[NEW YORK] DDB Needham Worldwide is rolling out a global name change that will retain the Needham name only in North and South America and Asia. Ten years after the DDB and Needham Harper Worldwide merger, the Needham name will be dropped where agencies have local affiliates or on below-the-line DDB Needham subsidiaries. BMP DDB Needham, London, which created the new yellow and gray logo, becomes BMP DDB while DDB Needham Direct becomes DDB Direct. Additionally, the official corporate name has been changed to DDB Needham Worldwide Communications Group from DDB Needham Worldwide Inc.
[LAS VEGAS] CNBC, in a major departure from its other prime-time programming, is negotiating to get the basic cable rights to "ER," an industry executive said last week at the National Association of Television Program Executives convention. CNBC primarily uses a talk/information block in prime time, but parent company NBC recently assigned West Coast President Don Ohlmeyer to revamp that lineup. Also in the bidding for "ER" are Lifetime and TBS. The deal would likely be a basic cable/syndication play.
[NEW YORK] Frito-Lay will become a $2 million sponsor of USA Basketball, organizer of the U.S. Olympic basketball team. The package includes media buys on NBC's and TNT's broadcasts of several pre-Olympic games by Dream Team 3. The No. 1 snack marketer's play will be seen by many as an ambush of Eagle Snacks-tied to the Olympics through its soon-to-be former owner, Anheuser-Busch. A-B is a $40 million U.S. sponsor of the Games. Frito-Lay agency BBDO Worldwide, New York, will produce an ad campaign.
[COLUMBUS, OHIO] CompuServe named DDB Needham Worldwide, Chicago, as agency of record for its estimated $35 million account less than six months after Martin/Williams, Minneapolis, won the business. Martin/Williams will continue handling special projects for the company, including the image campaign for its second online service code-named Project Wow! and set to debut this spring.
[WASHINGTON] The Postal Rate Commission announced general approval of the U.S. Postal Service's proposed postal reclassification and rate changes, but rejected dividing small and large publications into separate mailing categories. The Postal Service's Board of Governors must still review the plan. Large, presorted titles will see an average rate decline of 3.7%, rather than a 14% drop. The average increase for titles otherwise handled will be 3.5%. Business Publishers Association President-CEO Gordon Hughes said trade publishers were "generally thrilled with the recommendations."
[TROY, MICH.] Saturn Corp. will begin efforts to brand its dealers' used-car business with a national print campaign breaking Feb. 12 in USA Today. The ad is headlined, "They treated me like I was buying a Saturn or something," from Hal Riney & Partners, San Francisco. Saturn also is studying how to give consumers access to dealers' used-car inventory through Saturn's World Wide Web site (), said John Orth, director of consumer marketing.
[WASHINGTON] MCI Communications Corp. this week will launch a new slogan, "Shop Naked," for its 1-800-MUSIC-NOW music shopping service. MCI introduced the slogan Jan. 28 during a 5-hour fly-by over Phoenix's Sun Devil stadium during Super Bowl XXX. Today the company kicks off a radio campaign by Messner Vetere Berger McNamee Schmetterer/Euro RSCG, New York, in 10 U.S. markets.
[NEW YORK] N.W. Ayer & Partners executives declined to comment on the fact it didn't retain Procter & Gamble Co.'s Olean for the fat substitute's introduction (see earlier story, Page 35). Ayer had handled early work on the product. The shop's lack of global reach was said to be the deciding factor in Grey Advertising winning the business.
[NEW YORK] Jerry Della Femina says several agencies have inquired about acquiring the 49% stake in his agency, Jerry & Ketchum, now held by Ketchum Communications, Pittsburgh.
N.V. Philips, Eindhoven, Netherlands, to the Carat Group, Paris, in a consolidation of the consumer electronics marketer's estimated $200 million media planning and buying account in Europe. D'Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles and Euro RSCG had handled most European media.... Clorox Corp., Oakland, Calif., has begun contacting agencies about handling some of the $70 million in billings now at Foote, Cone & Belding, San Francisco.... Rubbermaid, Wooster, Ohio, announced the demise of its 15-year relationship with DDB Needham Worldwide, Chicago, which handled the estimated $12 million to $15 million account for Rubbermaid Home Products. .... Cliff Freeman to the seven-member worldwide creative board of Saatchi & Saatchi Advertising, New York. Mr. Freeman is chairman-CEO of Saatchi's Cliff Freeman & Partners division.... Ogilvy & Mather Interactive, New York, has pitched PepsiCo for a new interactive assignment.... Poppe Tyson, the Bozell-owned New York ad agency, is acquiring Internet Advertising Network, an Atlanta developer of software for targeting, delivering and measuring advertising on the Internet.... Cruise Line International Association, New York, has decided to postpone until June a decision on its first-ever $10 million advertising account.... Margeotes/Fertitta & Partners and Deutsch, New York, have dropped out of the $8 million review for Kiwi International Airlines, Newark, N.J. Incumbent Gianettino & Meredith, Short Hills, N.J., and three other shops remain in the review.