[Denver] Ryder TRS tapped D'Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles, Troy, Mich., for its $20 million account. Ryder hasn't announced the selection because it has been negotiating the contract with DMB&B, executives close to the situation said. Campbell-Ewald, Warren, Mich., was the other finalist.
Sprint's Radio Shack-tied
advertising in limbo
[Fort Worth, Texas] The future of Sprint Corp.'s retail Sprint Store inside Radio Shack ad assignment is in limbo. The agency that handled the October launch, Lord Group, Fort Worth, has lost the Radio Shack assignment because Radio Shack is taking its work in-house. Lord Group executives said the Sprint Store launch-a $40 million campaign featuring TV's "Jetsons" family-was only a one-time assignment.
Direct shop Blau
bought by Snyder
[Bethesda, MD.] Snyder Communications agreed to acquire Blau Marketing, a Wilton, Conn.-based direct marketing agency with clients including IBM Corp., Visa USA and Sears, Roebuck & Co. The deal, worth $72 million, is expected to close this month.
Pan Am review now down to 6 contenders
[Miami] Pan American Corp. made a cut to seven agencies from 12 in the $5 million to $10 million Pan American World Airways review, with one agency later declining. The remaining contenders are Beber Silverstein & Partners, Turkel Schwartz & Partners, Taglairino Advertising Group and Ryder & Schild, all Miami; Greenstone Roberts, Orlando; and incumbent Weller, O'Sullivan, Zuckerman & Lightcap, New York. A decision is expected by the end of the month.
Taco Bell to feature value in '98 ad efforts
[Irvine, Calif.] Taco Bell Corp. plans to tout value throughout 1998 with a succession of product offers at a discount price of 99 cents. The strategy was kicked off Dec. 29 with a new 30-second TV spot from TBWA Chiat/Day, Venice, Calif., touting the chain's $2.19 Mexican Pizza for 99 cents with the purchase of a large drink. The first of five new spots from the agency for the first quarter brought back the talking chihuahua dog from a popular earlier spot.
Microsoft picks up Hotmail e-mail service
[Redmond, Wash.] Microsoft Corp.'s acquisition last week of free Web e-mail service Hotmail expands the software giant's portfolio of ad-supported Web products. Hotmail, which claims more than 9 million users, gives Microsoft a vehicle to offer a free e-mail account to anyone with Internet access.
Austin Kelley wins broadcast for Churchs
[Atlanta] Churchs Chicken tapped Austin Kelley Advertising, Atlanta, to handle broadcast creative, planning and buying for its estimated $12 million to $15 million account. The business had been at Levenson & Hill, Dallas. Ender Partners, Atlanta, retains print and point-of-purchase. Sue Morgan, VP-marketing, said the chain plans to keep its "Gotta love it" tagline.
looking for shop
[Fort Worth, Texas] Computer City, a chain of almost 100 retail stores nationwide, has contacted a handful of agencies for a new marketing effort. Computer City, currently in-house, is believed to be considering Lord Group, New York and Fort Worth, which recently parted with Tandy Corp.'s Radio Shack. The search is being handled by Joel Carter, Computer City marketing director.
BMW keeps DeWitt Media
for $80 mil account
[Woodcliff Lakes, N.J.] BMW of North America is retaining DeWitt Media, New York, on its $80 million media buying account after a review. Other contenders were Fallon McElligott, Minneapolis, BMW's national agency, and Publicis/Bloom, New York. DeWitt had been on rocky ground with the client over compensation disagreements (AA, Nov. 24). Publicis won BMW's $10 million Central region dealer account without a review; McConnaughy Stein Schmidt Brown, Chicago, is the incumbent. Publicis didn't make the final round of the West review, now down to three finalists including incumbent Mendelsohn/Zien, Los Angeles.
Coca-Cola Co. has made a last-minute decision to buy a 30-second spot on the Super Bowl Jan. 25 on NBC and another in the pre-game show. No new-product launches are expected, as with the Surge brand last year in some markets. . . . General Motors' Chevrolet division, in an unusual move, will unveil new advertising for the 1998 Monte Carlo this week at the Detroit auto show. Campbell-Ewald, Warren, Mich., handles Chevy's more than $500 million annual account. . . . Illinois State Lottery will break an extensive TV campaign, from Foote, Cone & Belding, Chicago, Jan. 15 to promote its revamped Lotto game that offers one lump-sum payment to winners. . . . Heineken USA is planning to introduce a new tagline for its flagship brew, "Seek the truth." Wells BDDP, New York, handles. . . . White House Office of National Drug Control Policy will break the first ads from its $178 million anti-drug campaign Jan. 8 in Washington, with TV and newspaper ads featuring creative from Partnership for a Drug-Free America. . . . Asher/Gould, Los Angeles, changed its name to Asher & Partners. . . . Anheuser-Busch is planning to break its new campaign for Michelob in February during the Olympics. It will be the first work from new agency Leap Partnership, Chicago. . . . Panasonic Consumer Electronics Co., Secaucus, N.J., tapped Warwick Baker O'Neill, New York, as agency of record for its personal-care products division. Poppe Tyson, New York, is the incumbent. Spending is estimated at between $6 million and $8 million. New York shops Publicis/Bloom and Hampel/Stefanides also pitched. . . . Larry Grosberg to senior partner and manager-New York broadcast group, J. Walter Thompson USA, New York, a new position, from senior partner-media director on Warner Lambert Co. He retains his Warner-Lambert duties.