COWBOYS FIRING UP AMBUSH DEAL WITH AMEX; PHILIPS UNPLUGS $30M FROM FALLON;TURNER BOARD SET TO TALK ABOUT CBS, OTHER DEALS; BBDO'S WESTRE MOVES TO IBM ACCOUNT AT O&M;CONVERSE PUTS 6 NFL APPAREL LICENSES UP FOR GRABS; ESPN READIES SUBSCRIPTION FEE FOR WEB SITE; GM ORBITS TOWARD SELLING SATURNS IN JAPAN; KFC COOKS UP COLONEL'S CRISPY STRIPS;FILA LACES UP DEAL WITH STAR NBA DRAFT PICK; KRAFT CRACKS OPEN $27M GRAPE-NUTS REVIEW;CHRYSLER SEBRING REVS UP AGAINST CAMARO; O&M FORGES STRONGER ID FOR INTERACTIVE UNIT;GM DIVISIONS DRIVE TOGETHER TOWARD WEB SITE;NIKETOWN TURNS TO LEAP AS FIRST AGENCY; ACURA SPLITS $25M REGIONAL AD BUDGET; PATRICK MEDIA SALE CLEARS FEDERAL HURDLE;

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NEW YORK-The sports marketing industry is girding itself for Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones' next controversial sponsorship deal. American Express Co. is close to finalizing a deal with Mr. Jones to become the official credit card of Texas Stadium, said executives close to AmEx and the Cowboys. A deal could be completed by Aug. 25. Such a deal would ambush NFL sponsor Visa USA, which has signed San Francisco 49ers quarterback Steve Young to appear in upcoming TV spots created by BBDO Worldwide. Sports marketing executives said AmEx is interested in signing Cowboys quarterback Troy Aikman to an endorsement deal. Repeated calls to Mr. Jones weren't returned, and an AmEx spokeswoman wouldn't comment.

EINDHOVEN, Netherlands-N.V. Philips is pulling its $30 million consumer electronics account from Fallon McElligott, Minneapolis, and its $2 million lighting account from McKinney & Silver, Raleigh, N.C. The move is part of a globalization of its advertising that will see Euro RSCG handling lighting and electronic products globally with personal products worldwide handled by D'Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles. Messner Vetere Berger McNamee Schmetterer/Euro RSCG, New York, is expected to pick up the Magnavox and Philips brand names in the U.S., while DMB&B continues to handle Norelco.

ATLANTA-Turner Broadcasting System's board today will hold a special telephone conference call to discuss several deals that could determine the future of Turner, CBS and a number of other media companies. The Turner board is expected to vote on whether Turner should make a stock swap deal to acquire King World Productions, valued at $1.6 billion, as a step toward raising capital to buy out Time Warner's 18% stake in Turner. That move, in turn, would free Turner to pursue other mergers, including a bid for CBS. Turner also has been in talks with Microsoft Corp. about making a strategic investment in Turner to help it make a run for CBS, if the Time Warner obstacle is removed. On Wall Street, CBS shares were up 50 cents at $817/8 a share in early trading Aug. 18, after the day before closing above the agreed buyout price of $81 a share for the first time since CBS and Westinghouse Electric Corp. announced their $5.4 billion deal.

PARIS-Susan Westre, senior VP-creative director on Apple Computer at CLM/BBDO here, is joining Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide here as creative director, working on IBM Corp. and other pan-European accounts. Ms. Westre, an art director who has played a key role in Apple's European and global advertising, becomes the latest high-level member of BBDO's acclaimed Apple team to jump ship.

NORTH READING, Mass.-Converse has given up its apparel licenses to six National Football League teams after closing its Apex One subsidiary, which had owned the licenses. Insufficient orders were cited as the reason. At press time, the NFL was scrambling to award the licenses to existing licensees, but it's believed that Logo Athletic has been given two teams and Reebok International has been given at least one. The teams in play are the Carolina Panthers, Dallas Cowboys, Houston Oilers, Kansas City Chiefs, New England Patriots and New York Giants.

NEW YORK-ESPN on Aug. 28 will become one of the first to charge a subscription fee for its Web site, the popular ESPNet SportsZone (http://www.espnet.sportszone.com). ESPN will charge users $4.95 per month or $39.95 per year for access to most parts of the site; a limited free area will carry general sports news and statistics. The site has been one of the most popular on the Web; its creator, Starwave Corp., Seattle, claims it gets more than 50,000 unique visitors per day.

TOKYO-General Motors Corp. plans to establish a dealer network in Japan by 1997 to sell Saturn vehicles, a company spokesman said. Plans are to sell 30,000 cars a year by 2002. The move is part of U.S. automaker efforts to increase sales in Japan following the recent trade and tariff talks between the U.S. and Japan.

LOUISVILLE, Ky.-KFC Corp. over Labor Day weekend launches Colonel's Crispy Strips, the chain's first major new product since Colonel's Rotisserie Gold made its debut two years ago. Parent PepsiCo is emphasizing new products as a means to drive sales at KFC, Taco Bell and Pizza Hut. Rollout of the boneless fried chicken strips will be backed by a five-week network TV campaign and print ads from Young & Rubicam, New York, continuing the marketer's "Everybody needs a little KFC" theme.

HUNT VALLEY, Md.-Fila USA has beaten out Converse, Nike and Reebok International for the endorsement from the plum of this year's National Basketball Association college draft: Philadelphia 76er Jerry Stackhouse, a 20-year-old standout from the University of North Carolina. Fila will introduce a line of basketball shoes endorsed by the player in February called the Stack Mid, supported with TV, print and in-store advertising from FCB/Leber Katz Partners, New York.

GLENVIEW, Ill.-Kraft Foods has put its $27 million Post Grape-Nuts cereal creative account up for review. Agencies in contention are incumbent Grey Advertising, Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide and FCB/Leber Katz Partners, all of New York.

PEBBLE BEACH, Calif.-The new Chrysler Sebring convertible due next spring will be aimed at the Chevrolet Camaro, Automotive News reported. Sebring prices are expected to come in at about $21,000 to $24,000, significantly higher than the Le-Baron convertible it replaces in the Chrysler lineup. Bozell, Southfield, Mich., handles the Chrysler brand.

NEW YORK-Ogilvy & Mather Direct is aiming to give its 12-year-old Interactive Marketing Group a stronger identity, naming it Ogilvy & Mather Interactive. The name change, which takes effect today, will serve to signify that the group has become a stand-alone unit, with its own business plan, strategy and structure, said O&M Direct CEO Michael Troiano. The unit is generating significant revenue and profits on its own, Mr. Troiano said, and has tripled its staff in the past year to 38.

DETROIT-General Motors Corp.'s U.S. vehicle divisions are preparing interactive programming to go up on a unified World Wide Web site. GM subsidiary Electronic Data Systems has put together the technological hardware for the site, said executives familiar with GM's plans. GM's Cadillac and Saturn units already have their own Web home pages. Meanwhile, GM's U.K. subsidiary Vauxhall Motors will announce its Web site in an Aug. 22 press briefing with its agency Lowe Howard-Spink, London, and IBM Corp.

BEAVERTON, Ore.-Nike has selected the Leap Partnership, Chicago, as first agency for its Niketown account. Billings weren't disclosed. The first ads will hit within two to three months. Separately, Nike has signed on with the Microsoft Network as a platinum sponsor, in Nike's first foray into online marketing.

TORRANCE, Calif.-American Honda Motor Co.'s Acura division is splitting its estimated $25 million regional ad budget, giving zone managers half the money and sending the rest to individual dealers. The move gives more clout to dealers but reduces the regional involvement of Ketchum, Los Angeles.

CHICAGO-Federal regulators have cleared the acquisition of Patrick Media Group, an outdoor advertising company with annual revenues of about $225 million, by the smaller Phoenix, Ariz.-based Eller Media Group, with backing from Hellman Friedman Capital Partners. Patrick Media has been controlled by one-time primary lender General Electric Capital since a debt restructuring several years ago.

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