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In a surprise move, Century 21 Real Estate Corp. moved its $40 million account to Lowe & Partners/SMS, New York, from Arnold Communications, Boston.

TBWA Worldwide acquires Nippo stake

Omnicom Group's TBWA Worldwide has acquired a 70% stake in Nippo, Tokyo, from shareholders including Nissan Motor Co., TBWA's largest worldwide client. Nissan will retain about a 10% interest in Nippo. The deal is expected to close in September. Nippo has 266 employees and reported revenues of $33 million for the year ended March 31. Takeshi Tanuma, president-CEO of Nippo, will retain his post, said Omnicom CFO Fred Meyer. A new agency name, yet to be determined, will include both TBWA and Nippo.

Oracle goes on offensive with $25M campaign

Oracle Corp. broke a $25 million global campaign in The Wall Street Journal with the theme "Now you know" as part of its offensive to take on German software applications giant SAP. The campaign goes global in September. Brash no-nonsense ads from Think New Ideas, West Hollywood, Calif., show how Oracle databases give executives information they need to make decisions.

Advantica taps Hispanic shops

Advantica Restaurant Group's Coco's Bakery Restaurant and Carrows Restaurant named Al Punto Advertising, Santa Ana, Calif., and Houston Helm & Bermudez Communications, Los Angeles, as their respective Hispanic agencies.

Victory Corp. introduces Virgin Clothing

Virgin Group is extending its name to Victory Corp.'s new Virgin Clothing sportswear line. The line makes its debut at Selfridge's department store in the U.K. and then rolls out to 200 more retailers.

CAB reports 24.5 million view basic cable

The Cabletelevision Advertising Bureau reported that basic cable hit an all-time high of 24.5 million average U.S. households during prime time, a 17.9% increase, for the week of Aug. 10 to 16. For the same week, the Big Four broadcast networks delivered 23.2 million households.

NAA taps Kimball as new senior VP

Newspaper Association of America named John Kimball as its new senior VP-chief marketing officer. Mr. Kimball was senior VP-sales, Macromedia Newspapers, Hackensack, N.J. He succeeds Jim Currow, now VP-metro newspapers, Morris Communications Corp.

TMP Worldwide acquires Morgan & Banks

TMP Worldwide, New York, agreed to acquire Sydney-based Morgan & Banks, an executive search firm and consultancy. Each share of Morgan's stock will be exchanged for shares of TMP stock based on TMP's stock price prior to closing. TMP will apply for listing on the Australian stock exchange. Separately, TMP sold its London agency, The Square, to Earle Palmer Brown, New York.

AFC acquires Cinnabon chain

AFC Enterprises said it agreed to acquire Cinnabon International, operator of a 358-unit bakery chain, in a deal expected to close next month. AFC is the parent of Church's Chicken, Popeyes Chicken & Biscuits, Chesapeake Bagel Bakery & Cafe and Seattle Coffee Co.

WPP Group reports first-half gains

WPP Group, London, reported its revenues for the first half of 1998 rose 8.4% to $1.5 billion and operating profit for the period rose 19.5% to $171 million. Net new billings rose to $1.3 billion during the first half, compared to $1.1 billion in 1997. Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide and J. Walter Thompson Co. together showed net new-business billings of $576 million in the first half, up 25% from $456 million in the same period last year.

Tribune Co. buys Florida weeklies

Tribune Co. said it is acquiring South Florida Newspaper Network, publisher of 33 south Florida weekly newspapers and 12 magazines. It will become part of the Tribune's Sun-Sentinel Co.

Bud Light `gals' available on CD

Anheuser-Busch's Bud Light will market a CD later this month featuring the brand's hairy "ladies," who are really men in drag trying to get beer on ladies' night. Tower Records, Wherehouse Records, Blockbuster Music and Virgin Records will carry the CD; Wal-Mart Stores, Kmart Stores and J.C. Penney Co. also will carry a video and promotional T-shirt. DDB Needham Worldwide, Chicago, handles.

Duncan Pollock exits Ammirati

Ammirati Puris Lintas North American President Duncan Pollock resigned as expected (AA, March 30). Mr. Pollock's responsibilities will be assumed by Ammirati Chairman-CEO-Chief Creative Officer Martin Puris until a new New York office head is named in a few weeks.

CMPnet breaks consumer ads

Online tech publisher CMPnet breaks its first consumer print campaign with ads running in Fast Company, Time, Time Digital and Upside, as well as in CMP Media's own print publications. The campaign, which aims to position CMPnet as the ultimate Web destination for business technology resources, was created by Frankfurt Balkind Partners, New York.

Tricon cites restaurant gains

Tricon Global Restaurants' KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell brands have posted same-store sales increases so far this quarter, which ends Sept. 5. The chains spent about $300 million in national advertising last year.

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