Clutter Grows on Big 3; Sprint Calls Finalists in $30 milion review

Late News: Recall Dims Chrysler's New Neon; P&G lights up smoking-cessation products deal

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Clutter grows on Big 3, but Fox drops

NEW YORK-Prime-time clutter is rising again on the Big 3 TV networks, the Association of National Advertisers and the American Association of Advertising Agencies said in a report due out this week. The study, to be released at the ANA's annual TV Advertising Forum, showed clutter rose to 13 minutes, 24 seconds per prime-time hour on ABC in November, up 38 seconds from November 1992. Prime-time clutter rose 29 seconds to 13 minutes, 53 seconds per hour on CBS and increased 25 seconds to 13 minutes, 43 seconds on NBC. ABC vowed to advertisers to reduce clutter more than a year ago. Fox cut prime-time clutter, dropping 3 seconds to 14 minutes, 35 seconds.

Sprint calls on finalists in $30M review

KANSAS CITY, Mo.-Sprint named finalists for its estimated $30 million new account targeting business customers, including New York shops Wells Rich Greene BDDP, Backer Spielvogel Bates Worldwide, Grey Advertising and Lintas;and Goodby, Berlin & Silverstein, San Francisco. Also, four new 30-second network TV spots will break next week during the Olympics in a continuation of the "Be There Now" corporate campaign, via J. Walter Thompson USA, San Francisco.

Recall dims Chrysler's new Neon

HIGHLAND PARK, Mich.-Chrysler's Neon subcompact got off to a rocky start as the company recalled all 1,300 cars sold and shut down its Neon assembly plant for at least a week. The action was taken because of the potential for water leaks into the engine controller. The automaker also must fix another 13,700 cars already built. Chrysler said it won't change its media schedule.

CBS kicks in $85M offer for college football

BIRMINGHAM, Ala.-Presidents from the 12-school Southeastern Conference are considering CBS' reported $85 million, five-year offer to bolt the College Football Association's TV package with ABC in 1996. The Big East Conference is also involved in the deal and is negotiating separately with CBS. The deal would give CBS rights to SEC and Big East football plus some men's and women's basketball games. CBS is fighting to make up the loss suffered when the National Football League recently sacked the network after 36 years in favor of Fox.

PM trims price gap for premium, discount smokes

NEW YORK-Philip Morris USA moved to reduce the price gap between premium, discount and store cigarette brands by cutting back on the so-called "off invoice" allowance for its Famous Values brands and eliminating a semiannual distributor's subsidy for the discount Basic brand. Analysts said the moves, effective today, will have the effect of increasing store brands pricing by 30 cents a carton almost immediately and making the gap between store brands and discount cigarettes about 85 cents a carton, down from $1.15 a carton.

Agencies, media unhurt by Dow's 96-point slide

NEW YORK-Friday's 96-point drop in the Dow Jones Industrial Average caused little damage to stocks of publicly traded agencies and broadcast companies. Foote, Cone & Belding Communications closed up 1/8 at 461/4; Interpublic Group of Cos. was unchanged at 311/2; Omnicom Group was down 3/4 to 481/2; Saatchi & Saatchi Co. was down 1/8 to 63/4; and WPP Group was down 1/16 to 3 7/16. "Except for FCB, the other four have been struggling, so if they can stand up to that kind of a drop, they are probably pretty good values," said James Dougherty, a Dean Witter Reynolds analyst.

FDA readies label guidance on bovine hormone

WASHINGTON-The Food & Drug Administration late last week said it planned to provide guidance to milk producers, dairy co-ops and others who wanted to voluntarily label their products as free of a new bovine growth hormone. The FDA defended the safety of Monsanto-produced BST, a hormone that stimulates milk production. The debate was fueled by the Pure Food Campaign, a consumer group that planned to advertise against the chemical next month in The New York Times, said Jeremy Rifkin, director.

P&G lights up smoking cessation products deal

CINCINNATI-Procter & Gamble has signed an agreement with Cygnus Therapeutic Systems to develop P&G's first smoking cessation products, which industry analysts said will include a nicotine patch. Cygnus already manufactures Warner-Lambert Co.'s Nicotrol patch, and has more than a dozen products in various stages of development.

Pepsi's `Chimps' swings into debate in Greece

SOMERS, N.Y.-Pepsi-Cola Co.'s irreverent, comparative "Chimps" TV spot is generating controversy only in Greece, a blow to Pepsi's plan to use the spot to spark debate over laws prohibiting comparative ads. Critics theorize Pepsi is so anxious to infuse controversy into its 28-country campaign that it arranged for Alan Pottasch, senior VP-worldwide creative for Pepsi-Cola International, to publicly criticize the company's domestic advertisin,g created by BBDO Worldwide, New York, in The Wall Street Journal last week. Pepsi denies that strategy.

PacifiCare sends $15M-$20M account to Ketchum

CYPRESS, Calif.-PacifiCare Healthcare Systems selected Ketchum Advertising, Los Angeles, to succeed Baxter Stone, Santa Ana, on its $15 million to $20 million account.

A-B cuts local, doubles regional sales offices

ST. LOUIS-Anheuser-Busch will sharply cut back on local sales offices but double regional offices to 10 in a major revamp of the brewer's sales organization. Some wholesalers said the move will be accompanied by personnel layoffs and cuts in local event and program sponsorships, though not apparently in advertising. Separately, A-B said it signed a five-year sponsorship deal with the PGA Tour for Michelob.

Nike dunks $50M into Air Max Squared rollout

ATLANTA-Nike will spend $50 million in advertising to support the yearlong rollout of the Air Max Squared footwear line, the marketer said at Super Show. The bulk of the media dollars will be allotted to the basketball line. New TV spots from Wieden & Kennedy, Portland, Ore., will hit in the spring and fall.

Bally lifts creative work to Riney

CHICAGO-Bally's Health & Tennis Corp. moved the creative portion of its $50 million account to Hal Riney & Partners. Suissa/Miller, Santa Monica, Calif., previously handled.

Interactive Net looks to 5 shops in $7M review

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif.-Interactive Network has narrowed to five finalists the agency search for its $7 million account. Finalists for the interactive TV company's account are incumbent Goldberg Moser O'Neill, San Francisco; Wunderman Cato Johnson, San Francisco and New York, working with the San Francisco office of Hawthorne Communications, Fairfield, Iowa; Williams Television Time, Santa Monica; and Kobs & Draft and A. Eicoff & Co., Chicago.

Murdoch poised to sell `Boston Herald'

NEW YORK-Rupert Murdoch will sell the Boston Herald to a top executive to clear the way for News Corp. to reacquire Fox affiliate WFXT, Boston. Patrick J. Purcell, president of News America Publishing and publisher of the Herald and New York Post, will buy the daily newspaper. The sale removes any potential conflict with a federal rule prohibiting joint ownership of a TV station and daily newspaper in the same market.

British Telecom unites $70M at Abbott Mead

LONDON-British Telecom is consolidating its $70 million U.K. consumer ad business, previously divided among several agencies, at Abbott Mead Vickers/BBDO, London. The agency pitched against British Telecom's other main agencies, Saatchi & Saatchi Advertising and Simons Palmer Denton Clemmow & Johnson, as well as BMP DDB Needham..

Y&R hires management exec for marketing post

NEW YORK- Young & Rubicam Inc. has brought in professional management executive Robert W. Rene as senior VP-director of marketing, a new post. Mr. Rene, 36, was formerly president-ceo of the Export Fund, an international finance marketing and consulting company in California.

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ACCOUNT ACTION

Ameritech said finalists for the creative portion of its estimated $40 million consumer account include incumbent Tatham Euro RSCG, Bayer Bess Vanderwarker and Ogilvy & Mather, all Chicago. The company has also named six finalists for its estimated $50 million media buying account; Tatham now handles print while Bayer Bess handles broadcast. Besides the incumbents, finalists are DDB Needham Worldwide; Fallon McElligott, Minneapolis; Ross Roy Communications, Bloomfield Hills, Mich.; and Stranger & Associates, Los Angeles.

Lennox Industries named six contenders for the heating and cooling company's estimated $8 million to $12 million account: CME KHBB, Minneapolis; Young & Rubicam, Detroit; Wells Rich Greene BDDP, Chicago; Lintas Campbell Ewald, Warren, Mich.; GSD&M, Austin, Texas; and incumbent Ross Advertising, St. Louis.ITT Hartford Insurance Group is reviewing its $3 million to $5 million account, handled for 27 years by McCaffrey & McCall, New York. Backer Spielvogel Bates absorbed McCaffrey last week.Blockbuster DC Local Advertising Fund named Adworks, Washington; incumbent Bernstein-Rein, Kansas City, Mo.; and D'Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles, St. Louis, as finalists for its estimated $2 million to $3 million account.Today's Man to J. Walter Thompson USA, New York, from Kaiser Feinberg & Associates, Moorestown, N.J., for the men's clothing superstore's estimated $7 million to $10 million account.

Zurich-American Insurance Group to Ayer Chicago from BBDO to handle the property and casualty insurance company's estimated $3 million corporate account.Rose's Stores to Rockett, Burkhead, Lewis & Winslow, Raleigh, N.C., from W.B. Doner & Co., Southfield, Mich., for the discount retailer's estimated $2 million to $3 million broadcast creative account.

Futai to Avrett, Free & Ginsberg, New York, from Follis Advertising for the umbrella marketer's $2 million account.

Adirondack Beverages to Margeotes Fertitta Donaher & Weiss, New York, from in-house for its estimated $2 million account.Maryland Public Television to Noble Steed Associates, Lutherville, from Frank, Freeman & Mathai, Timonium, for its three-year, $2.1 million contract.

Conde Nast Publications to Shain Colavito Pensabene Direct, New York, for its consolidated direct response broadcast campaigns for circulation promotion.

Mitsubishi Motor Sales of America regional dealer associations in Dallas, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles and San Francisco are reviewing their accounts, together estimated at $7.5 million, after Grey Advertising's G2 unit, Huntington Beach, Calif., resigned.

Rehabilitation Clinics to Gillespie, Princeton, N.J., as first agency. Also: ERI to Gillespie as first agency for the computer system integration marketer's account.

MEDIA MOVES

Prime Ticket Network, the William Morris Agency and interactive technology provider ACTV will be partners in L.A. Project, an interactive sports and entertainment cable TV service set to begin rolling out in southern California by early '95. Prime Ticket will sell advertising on the service.On-line computer services will grow to a $3 billion industry in 1998 from $530 million today, predicted technology researcher Forrester Research.

National Association of Broadcasters asked Congress to dedicate a portion of the broadcast spectrum for transmission of information, voice paging and perhaps advertising.

Ticketmaster Corp. announced it has formed a partnership with record labels EMI Music, PolyGram Holdings, Sony Software Corp. and Warner Music Group to launch an ad-supported, video-music cable TV channel in the U.S. and Puerto Rico this year.

NBC Entertainment is still evaluating whether to renew "Homicide: Life on the Street," an acclaimed police drama that averaged a higher rating during its recent four-week return than the show it filled in for, "L.A. Law."

FOR THE RECORD

BMW will pay $1.2 billion for an 80% stake in Britain's Rover Group, best known for its upscale Land Rover and Range Rover sport-utility vehicles. The deal means BMW can market a sport-utility before archrival Mercedes-Benz enters the segment with a U.S.-built model in 1997. In the U.S., Mullen, Wenham, Mass., handles BMW, and Grace & Rothschild, New York, handles Land Rover.

Legwear Acquisition Corp. has bought for $170 million Kayser-Roth Corp., marketer of No Nonsense pantyhose, from Collins & Aikman Group. No Nonsense is handled by Lois/USA, New York.

Continental Airlines will nearly triple the number of no-frills "Peanuts Fare" flights to 875 daily departures, starting March 9. In some markets, the low-fare flights will compete against Southwest Airlines. The Richards Group, Dallas, handles.

GLOBAL NEWS

Suchard sweetens ad spending: Kraft Jacobs Suchard is hiking its chocolate unit's 1994 ad budget 35% to $84 million. Young & Rubicam and Ogilvy & Mather, both Frankfurt, handle.

Saatchi exec joins Berlusconi: Robert Lasagna resigned as chairman of Saatchi & Saatchi Advertising Italy, Milan, and deputy chairman of Saatchi & Saatchi Europe, to become manager for media magnate Silvio Berlusconi's parliamentary campaign. Saatchi Italy Managing Director Paolo Ettore will replace Mr. Lasagna.

U.K. plans anti-smoking campaign: The U.K. Department of Health today presents proposals for a plan to discourage smoking but denies published reports that the proposals include a tobacco-ad tax and limits on ads' tax deductibility.

`Cosmo' arrives in Russia: Hearst Magazines International will introduce a Russian-language Cosmopolitan as an every-other-monthly April 29 in a joint venture with Independent Media, a Dutch-owned publishing company. The first issue, with a $2.50 cover price, carries 30 pages of ads. A page is $5,500.

Montreux Symposium canceled: The Montreux Symposium in Switzerland, one of the oldest annual international direct marketing conventions in Europe, has been canceled because organizers did not expect the 500 registrants needed to break even. Direct marketing experts said that while the industry is doing well across Europe, growth in national direct marketing fairs hurt the Montreux Symposium's registration.

Aussie bank seeks Asian shop: The National Australia Bank is deciding between Dentsu, Young & Rubicam and Batey & Partners, both Hong Kong, to handle its Asian rollout with a $5 million campaign. The bank's three Australian agencies-J. Walter Thompson Co., Sydney, and Clemenger BBDO and Badjar, both Melbourne-are not pitching.

GM drives new Q ads: General Motors' U.K. subsidiary Vauxhall Motors will back its 2-year-old Network Q used-vehicle line with a new $7.5 million campaign from Cogent, London. The campaign follows by one week a new $4.5 million campaign for used cars by rival Ford Motor Co.'s Ford Direct by Ogilvy & Mather Advertising.

Eurocos sprays new scent: Procter & Gamble's Eurocos is bringing men's fragrance Laura Biagiotti Roma Uomo eau de toilette, aftershave and balm to Western Europe and parts of the Middle East. A print and TV campaign handled by Grey, Dusseldorf, starts in March.

Star serves new pasta: BSN's Italian food group Star will support a new pasta product this spring with a $6 million campaign from Leo Burnett, Milan.

ACCOUNT ACTION:

Hitachi European Center's $7.5 million European account to Backer Spielvogel Bates Worldwide. Backer's Scholz & Friends, Hamburg, will be lead agency and coordinate with BSB Dorland, London, and BSB France, Paris. Previously, local agencies handled. ... Saab Great Britain's $7.5 million U.K. account to Barker & Ralston Advertising, London, from CME KHBB. ... Axel Springer's $6 million to $7 million account for its German TV listing magazine Hr Zu to Springer & Jacoby, Hamburg, from Knopf, Nageli, Schnakenberg. ... Nestle's $4 million to $5 million German business for Friskies Gourmet cat food and Friskies Matzinger dog food to McCann-Erickson, Frankfurt, from Lintas, Hamburg. ... Grupo Iberia is expected to decide this month on an agency for its $4 million airline image campaign from 10 shops, including its four Madrid-based incumbents: Tapsa/N W Ayer, ICF, Publicidad 96 and Publicis FCB Arge.

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