[ludwigshafen, germany] Benckiser is making a competitive bid for Maybelline, estimated at $660 million. Jean Andre Rougeot, president of Benckiser unit Coty Group Worldwide, confirmed the offer but wouldn't elaborate. In December, L'Oreal bid $508 million in cash plus
$150 million in assumption of debt. The offer is now bogged down in a U.S. Justice Department review that is seeking comment from L'Oreal rivals, including Procter & Gamble Co. and Revlon. The latter two have been involved in a nasty court battle over cosmetics ad claims and are now said to be negotiating an out of court settlement. Maybelline's $45 million ad account is handled by Gotham, New York.
[chicago] The Leap Partnership, a small creative agency that has done
work for Miller Brewing Co. and Nike, has held talks with at least two international networks, including Interpublic Group of Cos., about a possible affiliation.
[new york] U S West was rumored to be considering a takeover play of Time Warner, Wall Street sources said last week. But analysts following the two companies said the speculation was probably being fueled by developments related to the resolution of lawsuits between the companies, relating to Time Warner's planned merger with Turner Broadcasting System. Analysts expect a settlement based on the sale of certain Time Warner assets to U S West. In exchange, U S West would assume some of Time Warner's $13 billion to $15 billion in debt.
[los angeles] Live!, a new entertainment magazine from Ticketmaster Publishing, hits newsstands this week with 40 ad pages including spreads from Calvin Klein Jeans, Chrysler Corp., Estee Lauder Cos. and Columbia House Music Corp. The monthly will have a rate base of 500,000 paid and up to $15 million in backing from Ticketmaster to bring it to profitability over the next three years. A color page costs $19,800.
[london] Coca-Cola Co. said last week it will retain McCann-Erickson Worldwide as its central media planning/buying coordinator for all brands in Europe. Coke's European media spending is estimated at $200 million.
[hollywood] Warner Bros. is planning to relaunch the "Mad Max"
franchise next year with a toy line from WB Toys based on the trilogy of films starring Mel Gibson; and a new syndicated TV series, "Mad Max: The Road Warrior," hitting airwaves this fall. Warner Bros. Consumer Products will also license adult apparel, interactive games and comic books, said Dan Romanelli, the division's president. A fourth feature film, sans Mr. Gibson, is being discussed.
[cleveland] Advanstar Communications, publisher of 55
business-to-business magazines and related trade shows, said Jan. 12 it
was putting itself into play. Goldman Sachs & Co., which controls 49% of the common stock, is the largest single shareholder and has been retained as an adviser in the sale. Industry executives estimate the company is looking for about $200 million in a sale.
[new york] Schick Shaving Products Group has signed on as first sponsor for the NBA's Web site (http://www.nba.com). The longtime league sponsor will get signage on five heavily trafficked pages, as well as logo treatment on three pages of the site's "Rookie Report Presented by Schick." The sponsorship goes in effect Jan. 17, coinciding with the launch of Schick's own Web site (http://www.schick.com).
[new york] Consumer magazine ad pages soared to 208,378.41 pages for 1995, up 5.1% compared to the year earlier and a new all-time record, the Publishers Information Bureau revealed last week. December ad pages were down 1.5%.
[beaverton, ore.] The athletic footwear powers are readying their annual February basketball shoe ad assaults, armed with NBA stars. Wieden & Kennedy, Portland, Ore., is preparing Nike spots with Anfernee Hardaway and his puppet sidekick "Little Penny." Those ads will join a global spot starring Michael Jordan. Reebok International will counter with creative from Leo Burnett USA, Chicago, starring Shaquille O'Neal and Glenn Robinson.
Starter Corp., New Haven, Conn., to Margeotes/Fertitta & Partners, New York, from TBWA Chiat/Day for its $10 million to $15