still has Sprint's $80 million consumer account.
NEC Technologies, Boxborough, Mass., narrowed the field in its estimated $35 million North American review to incumbent DDB Needham Worldwide, New York; J. Walter Thompson USA; Campbell Mithun Esty, Minneapolis; Hill, Holliday, Connors, Cosmopulos, Boston; and Houston, Effler & Partners.
Campbell Soup Co. switched most of the estimated $15 million print account for red-and-white soups, focusing on use as ingredients in recipes, to BBDO Worldwide, New York, from Backer Spielvogel Bates. BBDO already has most of the overall $70 million account. Backer still handles Chunky soups.
Gallaspy & Lobel, Fort Lauderdale, Fla., picked up six accounts with billings estimated at $5 million: Willet Automotive Group, from Ad Productions, Miami; Gold Coast Auto Mall, from a series of boutiques; Swiss Chalet Restaurants, from Tag Advertising; Festival Flea Market, from Zimmerman & Partners, Fort Lauderdale; and Ben Smith Toyota/Pontiac and Naples Acura, both in-house.
Muratec Inc. to the Richards Group, Dallas, from Publicis/Bloom for the fax and cellular phone marketer's estimated $3 million to $4 million account.
AMP, the world's largest connective wiring and materials company, to Griffin Bacal, New York, for its first worldwide image campaign estimated at $3 million. Al Paul Lefton Co., Philadelphia, handles U.S. ads.
Waldenbooks $2 million account to Scaros & Casselman, Stamford, Conn., from Deutsch, New York.
FOR THE RECORD
Gallup Organization has created the Gallup Motion Picture Research Division to offer four services to movie marketers: tracking surveys, preview screenings, attendee surveys, and testing of trailers and ads. Saatchi & Saatchi Co.-owned National Research Group, Hollywood, Calif., now dominates the field.
The 66th annual Academy Awards averaged a 31.1 rating and a 49 share for ABC's March 21 telecast, the highest-rated entertainment program this season, according to Nielsen Media Research. ABC estimated 78 million U.S. viewers saw the telecast.
William Kelly, 45, resigned unexpectedly as president-ceo of Saab Cars USA. , 49, regional director for the Americas for Sweden-based Saab Motors AB, assumes the duties.
Vanstar, formerly ComputerLand, last week broke a major print campaign from Battenberg, Fillhardt & Wright, San Jose, Calif., to create a new corporate identity and brand for its revamped business, concentrating on computer services.
A U.S. District Court judge in Washington last week rejected a motion to dismiss the Church of Scientology International's suit against Eli Lilly & Co., WPP Group and its Hill & Knowlton and J. Walter Thompson Co. units, ordering the case to trial. Scientologists claim pressure from Lilly led Hill & Knowlton to drop their account because of the church's opposition to Prozac, a controversial drug Lilly markets.
Days Inns of America breaks a $7 million TV, radio and print campaign today from the Joey Reiman Agency, Atlanta, that pairs spokesman Willard Scott with cartoon character Fred Flintstone, promoting the new Flintstones Family Travel Fun program.
National Car Rental/Interrent started a network and cable TV campaign March 26 and today breaks print ads themed "Green means go," a play on its logo color that also emphasizes speed of service. The spots, aimed at business travelers, are the first of a series from W.B. Doner & Co., Southfield, Mich., on the $20 million account previously handled by Chiat/Day, New York.
Oldsmobile kicks off the first advertising for its $31,995 Aurora luxury sedan in today's edition of Crain Communications Inc.'s AutoWeek, but the General Motors Corp. division won't begin the core campaign until at least July. Leo Burnett USA, Chicago, is Oldsmobile's agency.
General Foods USA introduces Super Fruity Kool-Aid April 1 with TV spots from Grey Advertising, New York. The company is also lowering the price of Kool-Aid and promises retailers a 60% increase in ad spending, estimated at $25 million in 1993.
Nickelodeon will invest $30 million over three years to develop and produce original programming, including an agreement with Jim Henson Productions, for its preschool programming block "Nick Jr."
Star TV, owned by Rupert Murdoch, agreed to let the BBC's World Service Television, a program supplier, start an Arabic-language channel for the Middle East and North Africa. In return, the BBC will lose access on Star to some of Asia's most economically promising regions.
Cabletelevision Advertising Bureau has narrowed to four the list of candidates to succeed outgoing President-CEO Thom McKinney, who joins Rainbow Advertising Sales Corp., Woodbury, N.Y., as president May 1. Several senior agency and advertiser media executives are rumored to be finalists.