Bell Atlantic, Philadelphia, is reviewing its $50 million local telecommunications account, currently handled primarily by J. Walter Thompson USA, New York, for consumer, business, corporate advertising and all media buying. FCB/Tierney, Philadelphia, handles directory and operator services and public telephone advertising. A dozen agencies plus the incumbents were invited to participate.
Deutsche Bahn, Frankfurt, will review its $50 million creative account, with incumbent Ogilvy & Mather and several unnamed agencies competing for the German state railway's business. Hindustan Unilever, Bombay, to Hindustan Thompson Associates from roster agency Lintas for its newly aligned $65 million in media buying for India.
Alois Mueller, Aretsrief, Germany, to Springer & Jacoby, Scholz & Friends, Economia and Lintas, all Hamburg, from Hirche Kommunikation, Frankfurt, for $24 million of the dairy product marketer's German business.Cox Communications, Atlanta, and Times Mirror Programming, Los Angeles, to Mullen, Wenham, Mass., as agency of record for the partners' two new cable TV networks, Outdoor Life and Speedvision, with combined accounts worth $10 million. Also to Mullen, Paddington Corp., Fort Lee, N.J., from Lowe & Partners/SMS, New York, for the $3 million Campari aperitif account.
Digi International, Eden Prairie, Minn., to FCB Technology, San Francisco, from Kerker & Associates, Minneapolis, for the computer networking product marketer's $4 million to $5 million account.
Palm Beach County Convention & Visitors Bureau, West Palm Beach, Fla., to Ryder & Schild, Miami, from Crispin & Porter, Coconut Grove, for its $2 million advertising and marketing account.
Knowledge Adventure, La Crescenta, Calif., to Kalis & Savage, Pacific Palisades, from Kresser Stein Robaire, Santa Monica, for its estimated $1 million print and broadcast account for its entertainment and educational multimedia software.
Nalley's Fine Foods, Tacoma, Wash., to Cole & Weber, Seattle, from Freeman Blanshei & Partners, San Francisco, for its estimated $1 million Adams peanut butter and Nalley's chili brands.
Silvio Berlusconi, Italy's media baron and former prime minister, was cleared of charges of trying to pressure state TV group RAI to form a cartel to raise ad rates. The probe followed accusations from RAI's former director Gianni Locatelli that Mr. Berlusconi tried to persuade RAI to lower its declared audience share and to raise ad rates to benefit Mr. Berlusconi's three TV channels. Mr. Berlusconi still faces a July 4 hearing to determine if there is sufficient evidence to prosecute him in an investigation concerning alleged bribes to tax inspectors.
DreamWorks SKG and Silicon Graphics said they will jointly spend about $50 million to develop a computer system for creative production. DreamWorks, the Hollywood studio created by Steven Spielberg, Jeffrey Katzenberg and David Geffen, will use the system first for an animated film and then for future film, TV, music and interactive products.Gruner & Jahr will fold German weekly newsmagazine Tango, begun in September to challenge Burda's Focus, introduced in January 1993. Tango's weekly circulation reached 160,000 copies, compared with Focus' 500,000-plus, and ad sales remained poor. Gruner says it lost $40.7 million on Tango, handled by DDB Needham, Duesseldorf.
Jerry Solomon to president of the National Broadcast Group at SFM Media Corp., New York, from president of Busch Media Group.
Jerry Kaplan to VP-group sales at Meredith Magazine Group, Des Moines, from VP-publisher of Better Homes & Gardens. Also, Alex Mironovich to publisher of Better Homes & Gardens from associate publisher and advertising sales director.Capital Cities/ABC and Spectrum HoloByte formed a joint-venture company to develop and produce interactive game software for personal computers and videogame machines using the ABC Sports brand. The as yet unnamed company will be based in Hunt Valley, Md. Games will use the ABC Sports, "Monday Night Football" and "Wide World of Sports" trademarks.
COMINGS & GOINGS
Dale F. Morrison, 46, to president, Pepperidge Farm cookies and candy division of Campbell Soup Co., Camden, N.J., and corporate VP-Campbell, from president, Frito Lay North and Hostess Frito Lay Canada, divisions of PepsiCo.
Richard Rohrbach adds managing director-Mexico and Central America network sales to his responsibilities at Turner Broadcasting System, Atlanta, where he oversees network sales for Central America, Ecuador, Dominican Republic, Colombia and Cuba for CNN International as well as TNT and the Cartoon Network in Latin America. Also, Craig Elson to senior director-Latin American sales at Turner Broadcasting System, Inc., from director-Caribbean and Venezuela sales.
Gene Henderson to the new position of chief operating officer at Epsilon, the Burlington, Mass. database marketer owned by American Express Co. He had been general manager of Epsilon's commercial division.
Sharron McCarthy to executive director for Riunite wines at Banfi Vintners of Old Brookville, N.Y. She had been working as a wine and food consultant. (For more people news, see Page 27.)
FOR THE RECORD
Volvo is considering plans with Mitsubishi Motors Corp. to develop and market a four-wheel-drive vehicle in the U.S., Swedish financial daily Dagens Industri reported. Volvo would only say, "We are examining a range of new product development options and an off-road jeep is just one of them." Mercedes-Benz and Nissan Motors Co. both plan to enter the sports-utility vehicle segment in the U.S.
Pepsi-Cola Co. is test marketing a low-fat dairy shake called Smooth Moos Smoothies in Texas and Oklahoma. The beverage is the company's first dairy-based drink. The product is made with real milk and is available in four flavors: double chocolate, french vanilla, strawberry and banana. Creative for radio and outdoor boards from Tracy-Locke, Dallas, will focus on the adventures of Spot, a hightop-wearing cow who escapes from a cattle truck and runs off with bottles of the beverage.
Kirk Kerkorian's Tracinda Corp. withdrew its $55 per share offer for Chrysler Corp. and hired New York investment banking firm Wasserstein Perella & Co. to help evaluate options. Tracinda's bold $22.8 billion bid to acquire Chrysler came undone because of a lack of financial backing. Tracinda said that its 55 million Chrysler shares are not for sale and that its goal of maximizing value for all Chrysler shareholders remains unchanged.WalkerGroup/CNI, New York, is developing a retail cosmetics concept, Face-It, with interactive capabilities that will let a consumer try on different shades of lipstick or eyeshadow via a photo image of her face on a screen. The products she chooses will then be stored in memory and can be purchased at the accompanying vending machines with a credit card. The company hopes to utilize the technology for other types of retail, such as home furnishings, athletic equipment and shoes. A working prototype should be ready within three months. Shirley Young, General Motors Corp.'s VP-consumer market development for North America, will take on additional duties to support GM's consumer market development efforts in China. Ms. Young will be an adviser to Rudolph Schlais, GM VP and president of GM China Operations, who said Ms. Young's duties will include marketing, distribution and enhancing relationships for GM in China.
ConAgra last week broke a TV campaign for the new Healthy Choice Special Creations ice cream pints. A 30-second spot from Campbell Mithun Esty, Minneapolis, is running on network and cable prime-time TV for three weeks; another flight, scheduled for mid-summer, will include a spot TV schedule. In the commercial, a woman says she enjoys the line's 10 flavors and that with only 2 grams of fat per serving, "It's magic."
Dairy Management, Rosemont, Ill., announced it will shelve its $50 million "Milk, help yourself" campaign in September and adopt the California Milk Processor Board's "Got milk?" campaign in an effort to unify the milk industry's national fluid milk advertising. Dairy Management will spend $15 million this year and an additional $65 million in 1996 on the ads, created by Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, San Francisco. J. Walter Thompson USA, New York, will remain agency of record for Dairy Management. Chrysler Corp. is attempting to generate test drives of the Chrysler Cirrus sedan with a targeted direct mail program inviting consumers to test drive the car and receive a $20 value in MCI phone service. The direct mail piece, developed by Bozell Worldwide, Southfield, Mich., is being distributed to nearly 2 million owners of competitive vehicles such as Honda Accord, Toyota Camry and Ford Taurus.Austin Associates, a $12 million San Jose, Calif., tech agency, is now Austin/Kerr/Marcoccia. Joining President Mike Austin are new partners, Exec VP Alan Kerr, former account director at CKS Partners, Campbell, and one-time head of the Microsoft account at Ogilvy & Mather, Los Angeles; and Creative Director Pat Marcoccia, associate creative director at McCann-Erickson Worldwide, San Francisco.
Converse has signed top women basketball players Nikki McCray, Carla McGhee and Katie Steding as spokeswomen for its shoes.