AD AGES;HOW OIL CHANGE WILL AFFECT ARNIE;TED TURNER'S TALK OF THE TOWN;JOHNNY, WE HARDLY SAW YOU;JUST A FRIENDLY LITTLE CHAT;Y&R&NINA . . .CAMRY FOR PREZ

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Pennzoil pitchman Arnold Palmer survived the agency review, but he likely will play a lesser role in the oil ads. Pennzoil last week awarded its $40 million ad account to GSD&M of Austin after 37 years at Lois/EJL in Houston. Arnie's been in the ads since 1978, but GSD&M's pitch didn't include a job for the aging king of swing. Word is Arnie, pals with Pennzoil chief James Pate, lobbied the company to keep EJL. Maybe that wasn't necessary. Arnie's agent says Pennzoil "went out of its way to assure Arnold that their relationship wouldn't change," and Pennzoil tells Adages Arnie will remain its spokesman. GSD&M learned last week it must find a way to keep Arnie involved somehow. "He will continue to have a role; at what level hasn't been determined," says an agency exec.

Event: Gathering of cable elite at last week's NY fund-raiser to support minorities in cable.

What: Conversation between Ted Turner, soon-to-be vice chairman of Time Warner, and Alan Gerry, who sold his cable company to TW earlier this year.

Turner: How much stock did you get?

Gerry: 16 million shares.

Turner: My God, man, we've got to get you on the board! You know how to make money!

In hushed tones, Turner confirmed to Gerry that Bank of NY boss J. Carter Bacot is to join TW's board. Bacot will be a sort of proxy: He's close pals with John Malone, whose TCI will own about 9% of the merged TW/Turner Broadcasting. Under FTC edict, Malone can't join the TW board.

One of JFK Jr.'s last public appearances as a free man was at the Ad Age Marketing 100 awards lunch at NY's Pierre three days before The Wedding. The single guy slipped in to sit at the Hachette table with company PR man Keith Estabrook, who was picking up an award for the launch of JFK Jr.'s George. The only hint something was up: Kennedy told us Wednesday he was heading off for "a three-week vacation."

Insiders wonder why Hearst Mags prez Cathleen Black met recently with Forbes FYI editor Chris Buckley, Esquire's ex-managing editor. Might Black want Buckley for the top job at Esquire? Certainly not, if you buy Black's public assertions she's sticking with editor Ed Kosner for the long haul.

Hallway buzz at Y&R is that Vice Chairman Ted Bell and Y&R NY Prez Steve Davis are wooing Nina DiSesa, McCann/NY's executive creative director, for the agency's top NY creative job. DiSesa and Davis had a great working relationship in the early '90s at JWT/Chicago. The question is whether she would accept a No. 2 role to Bell. . . . Our favorite political advertising of the year: The new Toyota Camry spots. With patriotic music and copy like "The new Camry. Smarter. More confident. Better than ever," is this car running for president?

Compiled by Bradley Johnson with news from Mark Gleason, Jean Halliday, Jeff Jensen, Keith J. Kelly and Chuck Ross.

Got an Adage? Tell Brad by phone, (213) 651-3710, ext. 111; fax, (213) 655-8157; or email, brad@crain.com.

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