Harry A. McQuillen, 51, chief operating officer and exec VP of K-III Communications Corp., died on June 29 at his home in Darien, Conn. The Connecticut chief medical examiner's office ruled the death a suicide. Mr. McQuillen was instrumental in establishing K-III as a magazine publishing company, overseeing the company's rapid growth since 1991, the year he joined as president-CEO of K-III Magazine Corp. He was responsible for 63 magazines, including Automobile, Chicago, New York, Soap Opera Digest and Seventeen. Prior to K-III, he was president of MacMillan Publishing. William F. Reilly, K-III chairman-CEO, will assume Mr. McQuillen's responsibilities. Mr. McQuillen is survived by his wife of 27 years and a son.
AD WOES FOLLOW FAILED OFFICE-SUPPLIES MERGER
The failed merger between Office Depot and Staples has left the Office Depot marketing department in disarray. After one campaign this spring, the Florida-based retailer parted company with J. Walter Thompson USA, Chicago. Before that, former VP-Corporate and Retail Marketing Neil Guliano left. With Staples' relationship with New York-based Cliff Freeman & Partners solid, new Office Depot hires were held off, and print ads were handled in-house under the watch of consultant Gary Foss.
DAIRY QUEEN CHANGING PERSPECTIVE, NAMES GREY
International Dairy Queen has selected Grey Advertising, New York, to replace Campbell Mithun Esty, Minneapolis, as agency for the U.S. portion of its Dairy Queen account, which CME had handled since 1962. Billings this year were estimated at $18 million. "We believe Grey will provide a new perspective to marketing the Dairy Queen brand," said Gary See, VP-marketing. He said the shop was selected because of its foodservice experience with Red Lobster and Olive Garden.
KFC BREAKING SPOTS FOR CHICKEN TWISTER
Portability and neatness are the key selling points in the first TV spots for KFC Corp.'s new wrap sandwich, the Chicken Twister. Spots from Y&R Advertising, New York, break July 7. One spot shows two people in a car, talking about "eating on the run"; in another, Fred Flintstone and Barney Rubble contrast Twister with "sloppy" burgers.
WARD'S REVAMPS, TRIES FASHION STRATEGY
Ailing retailer Montgomery Ward & Co. will move to an affordable fashion marketing strategy, finding a niche between department stores and discount segments, Chairman-CEO Roger Goddu said. Ward's also plans to continue focusing on its current strengths in appliances, furniture, mattresses and jewelry. The department store last year hired DDB Needham Worldwide, Chicago, for an account estimated at $25 million.
MORRISON TO HEAD CAMPBELL SOUP
Dale F. Morrison, 48, has been named president-CEO at Campbell Soup Co. Formerly president-international and specialty foods, he replaces David W. Johnson, 64, who continues as chairman and chairman of the executive committee. Also, Basil L. Anderson, 52, chief financial officer and Robert F. Bernstock, 46, president-U.S. grocery, were promoted to exec VPs from senior VPs.
DISNEY FARM PUBLICATIONS GOING TO RURAL PRESS
Walt Disney Co. is selling its Farm Progress Group magazines and farm shows to Rural Press Ltd., an Australian publisher and broadcaster. Purchase price was $57 million. Farm Progress publishes three national and 26 state farm publications and operates six farm shows. Rural Press already publishes 13 state farm newspapers in the U.S.
CUTBACKS HIT KETCHUM SAN FRANCISCO OFFICE
Ketchum Advertising, San Francisco, has eliminated 25 to 30 jobs following the consolidation of Pacific Bell's long-distance account at sister Omnicom agency Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, also San Francisco. Goodby handles the branding work for Pacific Bell and advertising for its parent company, SBC Communications. The San Francisco office, with about 85 staffers, is expected to be consolidated into TBWA Chiat/Day, Venice, Calif.
USA NETWORKS IN COURT OVER FUTURE OWNERSHIP
Owners of USA Networks have submitted separate plans to the Delaware Chancery Court regarding the company's future. Co-owner Viacom International wants USA auctioned off; co-owner Seagram Co. wants to either buy Viacom's share for the minimum market price or sell its half-interest to Viacom at the maximum market price. The court is not expected to make a ruling until late July at the earliest.
`ECONOMIST' PICKS HANGER AS ITS FIRST PUBLISHER
Economist Group has appointed David Hanger as publisher for its weekly news magazine The Economist, a first in its 154-year history. It said the move is an attempt to refocus resources on the magazine. Previously, he was worldwide ad director.