CLUB DISNEY REVIEWS ACC'T; VIACOM STORES NEAR DECISION: FLEDGLING UNIT CONTACTS SIX SHOPS AS TWO AGENCIES VIE FOR RIVAL'S UNIT

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Walt Disney Co.'s Club Disney division has begun a review for its $5 million to $10 million account, just as Viacom is wrapping up an agency search for its budding retail business.

Club Disney, a location-based entertainment operation similar to the Discovery Zone, is contacting six agencies in Los Angeles and San Francisco. A decision will come in mid-September.

Club Disney's first location opened last February in Thousand Oaks, Calif. The chain will open a second site in West Covina this fall and will add five more locations next year.

Wunderman Cato Johnson, New York and San Francisco, handled the first Club Disney opening. Disney said it was happy with Wunderman's work, particularly in direct mail, but needed to evaluate its options as it expands the chain.

AWARENESS CAMPAIGN

"The new agency will handle advertising in both markets and create a general awareness campaign for Club Disney," said Andrea Stanford, Club Disney's marketing manager.

She said the division will most likely re-evaluate its agency resources again when it expands outside of California next year.

Ms. Stanford also said a loyalty program would be implemented next year, though it will be restricted to Club Disney locations and not extend to other Disney location-based businesses, such as theme parks and studio stores.

At Viacom, its Viacom Retail Stores division this week is expected to choose between DDB Needham and the Richards Group, both Dallas, to handle its business, which is poised to explode over the next year.

The assignment includes adver-tising, interactive marketing and public relations. Sources close to the review said the marketer looked at Dallas-based agencies because the Viacom Retail Group moved there and wanted to have close contact with a local agency.

The winning agency will handle the marketer's flagship Viacom Entertainment Store, opened last May in Chicago, and will oversee the launch of new Viacom stores over the next year. The budget wasn't disclosed.

NICKELODEON STORES COMING

Viacom's retail division will launch three mall-based Nickel-odeon stores this fall and 15 to 20 more next year.

Marc Salvatore, VP-operations for Viacom Retail Stores, said the division will test three new concepts next year.

"We have such wonderful brands, so we're looking at several different businesses that have viable retail potential," said Mr. Salvatore. He wouldn't disclose which brands will be involved, but MTV, Nick at Nite and "Star Trek" are the likely candidates.

Contributing: Alice Z. Cuneo.

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