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AirTouch whittles list

for media consolidation

[san francisco] AirTouch Communications has trimmed contenders in its $100 million media review. Still believed to be in the review are Western International Media, Los Angeles, McCann-Erickson Worldwide, and undisclosed others; DDB Needham Worldwide's Optimum Media, New York, is out. Media buying had been spread out among Western; TBWA Chiat/Day, Venice, Calif.; BBDO Worldwide, Minneapolis; and two Bozell offices, Costa Mesa, Calif., and Southfield, Mich. Consultancy Mitchell Madison Group, San Francisco, is handling the review. AirTouch declined comment.

KFC postpones

launch of new products

[louisville, ky.] KFC has pushed back new-product introductions, including sandwiches, for this year, and is rethinking its current strategy of using its estimated $168 million media budget to sponsor high-profile TV events like the Olympic Games and the Academy Awards. Agency Y&R Advertising, New York, is working to put more of a spotlight on the chicken chain's food, an executive close to KFC said. Meanwhile, a product from the early 1990s, Popcorn Chicken, is expected back in September as a snack item. The company did not return calls seeking comment.

Pepperidge Farm plans

back-to-school promos

[norwalk, conn.] Pepperidge Farm is launching two promotions for Goldfish for back-to-school. In August, the company is bringing out limited-edition packages with small and large-size goldfish mixed in on package under the theme "Who shrunk the goldfish," which will be tagged in ads from Saatchi & Saatchi, New York. In September, tags also will be added to spots for a promotion asking kids to find a plastic version of its "Boomer" character mixed with select Goldfish packages.

Gibson readies nat'l TV

debut for Silly Slammers

[cincinnati] Gibson Greetings breaks its first national TV ad campaign for its Silly Slammers line of bean bags July 20, with an estimated $5 million effort breaking on Nickelodeon, Cartoon Network and the WB, among other media outlets. Rockett, Burkhead, Lewis & Winslow, Raleigh, N.C., is the agency.

Ammirati may be

beginning layoffs

[new york] Ammirati Puris Lintas is said to have begun layoffs following the loss of its $300 million Compaq Computer Corp. account to DDB Needham Worldwide, New York. Ammirati Chairman-CEO Martin Puris said, "I don't know anything about it" when asked about the layoffs and referred calls to Andrea Sessler, exec VP-managing director of Ammirati's human resources, who couldn't be reached.

Foster Grant talks to

shops about $5 mil acc't

[smithfield, r.i.] Foster Grant, despite denying a formal agency review, confirmed there have been some discussions with agencies for its $3 million to $5 million account. "We are not officially in an active review," said Bill Potts, VP-marketing of AAI/Foster Grant. But Mr. Potts admitted he's talked with and in some cases met with agencies on a casual basis and said it is likely "we will be getting some help on our business." "

Trex opens agency hunt

for $5 mil lumber account

[winchester, va.] Trex Co., a manufacturer and marketer of wood-polymer lumber, is searching for an agency to handle its $2 million to $5 million account. A decision is expected by early September. Pile & Co., Boston, is handling.

Hill Holliday deal cost

$123 mil in stock for IPG

[new york] Interpublic Group of Cos.' acquisition of Hill, Holliday, Connors, Cosmopulos cost more than $123 million in stock, and Carmichael Lynch was worth more than $29 million, according to documents filed July 8 with the Securities & Exchange Commission. According to Interpublic's filing, the main Hill Holliday shareholder, CEO Jack Connors, received Interpublic shares worth approximately $74 million, and the main Carmichael Lynch shareholder, the company's employee stock ownership plan, received nearly $22 million in stock.

Bates USA agrees to buy

Churchill Group in Houston

[new york] Bates USA reached agreement to acquire Churchill Group, Houston, a business-to-business agency with clients including Exxon Chemical, Mobil Corp. and Shell Corp. The agency will become part of Bates Southwest, Houston.

Canadian shop Vickers & Benson

opens first U.S. office

[chicago] Canadian agency Vickers & Benson, Toronto, is opening its first U.S. office this week here. Vickers & Benson opens its doors with $20 million in billings for Harris Bank and the Canadian Tourism Commission.

Land Rover program

to certify used vehicles

[latham, md.] Land Rover North America is launching its first, national certified used-vehicle program after testing the concept. In the near future, individual dealers and regional dealer ad groups will customize materials for the program from national agency Grace & Rothschild, New York.

F.Y.I.

Brunswick Corp.'s US Marine to Publicis, Seattle, from Williams & Helde for its $10 million-plus Bayliner and Maxum boat account. . . . Advertising Agency Register, New York, has sent a request for proposals to agencies for an undisclosed $6 million to $8 million luxury goods marketer. Agencies also have been contacted for an undisclosed $30 million to $40 million package goods client. . . . Distilled Spirits Council of the U.S. is down to Bozell Worldwide and Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide, both New York, in its $5 million to $10 million review, after Angotti, Thomas, Hedge dropped out. Advertising Agency Register is handling. . . . Montgomery Asset Management to Citron Haligman Bedecarre, San Francisco, from Katsin/Loeb for its $5 million mutual funds account following a review conducted by Stephenson Communications, St. Helena, Calif. . . . Levi Strauss & Co.'s Slates pants brand to Highway One, San Francisco, for an event, promotion and public relations project. Foote, Cone & Belding, San Francisco, is agency of record.

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