LATE NEWS: CASTROL UNLEASHES $40 MIL NATIONAL DRIVE: SPRINT'S NEW PROMOTION TURNS ON A DIME: COMPAQ SEEKS PITCH FROM AMMIRATI IN EUROPE: CKE DEAL MAY HELP MOVE CARL'S JR. NATIONAL: BOZELL HOLDS ONTO TACO BELL GROCERY BIZ: PERRIER SERVES ACCOUNT TO MCCANN-ERICKSON: KEY MARKETING EXECS EXIT INFOSEEK CORP.: NATIONAL CAR RENTAL WON'T HIRE AOR: RUSSELL RE-SIGNS APPAREL DEAL WITH MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL: MGM READIES FOR MEDIA BUYING PRESENTATIONS: IDG PREPARES TO LAUNCH CORPORATE MEGASITE FOR WEB: F.Y.I.

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[wayne, n.j.] Castrol North America Automotive breaks its $40 million, national product blitz for 1997 today with two TV spots for its GTX premium motor oil. They carry the new tag "Drive hard." Hampel/Stefanides, New York, also created two spots for Syntec fuel system treatment, breaking April 4. On April 6, Castrol's All Wheel Cleaner debuts in its first solo spot. The media buy, which includes ABC, ESPN, NBC and TNN, will leverage Castrol's ties to the NBA and National Hot Rod Association.

[kansas city, mo.] Sprint Corp. on April 3 launches a promotion for Sprint Sense where Sprint will scatter 1,000 gold-plated dimes throughout the U.S. The first consumer to find and verify the dime with Sprint will win $25,000 and a year's worth of long-distance service. A radio campaign breaks today in 11 markets. J. Walter Thompson USA, San Francisco, handles.

[munich] Compaq Computer Corp. invited the Hamburg office of its U.S. shop Ammirati Puris Lintas, New York, to pitch against the current agency, the German arm of Bates. The agencies are offering ideas for the marketer's European account, in another sign Compaq may be headed toward global agency consolidation. Bates' New York office is believed to be pursuing Compaq in the U.S.; Compaq is talking to marketing and agency executives about a new global ad job. Compaq didn't return phone calls.

[anaheim, calif.] CKE Restaurants may be close to purchasing another fast-food chain in an effort to take its Carl's Jr. hamburger chain national. According to an executive close to the company, CKE in the next two weeks will acquire a national chain and convert the units to Carl's Jr. restaurants. The move will be separate from last week's announced merger of Checkers Drive-in Restaurants and Rally's Hamburgers, chains in which CKE holds a minority interest. Mendelsohn/Zien, Los Angeles, handles the $29 million Carl's Jr. account.

[northbrook, ill.] Kraft Foods said it would keep its Taco Bell grocery brand at Bozell, Costa Mesa, Calif., even though the agency lost the $200 million Taco Bell fast-food account to TBWA Chiat/Day, Venice, this month. The decision is unexpected since Bozell isn't a core agency for Kraft.

[greenwich, conn.] Perrier Group of America has awarded McCann-Erickson Worldwide, New York, accounts for its Arrowhead Mountain Spring Water and Deer Park brands. In '96, spending on the brands was $2 million. McCann was also named media buying agency of record for all Perrier brands. Waring & LaRosa, now absorbed into Young & Rubicam, had handled; Y&R previously was agency of record for media buying.

[santa clara, calif.] Karl Spangengerg, VP-worldwide advertising, and Jim Desrosier, chief marketing officer, are both leaving search engine company Infoseek Corp. Mr. Spangenberg will be joining a Stamford, Conn.-based Internet startup called @t Plan as president-CEO. Mr. Desrosier's plans are unknown.

[minneapolis] National Car Rental Systems said it doesn't plan to name a new agency of record in the near future. It tapped Harris Drury Cohen, Fort Lauderdale, Fla., to do a campaign breaking in April. Carmichael Lynch, Minneapolis, resigned the $10 million account in February, citing creative differences. National was recently acquired by Wayne Huizenga's Republic Industries. Harris has handled several of Mr. Huizenga's accounts.

[alexander city, ala.] Russell Athletic has renewed its exclusive apparel licensing deal with Major League Baseball through the 1998 season. A formal announcement is expected this week. Russell's deal was to expired at the end of the upcoming season.

[santa monica, calif.] Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer will hear presentations next week from agencies for its estimated $50 million media buying account. In the hunt are BBDO Worldwide and Ogilvy & Mather, both Los Angeles. D'Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles is said to be a contender. Incumbent Saatchi & Saatchi/Pacific, Torrance, Calif., has withdrawn.

[boston] International Data Group is preparing to launch a corporate megasite, allowing PC users to search IDG's 140 global Web sites and to set up a "personal page" to retrieve information on topics of interest. IDG President Kelly Conlin said the site, in development for eight months and code-named Retriever, will enter beta testing within weeks. Mr. Conlin said the site's formal opening will beat the planned June 30 launch of a rival megasite announced last week by CMP Media (see story on Page 29).

Procter & Gamble Co. to Grey Advertising, New York, from Saatchi & Saatchi Advertising for its estimated $20 million North American account for Ivory personal cleansing product. . . . Alain Philippe to the new post of senior VP-worldwide business development at McCann-Erickson Worldwide's MRM WorldGroup, New York, from VP at Ogilvy & Mather Direct, Paris. . . . Shelly Lazarus, CEO of Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide, New York, will succeed Charlotte Beers as chairman of the agency on April 30, in an expected move; Ms. Lazarus took the CEO reins from Ms. Beers last September. Ms. Beers will become chairman emeritus.

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