LEVER TO CUT WORK FORCE, REORGANIZE UNITS; BURGER KING READY TO NAME ACCOUNT WINNER; SPIKE LEE, BBDO TALKS ON AGAIN

Late News: IBM AD, MEDIA OVERSIGHT CONSOLIDATED; MARGEOTES SMELLS SWEET TO COTY; AMERITECH LOSS COSTS TATHAM STAFF JOBS; CLINTON FRIENDS BURY HIAA'S 'LOUISE'; CARILLON NAMES STOLI AGENCY FINALISTS; WAL-MART SETTLES MISLEADING PRICE-CLAIM CASE; CLEARLY CANADIAN TRIES ADVERTISING; MARYLAND KILLS OUTDOOR AD MEASURE; MITA BREAKS $17 MILLION CAMPAIGN; COMINGS & GOINGS; GLOBAL NEWS; ACCOUNT ACTION; FOR THE RECORD

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NEW YORK-Advertising Age has learned Lever Bros. will cut 20% to 25% of its 5,700-person work force and will reorganize the household and personal-care businesses into two groups in April as part of a corporate makeover. The cuts will come through attrition and a Los Angeles plant closure, an internal memorandum said. Lever's personal wash (soap) and homecare (dish liquids and detergents) operations will become one business unit, and its fabric business (laundry additives) another. John Rice, former marketing director at Unilever unit Bird's Eye Walls in the U.K., will be general manager-group VP for the combined personal wash/homecare unit. A Lever spokesman declined comment.

Burger King ready to name account winner

MIAMI-Burger King is expected to choose an agency or agencies for its $180 million account as early as today. After watching two weeks of pitches, members of the review committee voted for their favorites March 17, leaving CEO James Adamson, VP-Marketing Paul Clayton and Barry Conrad, franchise sales and services division president, to make the final decision. Creative finalists are Lowe & Partners, Ammirati & Puris and Messner Vetere Berger McNamee Schmetterer Euro/RSCG, New York. UniWorld Group now handles creative. Media finalists are Ogilvy & Mather, DeWitt Media and incumbent D'Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles.

Wills out at Mezzina/Brown

NEW YORK-Mezzina/Brown's merger with Wills & Evans has soured. Mezzina Exec VP Scott Wills, former Wills president, has been dismissed from the agency and said he is pursuing legal action for damages and client losses following the acquisition of his agency last year. Longtime Wills client Chemical Bank's Geoserve division is shifting its media account to Adler Boschetto Peebles & Partners. Creative is being parceled to other agencies. Also, Wills client Diplomat Juvenile has left and Zing Systems, American Movie Classics, Romance Classics and New Woman are conducting reviews. Mezzina President William Brown Jr., who said he was unaware of any legal action by Mr. Wills, maintained the Wills deal was a "successful acquisition."

Eon to test interactive programs, ads

RESTON, Va.-Interactive TV service provider Eon Corp. today announces a contract with the Washington ABC affiliate to test interactive programming and ads. Eon's alliance is with Allbritton Communications, owner of WJLA-TV and a local cable news service.

Beers under pressure to make O&M exec moves

NEW YORK-Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide Chairman-CEO Charlotte Beers is said to be under increasing pressure from London-based agency parent WPP Group to hasten moving senior executives to strengthen the agency. Ms. Beers and WPP executives are meeting with leading agency creatives about a top O&M job, possibly the New York creative head post now held by Bill Hamilton, or a larger role. Insiders said top O&M brass hoped to decide this week about forming a spinoff unit for Mr. Hamilton and Senior VP-Executive Creative Director Rick Boyko, but a resolution has been stalled by a four-week personal leave Mr. Hamilton took unexpectedly.

Spike Lee, BBDO talks on again

NEW YORK-Director Spike Lee and BBDO Worldwide have resumed talks about a strategic alliance in which Mr. Lee would work on creative projects for BBDO clients, including Pepsi-Cola Co. (AA, Aug. 9, 1993). International Creative Management Chairman Jeff Berg is representing Mr. Lee in the discussions with BBDO Vice Chairman Phil Dusenberry. Neither side would comment.

IBM ad, media oversight consolidated

ARMONK, N.Y.-IBM is consolidating worldwide advertising and media oversight, adding to Chairman-CEO Louis Gerstner's inner circle of key global executives. Marianne Caponnetto, director of corporate marketing at Dow Jones & Co., is joining IBM in the new post of director of media, overseeing global media strategies. IBM said the changes don't affect the advertising autonomy of units like IBM Personal Computer Co.

Margeotes smells sweet to Coty

NEW YORK-Coty Inc. named Margeotes Fertitta Donaher & Weiss to handle Jovan Musk and Coty Wild Musk fragrances, from in-house and Beber Silverstein & Partners, respectively. The network and print budget is $10 million. Still to be determined are agencies for Aspen and Caliente fragrances, currently unassigned. Contenders include the Seiden Group and Ketchum Advertising, other Coty agencies

Ameritech loss costs Tatham staff jobs

CHICAGO-Tatham Euro RSCG laid off 30 employees Friday, representing 10% of the staff of it and sister agency DFM Tatham. Chairman-CEO Ralph Rydholm blamed the loss of Ameritech's $40 million creative business plus economic conditions for the "difficult and unpleasant" layoff, Tatham's first since 1987.

Clinton friends bury HIAA's `Louise'

WASHINGTON-A group of independent Hollywood producers, led by Clinton friend Harry Thomason, took aim at the Health Insurance Association of America last week with a 60-second Washington-only TV spot that spoofed the fate of "Harry and Louise," the couple starring in the HIAA anti-Clinton healthcare effort. A man standing in a graveyard explains Harry lost his job and insurance, so Louise delayed going to the hospital until it was too late. An HIAA spokeswoman credited the sponsors' sense of humor, "but killing off Louise does not get rid of the serious questions being raised by the health insurance industry and others."

Carillon names Stoli agency finalists

TEANECK, N.J.-Carillon Importers named Mullen, Wenham, Mass.; Margeotes Fertitta Donaher & Weiss, New York, and Gigante Vaz & Partners, Parsippany, N.J., finalists for its $10 million Stolichnaya vodka account. The account is expected to be awarded this week with newspaper advertising from the new agency expected within a month. Stoli is now handled by Ferrell Calvillo Communications, New York.

Wal-Mart settles misleading price-claim case

BENTONVILLE, Ark.-Wal-Mart Stores last week agreed to cease advertising allegedly misleading price comparisons in Michigan. The No. 1 retailer, accused by rivals Target Stores, Kmart Corp. and Meijer Inc. of advertising prices lower than those posted in stores, signed an "assurance of discontinuance" with Attorney General Frank Kelley under the state's Consumer Protection Act. Wal-Mart admitted no guilt and pays no fine but said it will update price comparisons weekly.

Clearly Canadian tries advertising

VANCOUVER-Clearly Canadian Beverage Corp., the once hot New Age beverage marketer whose sales declined 25% last year, next month will begin its first major ad campaign. The $7.6 million U.S. and Canadian effort, placed by Vitt Media International, New York, uses the theme "Think Clearly." Ken Koo Creative Group here created print ads and a 30-second TV spot that will break April 4 on MTV: Music Television and other youth-oriented programming. Supporting radio spots are from Lanyon Phillips Brink.

Maryland kills outdoor ad measure

ANNAPOLIS, Md.-The Maryland Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee last week killed a bill that would have given county governments statutory authority to regulate outdoor advertising for cigarettes.

Mita breaks $17 million campaign

FAIRFIELD, N.J.-Mita Copystar America on March 26 breaks a $17 million TV copier and fax machine campaign, from Lord, Dentsu & Partners, New York.

COMINGS & GOINGS

Magid Abraham cited health problems for stepping down as president-chief operating officer at Information Resources Inc. Co-CEO James Andress succeeds Mr. Abraham and will still share ceo duties with Chairman Gian Fulgoni.

GLOBAL NEWS

Tagamet goes OTC in U.K.: SmithKline Beecham last week introduced a $6.7 million TV and print campaign from Ogilvy & Mather, London, for

indigestion medicine Tagamet 100 in the U.K., the first country to license its over-the-counter sale. SmithKline Beecham hopes to market Tagamet in mainland Europe and the U.S. without prescription.

Saudi Arabia to ban Western signals: Saudi Arabia plans to ban satellite dishes and set up a national cable TV system, preventing Saudi viewers

from receiving unauthorized foreign TV broadcasts with Western religious and social values. ARA International will develop, install and operate the cable system.

U.S. PCs soar in Japan's market: U.S. personal computers, considered economical in Japan, held 24.2% of sales there last year, up from 15.1% in 1992, according to Dataquest Japan. Apple sales grew 5.6% to grab 13.9% of the market. The share of the leader, Japanese marketer NEC, dipped 0.6% to 53.4%.

K-C, Lever join in India: Kimberly-Clark and Hindustan Lever formed a $10 million 50-50 joint venture, Kimberly-Clark Lever, to introduce premium-price Huggies diapers and Kotex and New Freedom feminine hygiene products in 1995. No agency has been named.

Tokyu ventures into new media: Tokyu Corp., parent of Japan's fourth-largest agency Tokyu, has joined forces with two giant trading companies, Mitsui & Co. and Mitsubishi Corp., and Tokyo Electric Power Co. to test multimedia and interactive services in Japanese homes, which may include karaoke, TV shopping, video-on-demand and news. Initially, Tokyu Cable Television will connect with a fiber optic network owned by Tokyo Telecommunications Network, creating the first direct link between a cable operator and a telecommunications company.

Ford airs Canadian infomercials: Ford of Canada began advertising its 5-year-old lease program, The Plan, with 30-minute infomercials on

Canadian and U.S. border stations in a $3 million campaign from Young & Rubicam, Toronto, this month. The Plan's ads provide a toll-free number to Y&R's telemarketing arm, Firstcom Cato Johnson.

India eyes tobacco ad ban: India's Union Ministry for Health & Family Welfare plans to bring a bill to Parliament this spring to ban tobacco ads in outdoor, cinema and print, for a vote as early as the summer. TV and radio ads are already banned.

ACCOUNT ACTION: Honda's $13 million U.K. account to Collett Dickenson Pearce, London, from Butterfield Day Devito Hockney. ... Timberland's consolidated $10 million European advertising to TBWA, coordinated by MTC/TBWA, Paris. MTC handled for France and Spain; TBWA, Frankfurt, for

the German and Benelux markets; and Mullen, Wenham, Mass., for the U.K. ... Cable & Wireless' $7.5 million worldwide corporate telecommunications account to Lowe Howard-Spink, London, from Saatchi & Saatchi Business Communications and Chiat/Day. ... Clorox Co. of Canada's $3.7 million account for cleaning brands Pine Sol, Tilex, S.O.S, Soft Scrub and Liquid-plumr and salad dressing brand Hidden Valley Ranch

to Young & Rubicam, Toronto. Pine Sol had been handled by Ash & Smith. Others had not been advertised.

ACCOUNT ACTION

Nikon named nine agencies to pitch its estimated $10 million account, previously handled by Ammirati & Puris, New York: Goldsmith/Jeffrey; Grace & Rothschild; Lord, Dentsu & Partners; Merkley Newman Harty; Weiss, Whitten, Stagliano; Houston, Effler, Hampel & Stefanides; Arnold Fortuna Lawner & Cabot, Boston; Goodby, Berlin & Silverstein, San Francisco; and Fallon/McElligott, Minneapolis.

Shawmut National Bank is said to have named six finalists for its estimated $9.5 million account: Ingalls, Quinn & Johnson and Houston, Effler & Partners, both Boston; Mullen, Wenham, Mass.; Rotando Partners, Stamford, Conn.; N W Ayer and McCann-Erickson, both New York. Ketchum Advertising previously handled.

AlliedSignal Automotive Aftermarket to McCann-Erickson Worldwide, Troy, Mich., from Arnold Fortuna Lawner & Cabot, Boston, for the estimated $8 million to $10 million account.

Automatic Data Processing to Ogilvy & Mather Direct, New York, from Lowe Direct for its estimated $6 million account.

Pro Player, a licensed sports apparel marketer, to D'Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles, New York, for its first TV campaign breaking during May broadcasts of National Basketball Association playoffs.

Polaroid Corp. to Duval Woglom Brueckner & Partners, Boston, as the first agency for its Electronic Imaging Systems business unit. BBDO Worldwide, New York, remains Polaroid's lead agency of record.

SmartMoney to Lintas, New York, from Smith/Greenland for the magazine account.

Chanel to Arnell Group, New York, from in-house for its fragrances, including Chanel No. 5 and a women's fragrance to be introduced next year. DDB Needham Worldwide continues to handle U.S. media.

Citizens Financial Group named four finalists in its $5 million review: Boston shops Houston, Effler & Partners and Ingalls, Quinn & Johnson, and Providence, R.I., agencies Pagano, Schenck & Kay and incumbent Duffy & Shanley.

Ashland Oil Co.'s Valvoline Instant Oil Change to Meredian Communications, Lexington, Ky., from Bozell Worldwide, Minneapolis, for its $5 million account.

Luigino's, owned by marketing legend Jeno F. Paulucci, to Hal Riney & Partners, Chicago, from Pedone & Partners, New York, for Michelina's frozen food brand. Billings were expected to exceed $5 million.

American Health Products to Frieberg Advertising, Minneapolis, first agency for its incontinence products line.

FOR THE RECORD

Century 21 Real Estate rolls out a $16 million TV campaign March 22 from Campbell Mithun Esty, Minneapolis, including spots about the first sextuplets born in the U.S. this century. Two of the commercials focus on a letter from Keith and Becki Dilley, praising their real estate agent for helping sell their Indiana home to move into a larger one.

Precision Tune made its cable TV advertising debut this month with a $1 million campaign produced by Cucoloris Films in Venice, Calif. It features tow trucks dancing ballet-style. The voice-over says Precision Tune-maintained cars would let tow trucks "spend their time on more artistic pursuits."

Adidas America this week breaks a TV campaign from Team One, El Segundo, Calif., featuring ESPN college basketball analyst Dick Vitale. It will air during CBS broadcasts of NCAA basketball championship games.

Hewlett-Packard Co., in an attempt to keep the upper hand in the printer market, has begun an estimated $5 million TV and print campaign for the LaserJet line from Saatchi & Saatchi Pacific, San Francisco.

Starbucks Coffee Co., accelerating a push into new markets, agreed to acquire Coffee Connection, operator of 22 coffee stores in the Northeast.

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