LONDON-The U.K.'s Conservative Party is expected to start working with the Saatchi brothers' M&C Saatchi agency after announcing Dec. 15 that Saatchi & Saatchi Advertising will no longer handle the account. Conservative Party Chairman Brian Mawhinney said, "We want to be able to call on teams from other agencies to work together in the future." The account had long been expected to follow Maurice Saatchi, ousted as chairman of Saatchi & Saatchi Co., now called Cordiant, last December. One obstacle was the party's debt to Saatchi & Saatchi from the last election campaign, believed to be about $1 million and since paid. Separately, the U.K.'s Department of Trade & Industry is believed to have dropped an insider dealing investigation into stock trades made a year ago in Saatchi & Saatchi Co. The trades in question included Maurice and Charles Saatchi's sale of 900,000 shares each for an estimated $2.2 million.
NEW YORK-Thomas Kenney, president-global magazines and corporate development of Reader's Digest Association, is expected to be named chairman of the Magazine Publishers of America today. Currently the trade group's secretary, he is moving up the hierarchy because of the vacancy created last week when MPA Vice Chairman Francis Pandolfi resigned as Times Mirror Magazines chairman to take a post at the U.S. Department of the Interior. That twist came only weeks after the then-newly elected MPA Chairman Claeys Bahrenburg was out as president of Hearst Magazines.
NEW YORK-AT&T last week eliminated N.W. Ayer & Partners from its review to handle the estimated $150 million account to launch its equipment company-to be officially spun off in January. Young & Rubicam, McCann-Erickson Worldwide and FCB/Leber Katz Partners were asked to present more extensive pitches in a second round of reviews.
CUPERTINO, Calif.-The stock of high tech marketing company CKS Group closed at $24.50 Dec. 15, its first day of trading on the Nasdaq stock exchange, after opening at $23.75. CKS floated 2.5 million shares; 2.1 million from company officials and 400,000 from outside shareholders, giving the company a market value of $61.25 million. Interpublic Group of Cos., a previous investor in CKS, now holds 2 Blockbuster will hear 4 pitches this week
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla.-Four of five finalists will make their pitches for Blockbuster Video's $145 million advertising account this week. Leo Burnett USA and Foote, Cone & Belding, both Chicago; Young & Rubicam, New York; and Bernstein-Rein, Kansas City, Mo., will make half-day presentations. Incumbent D'Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles, St. Louis and New York, made its pitch in November. Some speculation says FCB, which won the $35 million Blockbuster Music account from DMB&B in July, is the front-runner.
PARSIPPANY, N.J.-Six Flags Theme Parks last week consolidated its $40 million account with McCann-Erickson Worldwide, New York. Cut from the Six Flags roster were as many as a dozen agencies previously handling TV and print assignments for the company's 11 theme parks nationwide. Agencies dismissed included EvansGroup, Los Angeles; Hughes Group and Advanswers Media/Programming, St. Louis; and Lois/USA and CPM, Chicago.
MILFORD, Conn.-Subway Sandwiches & Salads is considering launching a value menu next month that would include 96 cents sandwiches to compete with the 99 burgers McDonald's Corp. and Burger King Corp. offer in many markets. A Subway spokesman said no decision has been made on the value menu.
TROY, Mich.-The board of Championship Auto Racing Teams holds a meeting today in Chicago that could result in the creation of a second Indy-style racing league and a race that would be held Memorial Day at the Michigan International Speedway. The proposed race would conflict with the Indy Racing League's Memorial Day Indianapolis 500, broadcast live on ABC. The race would cause significant dilemmas for advertisers and sponsors, but CBS is said to be interested in becoming Cart's broadcast partner with Philip Morris Cos.' Marlboro, Firestone and Hardee's closes 140 units, will sell Roy Rogers
ROCKY MOUNT, N.C.-Hardee's Food Systems is selling its Roy Rogers division, closing 140 Hardee's units and laying off 10% of employees in an attempt to stop the company's hemorrhaging sales and refocus on the beleaguered Hardee's brand. Wendy's International snapped up 45 Roy Rogers units in the New York area for $26 million and is considering purchasing some of the 178 stores in the Baltimore/Washington market. Earle Palmer Brown, Bethesda, Md., handled the $15 million Roy Rogers account.
WASHINGTON-Round two in the fight against cultural decay will be plotted today in a meeting of the staffs of Empower America, Sen. Joseph Lieberman (D., Conn.) and Sen. Sam Nunn (D., Ga.). "It's a strategy meeting that will set the stage for the principals to get together," possibly later in the week, said Nicole Giddens, deputy press secretary of Empower America, a group led by former Education Secretary William Bennett. Ms. Giddens said the group's efforts to place ads opposing trashy talk TV have stalled; so far, $15,000 of a budgeted $50,000 has been spent placing the TV spots. The staffs will discuss not only talk TV, but other areas of TV, movies, videogames and music.
Cabletelevision Advertising Bureau estimated ad spending on basic cable TV networks soared 17.7% through September to $2.575 billion. For the third quarter, cable ad spending rose 23.1% to $867.6 million...McDonald's Corp. has begun testing its new signature burger, the Arch Deluxe, in one or more restaurants. Fallon McElligott, Minneapolis, is working on creativ..Bob Shamberg to VP-mall store marketing, a new post at Sears, Roebuck & Co., Hoffman Estates, Ill., from VP-marketing. Also, Daniel Laughlin to the new post of VP-strategic marketing from VP-apparel marketing...Katz Media Group, New York, has formed an interactive unit called Millenium Media Marketing, and in January will begin to sell advertising space on a new online shopping service called ValuOne Online, based in Salt Lake City...Jump is the working title for the new women's active sports magazine now under development at Conde Nast Publications, with a prototype expected in January for review by Conde Nast Chairman S.I. Newhouse Jr...David Kahn to publisher of Saveur from associate publisher, taking over responsibilities relinquished by Joe Armstrong, who remains publications director...Point-of-Purchase Advertising Institute will relocate its headquarters to Washington from Englewood, N.J., by the end of 1996. The trade association believes the move will help it better serve its members as the POP industry expands on a global basis.