LEVI'S TRIES ON NEW BRANDING EFFORT; BELL ATLANTIC GETS NOD FOR NATIONAL VIDEO SERVICES; MAURICE SAATCHI, PUBLICIS TALK ABOUT LINK; CHEVY REVS UP $20M CAMPAIGN FOR TAHOE BLIMPIE'S $5M CAMPAIGN TAKES AIM AT SUBWAY;PRIVATE LABELS READY FOR BACKLASH FROM BRANDS; EDDIE BAUER HANDS ACCOUNT TO RINEY;AMEX BUYS STAKE IN PUBLISHER CINEWORLD; M&M/MARS BRANDS UNITED AT DMB&B IN ST. LOUIS; L.A. COUNTY SEEKS STATE FEES FOR COURT BROADCASTS;MILLER SERVING UP GENUINE DRAFT LIGHT ADS; VENTURE PICKS WILDRICK AS PRESIDENT-CEO;76 CHOOSES CHIAT FOR $10M ACCOUNT; COORS TAPS $7M INTRO FOR GOLD IN SPAIN; BASIC CABLE GRABS BIGGER SHARE THAN BIG 4 NETS;SPANISH PREMIUM BEER SEGMENT IN THE FIRST YEAR.;BENCKISER MOVES $6M TO MARGEOTES; LONG JOHN SILVER'S HOOKS MR. BIGFISH; MCI PRESENTS NEW CHAPTER FROM GRAMERCY PRESS; ;

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SAN FRANCISCO-Levi Strauss & Co., stifled with stagnant U.S. sales and poised to dramatically expand its Original Levi's Stores outlets, returns to the air with an estimated $10 million-plus branding campaign. The brand ads are its first in more than a dozen years. The WPA-era style animated 30-second spot features the brand's trademark leatherlike patch, red tab, batwing logo and pocket stitching style, and is themed "They're not Levi's jeans until we say they are." The first flight, from Foote, Cone & Belding, airs around the NCAA tournament through April 3, with a second to run during Fox's NFL season.

PHILADELPHIA-Bell Atlantic Corp. last week won permission in U.S. District Court to provide video services to consumers outside the mid-Atlantic region, putting it in competition with national broadcast and cable TV companies. In two written court orders, Judge Harold Greene gave the regional Bell telephone company the right to distribute video programming services beyond its current market, including distributing video-on-demand services nationwide via satellite. In 1984, Judge Greene oversaw the breakup of AT&T's telephone monopoly.

LONDON-Talks are continuing between Publicis Chairman-CEO Maurice Levy and Maurice Saatchi, who needs to be able to display an international capability for his New Saatchi Agency at next month's British Airways pitch. According to an insider, the pair are discussing a non-equity link that would let Mr. Saatchi plug into the Publicis network for media buying, administrative and other services he can't provide on an international basis. A deal may be announced this week.

WARREN, Mich.-Chevrolet began an estimated $20 million effort for its new $30,000 Tahoe sport-utility vehicle with a direct mail campaign from Lintas Marketing Communications that began last week. The campaign includes two TV spots breaking March 23 on CBS' NCAA basketball tournament broadcasts and print starting April 10 in newsweeklies, both by Lintas Campbell-Ewald.

NEW YORK-Blimpie Subs & Salads today breaks its first national campaign, taking on category leader Subway Sandwiches & Salads. Bearing the tagline "Blimpie. It's a beautiful thing," the $5 million campaign from Kirshenbaum/Bond/Partners demonstrates Blimpie co-founder and President Anthony Conza's passion for freshly made subs.

ORLANDO-The private-label industry is girding for a battle with brand name product marketers. Rivals will attempt to force sales and profits down for what some have called industry "parasites," Private Label Manufacturers Association President Brian Sharoff told attendees at the organization's annual conference. The industry is anticipating couponing, discounting, the prospect of legal fights and other "harassing tactics" as brand marketers defend shrinking turf.

SEATTLE-Spiegel's Eddie Bauer unit awarded its account to Hal Riney & Partners, San Francisco. The business was previously handled in-house. Riney will be charged with helping fuel the catalog and retail marketer's rapid expansion; 350-unit Eddie Bauer plans to double its number of stores within five years.

NEW YORK-American Express Publishing Corp. acquired an equity stake in multimedia publisher CineWorld, Bellevue, Wash., as part of a licensing agreement under which CineWorld will create CD-ROMs for AmEx magazines Travel & Leisure and Food & Wine. CineWorld founder Min Yee is a former Microsoft Corp. multimedia division VP.

ST. LOUIS-The M&M/Mars brands handled by D'Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles are being consolidated at the agency's office here. Creative work for the Milky Way, Milky Way Lite and Mars Almond Bar had been handled at DMB&B, New York.

LOS ANGELES-The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors asked the state Legislature to charge electronic media for costs incurred from broadcasts of California court cases, Electronic Media reported. Judge Lance Ito and Los Angeles Superior Court Presiding Judge Gary Klausner last week rejected a board motion asking the same of the media covering the O.J. Simpson trial.

MILWAUKEE-Miller Brewing Co. is launching its first separate advertising for Miller Genuine Draft Light in two years with a "This time is your time" theme. Ads will run in six markets. Bates USA, New York, handles Genuine Draft and Genuine Draft Light.

ST. LOUIS-Robert N. Wildrick has been named president-CEO of Venture Stores, effective April 17. Mr. Wildrick, 51, is corporate exec VP-merchandising and sales promotion and chief merchandising officer for Belk Stores. Current Venture President Philip G. Otto previously announced he will resign.

LOS ANGELES-76 Products Co. steered its $10 million account to Chiat/Day, Venice, Calif. The campaign will include launching 200 new-format gas stations. Leo Burnett USA, Chicago, was the previous agency.

GOLDEN, Colo.-Adolph Coors Co. introduced Coors Gold in Spain with $7 million in advertising scheduled for the next year by Alta Definicion, Barcelona. Coors Gold, brewed by Coors Brewing Iberica, aims for sales of 5 million liters and a 7% market share of the

NEW YORK-In February, basic cable's share of TV viewing for the first time surpassed that of the four broadcast networks albeit during a narrow time period. According to an analysis by the Cabletelevision Advertising Bureau, basic cable's share from 1 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays in February was 41% of the available TV audience, compared with 40% for the combined share of the affiliates of ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox.

DANBURY, Conn.-Benckiser Consumer Products named Margeotes Fertitta Donaher & Weiss to handle the marketing and communications program for Jet-Dry dishwashing rinse additive. Spending is expected to reach $6 million in 1995. Nelson & Henry, Minneapolis, previously handled the account.

LEXINGTON, Ky.-Long John Silver's is introducing the Mr. Bigfish Feast to trawl for a larger share of the family dining segment. The meal includes a choice of fish or chicken served with fries, slaw, hush puppies and an apple pie. Temerlin McClain, Dallas, handles the fast-food chain.

WASHINGTON-A new series of commercials about the fictional Gramercy Press from MCI Communications Corp. promotes networkMCI Business software. The eight-part series from Messner Vetere Berger McNamee Schmetterer/Euro RSCG, New York, unfolds through May.

Maybelline turns to supermodel Bridget Hall

MEMPHIS, Tenn.-Maybelline has signed supermodel Bridget Hall, who will appear in print ads breaking in May for Maybelline's new Natural Accents blush and shadow. TV ads could follow. Christy Turlington has not been replaced as the company's spokesmodel. Gotham, New York, is Maybelline's agency of record.

ACCOUNT ACTION

Ford Motor Co.'s Ford Division, Detroit, is reviewing its $15 million Hispanic account. Vying against incumbent Mendoza, Dillon & Asociados, Newport Beach, Calif., are Zubi Advertising Services and Sanchez & Levitan, both Miami.

Tyson Foods, Springdale, Ark., to DDB Needham Worldwide, Chicago, from Saatchi & Saatchi Advertising, New York, for its estimated $25 million to $30 million Tyson, Lewis Kemp and Weaver brands account.

Princess Cruises, Los Angeles, to J. Walter Thompson USA, Chicago, from Lintas Campbell-Ewald, Los Angeles, for its $25 million account.Silicon Graphics, Mountain View, Calif., to Cole & Weber, Seattle, from Poppe Tyson, Mountain View, for the computer workstation and software marketer's estimated $10 million to $20 million global account. The company spent about $5 million in 1994 but has boosted spending to allow broader media and an image campaign.

Shoney's Restaurants, Nashville, Tenn., to Time Buying Services, New York, from Martin/Williams, Minneapolis, for its $19 million media buying account.

Novell, Provo, Utah, to Young & Rubicam Europe, London, from a variety of agencies for its consolidated European account, estimated at $12 million. The expected move secures the position of Y&R, San Francisco, as global creative agency on the software marketer's estimated $40 million worldwide account.

Omni Hotels, Hampton, N.H., to Gearon Hoffman, Boston, from Earle Palmer Brown, Philadelphia, for its estimated $3.5 million account.H.J. Heinz Co., Pittsburgh, to J. Brown/LMC Group, Stamford, Conn., and Pittsburgh, from Leo Burnett USA, Chicago, for its account. Volkswagen of America, Auburn Hills, Mich., to Loiminchay, New York and San Francisco, as first agency to handle advertising, promotion and public relations to Asian-Americans. Separately, creative presentations are being made this week by four agencies vying to replace Berlin Cameron Doyle, New York, on the estimated $90 million VW account. Former agency DDB Needham Worldwide, New York, is said to have the inside track. Also in the running are Deutsch; Arnold Fortuna Lawner & Cabot, Boston; and the Richards Group, Dallas.

MEDIA MOVES

Conde Nast Publications said it will freeze ad rates through the rest of the year. The move is expected to increase pressure on other publishers to follow suit and absorb the hit from paper price hikes.

Dow Jones & Co. is exploring the launch of a weekly magazine aimed at Americans who do business internationally. Amity Shales, former editorial features editor of The Wall Street Journal, and Thomas Eglinton, managing director of the weekly Asian Wall Street Journal, are overseeing the project.Viacom said it will consider new buyers for its cable systems following a Senate Finance Committee repeal of the Federal Communications Commission's minority tax certificate program that was the basis of a $2.3 billion deal to sell Viacom's systems to minority-owned InterMedia Partners. Also, Viacom completed the $1.075 billion sale of Madison Square Garden to a partnership of ITT Corp. and Cablevision Systems Corp. The company will turn over ownership of the facility, the New York Knicks basketball team, the New York Rangers hockey team and the MSG regional cable sports network.Ziff-Davis Publishing Co. will market 13 publications, including two titles published on CD-ROM, via the Electronic Newsstand on the Internet.

House of Representatives approved $17 billion in federal budget cuts to existing programs, including public broadcasting. White House Chief of Staff Leon Panetta vowed President Clinton would veto the bill in its current form. Separately, the Republican majority pushed a plan through a House budget committee that would make another $100 billion in reductions over the next five years, including privatizing the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.CBS unveiled its 1995-96 prime-time development slate, including a plethora of series featuring big stars such as Don Johnson, controversial comedian Andrew Clay, actresses Elizabeth McGovern and Joan Cusack and a TV series adaptation of author John Grisham's "The Client." The projects also include a significant number of series designed to appeal to young viewers, including "Beck," "Staten Island 10309" and Nickelodeon star Melissa Joan Hart's "Clarissa."

COMINGS & GOINGS

Arthur Selkowitz, 51, to president, DMB&B/Asia-Pacific, New York, from his post as worldwide account director on D'Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles' Procter & Gamble Co. business. He succeeds John Ferries, who remains president, DMB&B/Americas.

Mark Shuster to the new position of director of performance marketing, Converse, North Reading, Mass., from director of strategic planning, Reebok International, Stoughton. Also at Converse, Tom Nelson to the new position of senior VP-sales, from VP-sales, Rockport Co., Marlborough. (For more people news, see Page 33.)

FOR THE RECORD

American Honda Motor Co.'s Acura division begins a network TV teaser campaign today from Ketchum Advertising, Los Angeles, for the TL, a critical new midlevel sedan that replaces the Vigor.U.S. Shoe Corp. announced a deal to sell its footwear operations to Nine West Group for $560 million in cash plus stock warrants valued at around $40 million. U.S. Shoes' brands include Pappagallo, Capezio, Easy Spirit and Joyce. Lotas Minard Patton McIver, New York, handles creative for U.S. Shoes, and Media That Works, Cincinnati, does media.

True North Communications has purchased Livingston & Co., Seattle, and will fold it into the Seattle offices of Borders, Perrin & Norrander (AA, March 6). Roger Livingston, formerly Livingston president-CEO, will become a Borders consultant.Oregon State Lottery's advertising drew just one critic during legislative hearings on a bill to abolish all ad funding. Of seven people who testified at the hearing, only a church coalition spokeswoman supported the bill. The measure's sponsor, Republican Sen. John Lim, now is considering reducing ad funds. Moffatt/Rosenthal, Portland, handles the lottery's campaign. Elected officials, lottery representatives and lobbyists for newspapers and the grocery industry testified against the proposal. Advertising agencies have already registered their opposition.KFC Corp. is dropping the Col. Sanders character as its spokesman, launching a $70 million campaign focusing on family meals in an effort to combat Boston Market's focus on fully prepared meals. "Everybody needs a little KFC" is the tagline, from Young & Rubicam, New York.Hyatt Hotels & Resorts launched a $12 million advertising campaign during the NCAA basketball tournament. The two 30-second spots from BBDO Worldwide, New York, feature Hyatt employees and are themed "Discover the people with the Hyatt touch." The image campaign is designed to show the traveler that there is an ownership feeling at the employee level at Hyatt properties. Ads will follow on cable as well as in leisure and travel magazines in April.Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. will launch the 1995 Excedrin No. 1040 Tax Headache radio marketing campaign on March 20 in 17 markets. CRN International, Hamden, Conn., created and produced the campaign, featuring tax experts giving on-air advice for the most common tax problems and questions as well as "tax relaxer" prizes and giveaways.Procter & Gamble Co. has verified its "one tiny capful is all it takes to clean even tough dirt" statement, used in its Ultra Spic & Span advertising. The National Advertising Division of the Council of Better Business Bureaus challenged the claim's accuracy as part of its standard monitoring program. P&G did agree to be more clear in its definition of "most regular cleaners," used in a comparative statement in the broadcast effort. Saatchi & Saatchi Advertising, New York, handles.Coca-Cola Co. and Guinness-owned brewer Cruzcampo were among 30 marketers providing $600,000 in sponsorship of the March 18 wedding of Princess Elena and stockbroker Jaime de Marichalar in Seville, Spain. Wine company Pedro Domecq provided the couple's horse-drawn carriage, and department store chain El Corte Ingles supplied footmen and carriage driver uniforms in its corporate color of green. Coca-Cola contributed a large marquee.Pirelli Armstrong Tire Corp. kicked off its biggest ever U.S. campaign, with a $7 million effort that broke March 18. The cable TV spots feature U.S. Olympic gold medalist Carl Lewis, who plays a new superhero known as Tireman. Young & Rubicam, New York, created the character for use by Pirelli in Europe, the Far East and South America.Colgate-Palmolive Co. is introducing My First Colgate and the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers toothbrushes for children as well as Teen Kool Looks for pre-teens. The Colgate Ultra Fit Toothbrush is being launched for adults. During first quarter 1995 all packaging designs on toothbrushes will be improved to provide a greater effect on display.

Bozell, Jacobs, Kenyon & Eckhardt, London, bought Lewis & Gace for an undisclosed sum and will merge the agency with Bozell's healthcare division to create Lewis Gace Bozell Healthcare Worldwide, headquartered in New York with offices in London and Brussels. The new company will be one of the top 15 healthcare agency networks in the world.

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