[atlanta] Holiday Inn Worldwide will use a sex-change operation to show the world how $1 billion in renovations has changed its hotels, according to those who have seen an ad slated to run on this weekend's Super Bowl. "Reunion," from Fallon McElligott, Minneapolis, takes a humorous look at a woman (man?) who surprises ex-classmates at a reunion.
AT&T EASYCOMMERCE ACCOUNT WON BY MCCANN
[new york] AT&T Corp. awarded a $5 million to $10 million direct and print ad account for AT&T EasyCommerce Services to McCann Direct Worldwide and made McCann agency of record for the brand. Poppe Tyson handled projects during 1996 for EasyCommerce, which offers global communications services and Web hosting for businesses.
`SMARTMONEY,' STARWAVE CALL OFF WEB SITE
[new york] SmartMoney and Starwave Corp. last week called off talks to create a personal finance-themed Web site. Rich LeFurgy, VP-marketing and advertising with Starwave, said the company is in talks with other major media companies about the finance site but declined to discuss why the talks with SmartMoney broke down. Starwave also is reportedly in talks with ABC about a partnership for a news-oriented site.
WALKER IS TOP CANDIDATE FOR WPP MEDIA JOB
[london] Christine Walker, 43, is tipped as the hot contender to head a WPP Group media operation after the news broke this week that she will leave her longtime role as U.K. chief executive of Zenith Media. WPP Chief Executive Martin Sorrell has been planning a joint media operation for J. Walter Thompson Co. and Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide for a long time and is believed to favor Ms. Walker to run it. The competition among U.K.-based media buying groups to hire Ms. Walker is expected to be keen.
SUPER BOWL QBS DON MILK MUSTACHES
[washington] The National Fluid Milk Processors Board has signed Brett Favre, quarterback of the Green Bay Packers and Drew Bledsoe, quarterback of the New England Patriots, for its milk mustache campaign for an ad breaking in USA Today Jan. 23. Showing the Super Bowl opponents back-to-back, the tagline is "Remember to pass the milk." The winning quarterback will appear alone in a Jan. 27 ad in magazines, including Sports Illustrated and Time.
NBC READIES WEB RIVAL TO WARNER'S CITYWEB
[new orleans] In its winter affiliates meeting, NBC said it will compete with CityWeb, the online network Warner Bros. Online is cobbling together with TV station Internet sites (AA, Jan. 6). Like CityWeb, NBC said it will provide content to station Web sites; in exchange the net will sell ad space on the sites to national advertisers.
$15 mil Oral-B account
[belmont, calif.] Gillette Co.-owned Oral-B Laboratories is reviewing its $15 million ad account now at BBDO West, Los Angeles. Contenders include DDB Needham Worldwide and Ketchum Advertising, San Francisco.
IPG MAKES DEAL TO BUY DIEFENBACH ELKINS
[new york] Interpublic Group of Cos. said it has reached an agreement to buy Diefenbach Elkins, a corporate-brand consultancy with $15 million in revenue. Chairman-CEO John Diefenbach will report to John Dooner, McCann-Erickson Worldwide chairman-CEO, and also serve as chairman of McCann-Erickson Brand Equity.
Y&R PUTS KELLY IN CHARGE OF AMEX WORK
[new york] In a sign of its ambitions with American Express Co., Young & Rubicam promoted Bill Kelly to exec VP-account managing director on AmEx, from the same position on U.S. Postal Service. In the new corporate position, Mr. Kelly will oversee Y&R Advertising's work for American Express Financial Services and Wunderman Cato Johnson's direct-marketing work on AmEx. Ogilvy & Mather handles the core AmEx ad account.
NORTHERN LIGHTS EXECUTIVES EXITING TO FORM COMPANY
[chicago] The top executive and two key staffers with TN Technologies' Northern Lights Interactive unit are leaving the agency to form their own interactive company. Managing Director Mike DeNunzio, 28; Director of Strategic Services Pete Monkewicz, 34; and Pierre St. Jacques, creative director, are the first major departures from TN Technologies since its merger with Modem Media became final late last year. Mr. DeNunzio will be replaced by Charlie Skuba, 47, formerly a consultant with Modem Media, Westport, Conn. Their departure was not related to the merger, Mr. DeNunzio said.
FOUR SHOPS STILL IN RUNNING FOR HILLSHIRE FARM ACCOUNT
[cincinnati] Hillshire Farm has narrowed its search for an agency to handle its $15 million meat business previously at Ammirati Puris Lintas, New York, to Euro RSCG Tatham, Chicago; D'Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles, New York; Sive/Young & Rubicam, Cincinnati; and promotion agency QLM Associates, Princeton, N.J.
Clorox Co. to DDB Needham Worldwide, San Francisco, from Foote, Cone & Belding for its Armor All automotive cleaning products account, with billings that could exceed $30 million. . . . BanCrecer to Nazca S&S Mexico, Mexico City, from Arellano for the $20 million account for Mexico's fifth-leading bank. . . . Texas Chevy Dealer Group, Houston, to Campbell-Ewald, Warren, Mich., for its new $16 million account. . . . WPP Group, London, bought a minority stake in Peapod, a U.S. home delivery grocery service. . . . Senate Commerce Committee's Communications Subcommittee has tentatively set a hearing on liquor advertising for the week of Feb. 10. . . . Nissan Europe and TBWA Chiat/Day plan to produce a version of the "Mr. K" branding campaign for Europe, where sales have been off 12% since 1991. . . . Peter A. Spina to VP-group publisher, SRDS, New York, from VP-business development and corporate services at 1-800 FLOWERS. He succeeds Wenda Harris Millard, who left as president and group publisher in July.