J. Walter Thompson Co. and Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide named Bob Zach, 49, worldwide media director for the two agencies' Eastman Kodak Co. assignments. The move follows the decision six months ago by JWT and O&M to jointly handle media for Kodak. Mr. Zach was formerly exec VP-media director, Hill, Holliday, Connors, Cosmopulos, Boston.
Kraft Foods agreed to sell its $100 million Log Cabin syrup business to MBW Foods, marketer of Mrs. Butterworth's syrup and pancake mix products. The sale is expected to be completed by early July. Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide, New York, handles Log Cabin.
Reed Elsevier and Microsoft Corp. revealed a $30 million agreement to help the trade publisher build electronic content platforms to reach audiences in the scientific, legal, business and travel information markets.
Sixty staffers at San Francisco's KGO-TV criticized ABC-TV for refusing to air during "Ellen" a paid job discrimination spot from the gay advocacy group Human Rights Campaign. In a May 1 letter to Marvin Goldsmith, ABC president of network TV sales and marketing, employees said the HRC spot "should have been accepted nationally as a public service announcement" and also criticized the network's rejection of an ad from Olivia Cruises as "homophobic denial." An ABC spokeswoman said, "None of our policy decisions, whether advertising or employment practices, are homophobic in nature."
American Honda Motor Co. filed a federal court suit against Republic Industries to stop what Honda said is Republic's plan to acquire multiple Honda and Acura dealerships. American Honda charged Republic's objective is to create a brand image for its AutoNation car dealer chain that would piggyback on, and potentially devalue, the Honda and Acura brands.
Announcing a first quarter 1998 launch, ESPN Magazine is looking for an editor in chief. The step left unclear the future title and status of Gary Hoenig, the editor who produced test issues of the title. ESPN said he would continue to be involved in the magazine but did not detail his future role. John Walsh, ESPN's senior VP-executive editor, will guide editorial direction of the magazine. John Skipper was named senior VP for the every-other-weekly magazine; Michael Rooney is publisher.
Marriott International is launching a multibrand frequent guest program with direct mail aimed at 9 million consumers; print ads support via McCann-Erickson Worldwide, New York. The Marriott Rewards program allows members to earn points for free stays at Marriott's six lodging brands. It replaces programs for Marriott's individual brands.
Johnson & Johnson's McNeil Consumer Products Co. won Food & Drug Administration approval to market a prescription Nicotrol inhaler, the latest entry under its Nicotrol smoking cessation brand, which includes the OTC Nicotrol patch and the prescription Nicotrol Nasal Spray. Anderson Advertising, Toronto, handles Nicotrol NS; Saatchi & Saatchi Advertising, New York, handles Nicotrol patch.
Gary Beach has been named to a new senior VP post at International Data Group overseeing relationships with 51 owned and licensed computer titles globally. Replacing him as president of Computerworld is Publisher Mike Rogers.
Zenith Electronics introduced a revamped version of its lightning bolt "Z" logo as it prepares for the summer launch of its first national ad campaign in five years. The long-ailing TV maker hopes to revive its brand with simple print and outdoor ads showing the fun Zenith products offer consumers. Bagby & Co., Chicago, redid the 76-year-old logo and handles the $10 million ad account.
Ziff-Davis said it will start a 24-hour cable channel about computers and the Internet in the first quarter of '98. The publisher is committing more than $100 million and will hire more than 300 people for ZDTV: Your Computer Channel and a related Web site. ZDTV faces a daunting challenge: It hasn't yet signed any cable operators to carry the channel, and Exec VP Richard Fisher acknowledged gaining distribution is "very, very hard." Ziff-Davis Chairman-CEO Eric Hippeau said ZDTV expects to reach 20 million-to-25 million households by 2000. Eleven advertisers including IBM Corp., Intel Corp. and Microsoft Corp. each paid $200,000 for charter sponsorships, according to an executive familiar with the deal. Parent Softbank Corp. is aligned with Rupert Murdoch on a Japanese satellite TV venture, and Ziff has talked about providing TV content to Mr. Murdoch in the U.K.
Hewlett-Packard Co. unveiled a global business-to-business campaign pitching workstations, servers and supercomputers to engineers. Themed "No Boundaries," the print and outdoor ads were made by Saatchi & Saatchi Advertising, San Francisco.
KFC Corp. broke new commercials last week promoting the chain's Mix and Match buckets. Commercials created by Young & Rubicam, New York, introduce New York Yankees owner George Steinbrenner as a "piece maker." Spot shows Mr. Steinbrenner asking his three grandchildren, "Who wants the Honey BBQ Tender Roast" chicken? It concludes with the exec "firing" his grandson for "hogging" all the Tender Roast.
True North Communications, Chicago, reported first-quarter revenue increased 23.3% to $130.6 million from $105.9 million a year ago. International revenue increased 27% to $24.2 million. North American revenue rose 22% to $106.4 million from $86.9 million.
First USA, a leading credit-card issuer, launched the Real Jazz Platinum Visa card. First USA will promote the card as presenting sponsor of the June 18 First