AGENCY PITS ITSELF AGAINST TOSCO

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In a spot for 76 gas from Dailey in West Hollywood, Calif., playing up the brand's Nascar tie-in, a woman drives into a station and is quickly surrounded by a pit crew that gives her car the full treatment (AA, May 11). In a '95 spot from William Eisner & Assoc. in Wisconsin playing up the brand's Nascar tie-in, a woman drives into a station and is quickly surrounded by a pit crew that gives her car the full treatment. There are differences, yet the spots also have striking similarities. Bill Eisner handled 76 in the Midwest and East before Tosco bought the brand in 1997, and Eisner says his shop owns rights to his campaign. Eisner, hoping to continue his relationship with the new owner, says he showed the work to Tosco boss Thomas O'Malley and sent a copy to Tosco ad exec Karen Adams. Tosco went on to hire Dailey. Eisner, who's been seeking payment for Nascar ideas he pitched to Tosco, wonders if his spot influenced Tosco's new campaign. Dailey prez Brian Morris and Tosco VP Bill Shrader say they've never heard of Eisner and never saw its work; Morris says he was with creative chief Cliff Einstein when Einstein came up with the pit stop idea. Adams and O'Malley hadn't returned calls at Adages' deadline. But in a letter last month to Eisner, before the new spot broke, O'Malley said: "Your company didn't bring us any new ideas."

Name the biggest tech publication

What's the difference between a computer magazine and a business magazine? Not too much. Tech ads accounted for 56% of Business Week's ad pages and 44% of Fortune's in the first quarter, says Adscope's Sheila Craven. The Wall Street Journal generated 27% of its pages from tech. If first-quarter trends continue, the Journal will overtake Ziff-Davis' PC Magazine as the biggest publication in tech ad revenue.

Net gains, net losses, networks

Three big networking products makers had big reviews last fall leading to big brand campaigns this year: 3Com (FCB/SF), Bay Networks (Hill Holliday/Boston), Cabletron (Donino White/Atlanta). Wall Street now figures Bay will be bought by someone like Nortel or Lucent. Rumors have IBM buying 3Com. How long will the networking companies, agencies and campaigns last?

Kinko's . . . sunken ship

Goodby dropped out of Kinko's review because Hewlett-Packard saw Kinko's as a conflict with its efforts to sell into home offices. . . . Publicis/Bloom sent a mailer to prospects and consultants promoting the agency by offering a test drive at a local BMW dealer. Bloom works with three of Bimmer's four U.S. regional dealer groups. . . . DMB&B in Troy, Mich., is looking for a new creative to run Cadillac. . . . Women account for 40% of business travelers. So how did Conde Nast Traveler play its "Business Traveler" supplement? With a split run: 60% of covers show a guy, 40% show a woman. . . . Wells brought in a string quartet to play for employees on closing day this month. All that was missing from the Titanic ambience, one exec says, was the life jackets.

Compiled by Bradley Johnson with news from Mercedes M. Cardona, Alice Z. Cuneo, Jean Halliday and Ann Marie Kerwin.

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

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