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Brian Heffernan was named president of J. Walter Thompson USA, Chicago, succeeding John Clinton. Mr. Heffernan had been the New York-based exec VP-director of new business development worldwide for JWT. Prior to that post, he had headed new business for JWT in Chicago. Mr. Clinton returns to Toronto, after two years in Chicago, where he will be chairman of JWT Canada. Prior to his Chicago assignment, Mr. Clinton had been president of JWT Canada. He succeeds Ted Nation, who left JWT Canada.

Rally's breaks new M&C Saatchi ads

Rally's Hamburgers on March 29 launched its first major campaign from new agency M&C Saatchi, New York. The $12 million effort is aimed at cutting through the promotional clutter of fast-food. The spot takes aim at all the big names in fast-food and marks the debut of a new theme, "Make me a burger. Hold the hype." The campaign includes four 30-second TV spots, radio and outdoor. Spot TV buys are slated for 14 markets.

Bertelsmann buying Random House

German media giant Bertelsmann AG agreed last week to acquire Random House from the Newhouse family, owner of Advance Publications and Conde Nast Publications, for an estimated $1.4 billion. Random House will become part of the company that owns Bantam Doubleday Dell Publishing Group, as well as Gruner & Jahr USA Publishing. The merging of the two publishing houses, to carry the Random House name, will mean that Bertelsmann will increase its share of the $21 billion U.S. book market from 6% to 10%. S.I. Newhouse Jr. was reported as saying Advance has no plans to reinvest the money from the sale but would consider other opportunities.

Primedia marketing post goes to McCarthy

Primedia Magazine Group named Cowles Business Media President Daniel R. McCarthy, 38, to the newly created post of senior VP-marketing and development. It said Mr. McCarthy is responsible for developing new business and marketing initiatives across all its magazine product lines and its other media brands. Primedia recently acquired the Cowles Enthusiast and Business Media units from Cowles Media.

Bud's lizards are kids' favorite ads

The Budweiser lizards were the favorite ads of kids aged 6 to 17, according to a survey from CME KidCom, the children's marketing division of Campbell Mithun Esty, Minneapolis. In a poll of 800 children, Budweiser's spots were the favorite among 240 commercials rated, followed by commercials for Pepsi-Cola, Nissan, Nike, American Dairy Association, Coca-Cola, Barbie, Snickers, McDonald's and Hostess.

Wham-O, Outback boards move to Bates USA

Wham-O hired Bates USA, Irvine, Calif., without a review, replacing Foote, Cone & Belding, San Francisco, and Lambesis, Del Mar, Calif. Spending is $6 million. Also, Outback Mountainboards, Seattle, chose the Bates office as its first agency after a review with three other undisclosed agencies. Spending is $3 million to $5 million.

Donchak to stay on as JWT's Kraft chief

J. Walter Thompson Co., Chicago, said the worldwide account director on its Kraft business, Lori Donchak, reconsidered her previously announced plans to resign and will stay on as an exec VP of the agency and worldwide head of the Kraft account.

Horizon Media forms new unit

Horizon Media created HMI Entertainment to target the film, TV, home video and leisure industries. It will provide clients with media planning and buying and marketing counsel and be led by Neal Lemlein, formerly senior VP-marketing and production at Popcorn Channel. At HMI Entertainment, he will hold titles of managing director and consultant. Horizon's 1997 billings were $250 million.

Microtel, Hawthorn get national TV spots

U.S. Franchise Systems broke its first national TV advertising campaign for its Microtel Inn & Suites and Hawthorn Suites hotels last week with 15-second spots on CNN, CNN Headline News, The Weather Channel and CNNsi. The yearlong campaign will have six Microtel brand ads that will air 500 times during the year and feature two Tibetan monks on a "Journey of Enlightenment" across the U.S. The tagline is "There's room for everyone." The spots play off the funny things that people do in private. 360 Inc., Atlanta, handles.

Dayton Hudson buys Rivertown Trading

Dayton Hudson Corp. is acquiring Rivertown Trading Co. a catalog marketer, for about $120 million. Dayton Hudson is interested in leveraging its database and fulfillment expertise for the Internet.

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