CMP TAKES INTERACTIVE NEWSPAPER FIGHT TO COURT; DOWBRANDS REVIEWS $80M-PLUS ACCOUNT; REUTERS HAS GOOD NEWS, AVOIDS WHITTLE QUESTIONS; TACO BELL'S $150M ACCOUNT COULD STAY AT FCB ; COMPAQ EUROPE MAY GO TO BATES; GE CENTRALIZES $50M ACCOUNT AT BBDO; SCHMIDT MOVES TO KEY SPOT AT INDIVIDUAL INVESTOR; DIGITAL'S NARROWS $90M REVIEW TO DDB, LOWE; EUROPEAN AD SPENDING SHOWS SIGNS OF GROWTH; BATES USA ROLE UNCLEAR FOR CRACKNELL; DANNON HIT BY COALITION'S RECYCLING CAMPAIGN; IBM TRIMS PC WORK FORCE IN REVAMP; CHESEBROUGH TAKES SKINCARE PROMO TO WAL-MART; MCDONALD'S LOOKS TO NAVAJOS, GARTH BROOKS; GOLF LEAGUE MOVES OFF THE GREEN; UNILEVER AUSTRALIA SPLITS $45M IN MEDIA BUYING; VIDEOCON AWARDS $12.8M INDIAN MEDIA ACCOUNT; WORLD LEAGUE NAMES NEW TEAMS AND SPONSOR; WAL-MART PREPARES TO OPEN FIRST BRAZIL STORE; AUSSIE INSURER DROPS WHYBIN FROM $10M ACCOUNT; PEPSI TESTS CRYSTAL IN SPAIN, FIRST NON-U.S. ENTRY; DUTCH INSURANCE AGENCY USES U.S. SHOP FOR ADS; TDI, HAMBRO BUY LONDON TRANSPORT ADVERTISING; RIVALS LEEDS, AIS MERGE DOWN UNDER; EDELMAN SAYS IT WILL NOT SUE NAMESAKE; ACCOUNT ACTION; MEDIA MOVES; COMINGS & GOINGS; FOR THE RECORD

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MINEOLA, N.Y.-The battle of the interactive newspapers is getting ugly before it even begins. CMP Publications filed a lawsuit in New York state Supreme Court here against Interactive Enterprises and three of its executives, all former CMP employees. Interactive plans to launch InteractiveWeek in October with financial backing from Ziff-Davis. CMP, set to launch Interactive Age in September, is seeking $5 million in damages. The suit charges the ex-employees with breaching non-compete and confidentiality agreements, conspiring to engage in unfair competition and misappropriation of trade secrets. Interactive Enterprises President Jack Dolce called the suit an "utterly frivolous" public relations stunt. Besides Mr. Dolce, the suit names Beth Haggerty Ruffenach and Hugo Traeger as defendants. (For more details, sign onto Advertising Age Online on Prodigy.)

INDIANAPOLIS-DowBrands is conducting an $80 million-plus integrated marketing review, seeking to consolidate its total account. General advertising, promotion and direct marketing are priorities, but other considerations include Hispanic advertising, public relations, database management and packaging. Dow has sent out questionnaires to 25 agencies. Included in the review are Dow's four ad agencies- Campbell Mithun Esty, Minneapolis; Henderson Advertising, Atlanta; D'Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles, New York; and Mendoza, Dillon & Asociados, Newport Beach, Calif.-plus Rapp Collins Worldwide, Minneapolis; Ogilvy & Mather Direct, New York; and Golin Harris Associates, Dow's promotion, direct and PR agencies, respectively.

NEW YORK-Reuters Holdings Chief Executive Peter Job detailed the London-based company's glowing first-half earnings last week and announced the acquisition of the assets of GeoMedica, a physicians' on-line medical news service. He wouldn't confirm or deny whether Reuters is negotiating to acquire Whittle Communications' Medical News Network (AA, July 18). Whittle insiders said the talks continue, but that two other potential buyers have also come forward.

IRVINE, Calif.-A source close to the pitch said Foote, Cone & Belding has a good shot at keeping Taco Bell's $150 million account, with an announcement expected late this week. Executives from several North American offices of FCB present creative today, the final of four agencies to pitch the business.

MUNICH-Compaq is expected to move its estimated $50 million pan-European account to Bates Worldwide, Paris, from Ogilvy & Mather, which resigned to take IBM's $500 million global account.

FAIRFIELD, Conn.-General Electric consolidated its $50 million media buying and planning account at lead agency BBDO Worldwide, New York, which already had $30 million in buying for GE's lighting, appliances and corporate advertising. BBDO now adds media responsibility for business-to-business and GE Capital Corp. financial services accounts, previously shared by 30 small agencies. Separately, GE Capital named Berlin Wright Cameron, New York, to handle the GE Rewards credit card program, inactive for the past 18 months but previously at Hal Riney & Partners, New York. GE is expected to jump-start the program with as much as $10 million in spending.

NEW YORK-Robert Schmidt, the former president of mutual fund company Dreyfus Service Corp., and before that chairman of Levine, Huntley, Schmidt & Beaver, has joined Individual Investor Group as a major partner and president, a new post, and publisher of the group's magazine, Individual Investor.

MAYNARD, Mass.-Digital Equipment Corp. expects to pick either DDB Needham Worldwide or Lowe & Partners/SMS, both New York, as the first lead agency on its estimated $90 million account by the end of August. Separately, Young & Rubicam, New York, Digital's PC agency, was asked to work on several interim corporate assignments, including a campaign, possibly breaking in August, to shore up the troubled marketer's image.

LONDON-European ad spending appears to be bouncing back a bit. It's being forecast that expenditures, adjusted for inflation, will increase by 0.4% in 1994 and 2.4% in 1995. The growth follows a decline of 1.3% in 1993, the first drop in European ad spending since 1980. The study was done by NTC Publications, a British ad and media research company, with the U.K. Advertising Association and the European Advertising Tripartite. The projection lags expectations that gross national product for the European Union will increase 1.8% this year.

NEW YORK-The continued Bates USA responsibilities of Andrew Cracknell, executive creative director of Bates Worldwide and Bates USA, are in debate. Mr. Cracknell-an award-winning creative director who was among three Britons coerced to headquarters from the agency's London office by Bates Worldwide CEO Michael Bungey last year-may now be the last of those three to relinquish New York duties. Agency insiders said Mr. Cracknell, 47, has found it difficult to penetrate established client groups at the agency.

TARRYTOWN, N.Y.-Dannon Co. is the target of an environmental coalition looking to pressure consumer product companies to use easier-to-recycle packaging, Plastics News reported. Take the Wrap is asking consumers to mail polypropylene yogurt cups back to Dannon, as well as call other companies and urge them to change packaging.

ARMONK, N.Y.-Setting the stage for a fall PC brand streamlining, IBM is cutting 14% to 18% of its 11,000 worldwide PC jobs, including 20% of management. The marketer is also closing the Ambra Computer Corp. mail-order division; shifting seven product groups down to four; and consolidating 10 major employee locations nationally down to three. The $10 million Ambra account had been at Rockett, Burkhead, Lewis & Winslow, Raleigh, N.C.

GREENWICH, Conn.-Unilever's Chesebrough-Pond's USA unit this month begins the rollout of an in-store promotion at Wal-Mart's 2,100 stores nationwide for the Pond's Institute skincare line. The promotion includes lighted point-of-purchase displays. Thomson-Leeds Co., New York, coordinated the promotion.

OAK BROOK, Ill.-McDonald's could begin selling its hamburgers and fries on an Indian reservation for the first time later this year, Crain's Chicago Business reported. The fast-food chain is negotiating with the Navajo Nation, to open a restaurant in Window Rock, Ariz. The deal could snag, however, on demands that the company recruit a member of the Navajo Nation as a majority owner of the restaurant. Also, McDonald's is capitalizing on America's love of country music with a TV spot starring singer Garth Brooks. Breaking next month, the spot from DDB Needham Worldwide, Chicago, plugs McDonald's monthlong compact disc promotion with EMI Records.

SAN DIEGO-The Professional Athletes Golf League has landed in the financial rough. A year after the league's launch, ESPN has nullified a five-year TV deal, saying only that the league couldn't pay broadcast production costs. But league Chairman Steve Dirks said arrangements had been made to pay the bill. And he said ESPN wanted out even after an unnamed marketer and a sports marketing company offered to buy the league. Mr. Dirks said the league is dead without ESPN, with sponsors like Nissan and Pepsi-Cola bowing out.

SYDNEY-Unilever Australia split its $45 million media buying business evenly between J. Walter Thompson Co. and Lintas Australia, dropping its other roster agencies, Ogilvy & Mather and McCann-Erickson (see Accounts in Review, Page 24). JWT will handle media buying for Unilever brands including Calvin Klein fragrances, Drive detergent and Bushell's tea. Unilever Australia's creative business, split among these four agencies, is unaffected by the decision. Separately, Unilever's Lever Espana, Madrid, is demanding that competitors Procter & Gamble Espana and Henkel Iberica stop "denigrating" its Skip Poder detergent in publicity releases and consumer studies. Unilever's brand, called Persil Power in the U.K. and Omo Power in the Netherlands, has been the target of P&G-generated publicity charging that the brand rots clothes. Lintas, Madrid, handles Skip Poder.

BOMBAY-Videocon, one of India's top consumer electronics and appliance marketers, moved its $12.8 million media buying and planning business to iB&W Communications from in-house. The move builds iB&W's billings, projected at $20 million this year, up from $4 million last year.

LONDON-The World League of American Football, a new joint venture between the National Football League and Fox's News Corp., last week named Amsterdam, Duesseldorf and Scotland to host teams. The league will begin holding games among these teams and those in London, Barcelona and Frankfurt in April. Separately, Reebok International last week was named an official sponsor of the league and will design uniforms for all six teams.

RIO DE JANEIRO-Wal-Mart formed a joint venture with national retail chain Lojas Americanas. Next year the joint venture, 60% owned by Wal-Mart and 40% by Lojas Americanas, will open one Sam's Wholesale Club store here and two in Sao Paulo. No marketing is planned for the first year of operation.

MELBOURNE-National vehicle insurer AAMI dropped Whybin & Partners, its agency for the past 15 months and its sixth agency since 1986, from its $10 million account. AAMI did not comment, but Whybin said the relationship ended due to a lack of "mutual respect." The insurance company has not announced a formal review.

MADRID-PepsiCo Espana is testing Crystal Pepsi in the product's first appearance outside the U.S. The test, running through September, is backed only by in-house point-of-purchase marketing. Pepsi may roll out the product immediately after testing or reintroduce it later with advertising from Tiempo/BBDO.

ARNHEM, Netherlands-Health insurance company OHRA on Aug. 15 breaks four national Dutch-language spots created by Direct Resources, New York. OHRA, a top Dutch company, said it chose the U.S. agency for the $1.4 million TV effort because of the agency's experience in direct response image campaigns for TV.

LONDON-Transportation Displays, Inc., New York, and local partner Hambro Group Investments plan to buy London Transport Advertising, the recently privatized advertising arm of the London Transport Authority, for an undisclosed price. In a deal set to close Aug. 15, the partnership will enter a contract with the transport authority to arrange for ads on London's buses, trains and underground platforms. London Transport Advertising had annual sales of $36 million for the fiscal year ended March 31.

MELBOURNE-Leeds Media merged with AIS Media to form a new agency, AIS Media-South. Leeds brings to the new agency the $18 million Victoria state government master media account, which AIS pitched unsuccessfully last year. In May, the Media Council of Australia suspended Leeds' accreditation, saying the agency had insufficient cash to cover media billings for three months. But the council reinstated Leeds' accreditation in June after the shop's money crunch was resolved (AA, June 13).

HONG KONG-U.S.-based Edelman Public Relations said it does not plan to sue a Hong Kong agency with a name virtually identical to that of its local subsidiary, Edelman Public Relations Worldwide. Competitor Edelman Public Relations, owned by Peter Sherwood, was originally a joint venture with the U.S.-based EPR before the U.S. company sold its stake in 1989. Daniel J. Edelman, founder and co-CEO of EPR, said during a recent trip here that he now hopes Mr. Sherwood will relinquish the name without a legal tussle.

Pizza Hut, Hong Kong, put its $2.5 million account in review. Ogilvy & Mather, Bates, Bozell and incumbent BBDO were invited to pitch.

Milk Industry Foundation, Washington, to Bozell Worldwide, New York, to handle the milk processor group's new $55 million account.

Volvo Japan Corp., Tokyo, to Dentsu, Young & Rubicam, which had shared the account with Commons, after a four-way pitch for the $20 million Japanese business (see Accounts in Review, Page 34).Monsanto Co., St. Louis, to Cole & Weber, Seattle, as first agency for the Solaris division's $10 million account for a new Ortho lawn and garden products line.

Paddington Corp., Fort Lee, N.J., to Mullen, Wenham, Mass., from Saatchi & Saatchi Advertising, New York, for its $10 million account for J&B scotch, Di Saronno amaretto, Goldschlager cinnamon schnapps and Rumple Minze peppermint schnapps. The Malibu rum account moved to Lowe & Partners/SMS from Saatchi. Gentry Men's Clothing, Cincinnati, to Romann & Tannenholz, New York, from RMA, Philadelphia, for the retailer's $5 million account.

American Restaurant Group's Grandy's chain, Newport Beach, Calif., to Goldberg Moser O'Neill, San Francisco, from in-house for its estimated $2 million to $3 million account.Millennium Telecommunications, Garden City, N.Y., to Welch & Nehlen, first agency for its estimated $2 million account for the Caller's Choice telephone information and entertainment service.

London International Financial Futures & Options Exchange to the Puls Group from Whalen Oldrey for the exchange's $1 million marketing communications account.

Tupperware International, Orlando, to Saatchi & Saatchi Direct, New York, to launch a new line of kitchen products. Also to Saatchi: new creative assignments from International Masters Publishers, Stamford, Conn., a publisher of titles including Sewing Step by Step and Great American Recipes.

American Cyanamid Co.'s Lederle Laboratories Division, Wayne, N.J., to Friedmann & Rose, Moscow, for the Russian introduction of Centrum multivitamins, Centrum Junior, Stress Tabs and Materna.

Hallmark Cards last week announced the formation of Hallmark Entertainment to produce more than 40 family-oriented movies and miniseries projects for TV networks this year. The new unit combines Hallmark's Signboard Hill Productions with its recent acquisition of the leading TV production company RHI Entertainment. RHI President-CEO Robert Halmi Jr. will head the new unit.

Montgomery Ward & Co. and ValueVision International last week announced plans to test-market major home products on ValueVision's home shopping channel. In early August, ValueVision will introduce an "Electric Avenue & More" segment. One-hour weekly segments will offer electronics, home-office equipment, appliances, audio- and videotapes, computer software, furniture, and housewares.

Univision Television Group is close to finalizing a $15 million five-year deal with Nielsen Media Research to provide local Hispanic TV ratings in 11 markets, most starting in November.

Michael G. Rose, 34, to the new post of chief executive, Times Mirror Multimedia, Los Angeles, a new unit of Times Mirror Co. focusing on consumer CD-ROM products and electronic services, from VP-new business development, Times Mirror Cable Television.

Joan McCraw to president-publisher, Los Angeles Magazine, from most recently VP-advertising, National Geographic, Washington. She succeeds Geoff Miller, who will retire.

Alan Campbell to exec VP-director of new-business development, a new post in Young & Rubicam Latin American offices in Miami, from managing director, NatCom, a Hispanic marketing company. (For more people news, see Page 41.)

Videogame marketers last week took another shot at developing a ratings system that would placate Congress. The Interactive Digital Software Association proposed a ratings board for cartridges, diskettes and compact discs. The ratings would fall into five categories-for children 3 and older; children 6 and older; teens; persons 17 and older; and persons 21 and older.Chandris Celebrity Cruises' SS Horizon was scheduled to resume sailing its New York to Bermuda route July 30, two weeks after pulling the 1,500-passenger liner and more than a month after several travelers were stricken by Legionnaires' disease. The move was backed by a page ad from Korey, Kay & Partners, New York, slated for The New York Times, New York Newsday and Newark (N.J.) Star-Ledger. Also, American Family Cruises will cease sailing after its Sept. 3 cruise, eight months after launching as a kids oriented line.

AC&R, New York, has been divided into two units, as expected, under the Bates USA umbrella. One unit, called Bates Manhattan, is a dedicated team focused on retaining the Estee Lauder account, now in review. Heading that unit are Managing Director Lida Burpee and Exec VP-Chief Creative Officer Patricia Rockmore, a former AC&R creative recruited most recently from Tarlow Advertising. A separate, as-yet-unnamed, group will oversee the remaining AC&R accounts, including Foot Locker and Aruba Tourism. It will be headed by Managing Director Doug Fidoten and Exec VP-Creative Director Jennifer Brooke. AC&R Vice Chairman-Chief Operating Officer Harry Koenig, 54, is resigning.

Baseball Network, in its first year of operation, will be without programming after Aug. 12 unless Major League Baseball players and owners can work out a new contract. The players union last week vowed to start striking Aug. 12 unless there's a dramatic change in the tenor and substance of contract talks with club owners. Owners are insisting on a 50-50 split of revenues and salary cap; players want the status quo and a little more.

Pilgrim Group is embroiled in a battle with the National Association of Securities Dealers, which is trying to unseat Chairman Palomba Weingarten from a key role at the mutual fund marketer because it violated ad policies. The dispute stems from print ads earlier this year, produced in-house, that misleadingly promoted the funds' "unprecedented" performance without disclosing small fund categories on which the industry rankings were based.

GE Capital Corp. won Securities & Exchange Commission approval to advertise the sale of commercial paper debt securities but said it plans little more than "tombstone" ads in the financial press. McCann-Erickson Worldwide, New York, handles.

CPC International has temporarily discontinued all ads for Skippy Reduced Fat peanut butter, according to the National Advertising Division of the Council of Better Business Bureaus. NAD is investigating the ads from BBDO Worldwide, New York, following a complaint by Procter & Gamble Co., maker of Jif. P&G argues that, under new Food & Drug Administration standards, Skippy Reduced Fat doesn't have enough peanut ingredients to be named "peanut butter."

United Airlines last week began selling tickets for its low-fare, short-haul flights on the West Coast under the Shuttle by United name. Service will start Oct. 1 initially with 184 daily departures and expand to 286 departures. Advertising from Leo Burnett USA, Chicago, is still in development.

California & Hawaii Sugar Co. and agency Foote, Cone & Belding, San Francisco, are asking the Federal Trade Commission to loosen some ad restrictions imposed on them nearly 20 years ago. The marketer and its agency incurred the FTC's ire in 1976 for ad claims that sugar from Hawaiian cane was superior to others. The client and its agency said they want to make claims about the differences in granulated sugar, not related to health, safety, nutritional quality or purity.

Campbell Taggart agreed to modify a commercial for IronKids bread upon conclusion of a review by the Children's Advertising Review Unit of the Council of Better Business Bureaus. The commercial from Publicis/Bloom, Dallas, made fun of kids who eat wheat bread; CARU said the spot violated its guideline that advertising shouldn't suggest that using another product will result in less acceptance of a child by peers.

Pepsi-Cola Co. has licensed the Citrus Hill name from Proctor & Gamble Co. to launch a line of fountain juices and fruit drinks. Pepsi will distribute the 15-flavor line to institutions such as restaurants, hotels and schools.

General Motors Corp. posted record profits of $1.9 billion in the second quarter, a 114% increase from the same period a year ago. GM reported total sales and revenue of $40.4 billion in the quarter, an 11.3% increase. The company's North American Operations reported net income of $723 million, compared with a $33 million loss last year.

Borden reported an unexpected major drop in second-quarter net income and said it doesn't expect to meet its earnings estimates for the year. The beleaguered company had net income of $11.1 million, down 40% from a year earlier. Second-quarter sales rose 1.3% to $1.37 billion.

Gerber Products Co. posted net income of $27 million for the quarter ended June 30, a 3.8% increase. Revenue was up 0.7% to $285 million. Baby food sales fell 3% to $195 million, due to a decline in births and poor sales in Poland and France.

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