[london-sept. 30] Unilever will merge Thomas J. Lipton Co. and Van den Bergh Foods, creating an entity simply called Lipton with $3 billion in sales. The move stems from an A.T. Kearney study and is likely to result in some minor agency assignment shifts (AA, Aug. 26). Unilever's major shops include Ammirati Puris Lintas, McCann-Erickson Worldwide and J. Walter Thompson USA, all New York.
[houston-sept. 30] Compaq Computer Corp. President-CEO Eckhard Pfeiffer urged the Federal Communications Commission not to follow the recommendations of major TV companies in setting new high-definition TV standards. They would have to be followed by any computer monitor maker whose monitors can also show TV. Mr. Pfeiffer said the HDTV standards proposed by the Grand Alliance, which includes most major consumer electronics companies, are so detailed they will raise the prices of computers and discourage innovation. He called for a lesser "basic" standard. Major differences between computer and traditional consumer electronics companies on the standard could further slow down the long-delayed FCC approval of an HDTV standard.
[winston-salem, n.c.-oct. 3] Long Haymes Carr is Kiwi International Air Lines largest unsecured creditor, owed $1.5 million. Kiwi filed for bankruptcy protection last week. Agency Chairman-CEO Stephen Zades wouldn't comment on being a creditor, but said, "We are still the agency of record for Kiwi. We will continue to help them work through their reorganization."
[redmond, wash.-sept. 30] Microsoft Corp. will conduct a promotion targeted at home computer users featuring several of its newest Internet-ready products. Starting Oct. 3, customers buying any of the six Microsoft products will get "msCASH" checks for $30 good toward any Microsoft product. Microsoft is running a $3 million campaign supporting the promotion. Wieden & Kennedy, Portland, Ore., handles.
[los angeles-oct. 2] Prime Deportiva, the Spanish-language sports channel from News Corp. and a 50/50 partnership between Liberty Media Corp. and Tele-communications International, has been renamed Fox Sports Americas. The new channel on Nov. 1 will launch four regional feeds to some 3.7 million households in the U.S. and Latin America. The feeds will consist of the U.S., Brazil, and northern and southern Latin American regions. The relaunch will be backed by a $1 million outdoor, print and radio campaign. In a related move, Richard Battista was named senior VP-Fox Sports International from senior VP-general manager.
[westlake village, calif.-sept. 30] Dole Foods Co.'s Dole Fresh Vegetables begins its first national TVcampaign Sept. 30. The drive touts results of a taste test in which Dole's packaged caesar salad was preferred 2-to-1 over "the leading competitive brand." Suissa Miller, Santa Monica, Calif., handles. Dole also is aggressively marketing its entire product line with new product graphics, coupons, anti-fog film packaging, a complete retail merchandising system, in-store promotions and sampling, radio advertising and cross-promotions.
[miami-oct. 2] Ten leading Latin American newspapers created Grupo de Diarios America, allowing advertisers to get a combined 10 million circulation with one buy, and to save up to 30% over individual buys. Charney/ Palacios & Co. forged the deal. Involved are La Nacion, Buenos Aires; O Globo, Rio de Janeiro; Zero Hora, Porto Allegre, Brazil; El Mercurio, Santiago; El Tiempo, Bogota; El Comercio, Quito, Ecuador; Reforma, Mexico City; El Comercio; Lima; El Pais, Montevideo, Uruguay; and El Nacional, Caracas.
[new york-oct. 1] News America FSI, publisher of free-standing inserts, and Alternate Postal Delivery, a private delivery company, have formed an alliance to distribute product samples nationwide.