ALMAY FATTENS SPENDING TO $25 MIL-$30 MIL;STUDY SHOWS ESCALATION IN PRIME-TIME CLUTTER;TIME WARNER PICKS LOWE FOR FIRST IMAGE CAMPAIGN;GE CAPITAL DISCUSSES DEAL FOR WARD'S DIRECT UNIT;HILLS STORES HUNTS FOR FIRST AGENCY;SHELL MAY NOT RETURN AS NFL PROMO SPONSOR;COSMAIR TO NAME WENDT AS MAYBELLINE PRESIDENT;BOZELL LOSES COTTONELLE AS K-C COMBINES BRANDS;DENNY'S TARGETS BLACKS WITH NEW CAMPAIGN;ABBOTT LABS WINS FDA APPROVAL FOR AIDS DRUG;W.B. DONER REORGANIZES ITS MEDIA DEPARTMENT

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[new york] Revlon is boosting its ad spending on Almay cosmetics and skincare to $25 million to $30 million in 1996 from more than $11 million last year as the company introduces new products and formulas under the Clear Complexion and Amazing names.

[new york] Clutter in network prime time increased an average of 2.7% in November to 14 minutes, 43 seconds per hour, from 14:20 in November 1994, according to the annual TV Commercial Monitoring Report from the Association of National Advertisers and the American Association of Advertising Agencies. For May 1995, the average was up 2.8% to 14:39 from 14:15 a year earlier. The study, which tallies non-program minutes, found clutter increased by more than 1 minute during late night. The most cluttered daypart continues to be daytime, with more than 19 minutes per hour in May and November.

[new york] Time Warner selected Lowe & Partners/SMS for a corporate image campaign, the first since the merger of Time Inc. and Warner Communications in 1990. "We want to attach equity for the various products, which have been around a long time, to the corporate entity," said a spokeswoman.

[chicago] Industry executives said Montgomery Ward Holding Corp. and GE Capital Corp. are in the final stages of negotiating a deal to sell or spin off Ward's $500-million direct-marketing unit, Signature Financial/Marketing, Crain's Chicago Business reports. Ward's confirmed an examination of the business is under way.

[canton, mass.] Hills Stores Co. is looking for its first ad agency, to handle a $10 million broadcast account, said an agency executive. The 164-unit regional discounter, which emerged from Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in October 1993, just appointed Gregory Raven as president-CEO; he's a former executive with Revco D.S. Hills couldn't be reached for comment.

[houston] Shell Oil Co. isn't expected to return to the National Football League next season as a promotional sponsor, but is negotiating to remain involved in the NFL Football & Academic Championship Team program for youth. Shell may also get promotional rights to Super Bowl XXXI. NFL Properties will likely give the gas station category back to individual clubs. Look for Shell to rethink other sports marketing expenditures and redirect most of those dollars toward auto racing.

[new york] Cosmair will name John Wendt president of Maybelline, effective May 1. Mr. Wendt was previously senior VP-general manager of L'Oreal cosmetics; that business will be run by Joe Campinell, formerly senior VP of L'Oreal haircare and now general manager of all L'Oreal products. Mr. Wendt is expected to take a close look at both Maybelline's Memphis, Tenn., location and its agency, Gotham, New York.

[dallas] Kimberly-Clark Corp. is combining its Kleenex and Cottonelle toilet tissue brands starting April 1, backed by a multimillion-dollar TV and print campaign from Foote, Cone & Belding, Chicago, breaking in May. The combination means Bozell, New York, will be dropped as the agency for Cottonelle. Along with the combination of brands will come a new line extension, Kleenex Cottonelle Ultrasoft.

[spartanburg, s.c.] Denny's restaurants launches a campaign targeting African-Americans today from Glover & Potter, Chicago, featuring original music from Bill Withers. The campaign will run on cable, network radio and in magazines.

[abbott park, ill.] Abbott Laboratories received Food & Drug Administration approval for retonivir-a promising new class of AIDS drug that is a protease inhibitor-branded as Norvir. Hoffmann-La Roche's protease inhibitor, Invirase, was the first, approved in December and FDA's acceptance of Merck & Co.'s Crixivan is imminent. The Abbott and Merck brands are likely to get direct-to-consumer ads.

[southfield, mich.] W.B. Doner & Co. realigned its media department, centralizing media planning here while moving most buying to its Baltimore co-headquarters. Media planning will report to Senior VP Mark Guleff, formerly head of all media operations, and media buying will report to Senior VP Dave Robinson, previously head of Baltimore media operations.

F.Y.I.

Apple Computer reportedly will close the eWorld online service April 1. ....AutoNation USA, Fort Lauderdale, Fla., to Hill, Holliday, Connors, Cosmopulos, Boston, for the new ad account for its used-car mega-stores. ....Gary Moss to president of TPP Communications, New York, a division of TPP, from VP-global advertising at Campbell Soup Co....Sprint Spectrum, Kansas City, Mo., has narrowed the finalists for its $30 million review to J. Walter Thompson USA, Hal Riney & Partners and Goldberg Moser O'Neill, all San Francisco; and Hill, Holliday, Connors, Cosmopulos, Boston....U S West has agreed to purchase Continental Cablevision, the nation's No. 3 cable operator, for $10.8 billion in the third-largest media deal in U.S. history....Ed Kjaer to director of marketing for Edison International's electric vehicle division, Los Angeles, from manager of corporate marketing, Mazda Motor of America, Irvine, Calif.... U.S. Air Force Recruiting Office, San Antonio, put its annual $16 million account into review as it neared the close of its five-year contract with Bozell, Jacobs, Kenyon & Eckhardt, handled by BJK&E Specialized Advertising, Dallas, which will be in the review....Stroh Brewery Co. said it doesn't plan to eliminate any brands with its purchase of G. Heileman Brewing Co. W.B. Doner & Co., Baltimore, handles most Heileman brands. Stroh's shops are Hal Riney & Partners, San Francisco; Fallon McElligott, Minneapolis; Wyse Advertising, Cleveland; and Burrell Communications Group, Chicago. ....Del Taco, Orange, Calif., is reviewing its estimated $8 million fast-food account, currently at Italia/Gal, Los Angeles.... Colgate-Palmolive Co. has moved closer to final approval from the Food & Drug Administration for Total triclosan toothpaste, with only some labeling issues to be resolved....Kikkoman International, San Francisco, is reviewing its $5 million to $6 million account, with a dozen Bay area agencies in contention, including incumbent Saatchi & Saatchi Advertising.

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