Steve Farella has joined D'Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles, New York, as senior VP-regional director of North America Media Operations. Mr. Farella, 41, was previously exec VP-director of media services and director of business development at Jordan, McGrath, Case & Taylor, New York; he succeeds Rich Hamilton, 45, who resigned. Mr. Farella, a high-profile media exec, worked at DMB&B from 1977 to 1985. At Jordan McGrath, Executive Director of Media Norman Shaffer assumes Mr. Farella's responsibilities.
AFRICAN-AMERICAN ADS SLATED FOR DENNY'S:
Denny's Restaurants launched a $5 million TV, radio, direct mail and print campaign aimed at African-Americans via Chisholm-Mingo Group, New York. Using the tagline, "Now doesn't that sound good?" ads tout Denny's "good food and service and good prices." Lowe & Partners/SMS, New York, handles creative for Denny's general-market account.
SCRIPPS PICKING UP HARTE-HANKS PROPERTIES:
Harte-Hanks Communications agreed to sell its media properties to E.W. Scripps Co., leaving Harte-Hanks with direct marketing and shopper businesses. Scripps acquires daily newspapers in five Texas markets-Corpus Christi, Abilene, Wichita Falls, San Angelo and Plano-and one in Anderson, S.C. Also included are CBS affiliate KENS-TV and KENS-AM in San Antonio. The sale is subject to certain legal and financial considerations and acquiring necessary government approvals.
CALIF. MULLS CUTTING LOTTERY AD BUDGET
The California Legislature is considering a number of measures with the potential of significantly reducing or completely eliminating the state lottery's $40 million advertising budget awarded in January to Grey Advertising, Los Angeles. "If sales-generating programs are cut, education will get a bigger share of a smaller pie," said Denise Kimes, director of sales and marketing for the lottery.
INTERPUBLIC PUSHES BILLINGS OVER $20 BILLION
At the Interpublic Group of Cos. shareholders' meeting last week, Chairman-CEO Philip H. Geier Jr. said Interpublic's agencies scored $472 million in new business in the first quarter of 1997, following more than $1 billion in net new business last year. Interpublic posted a 14% increase in billings in 1996, to more than $20 billion, and a 16.4% growth in gross income to more than $2.5 billion. Interpublic also announced it has opened a sports marketing group with the acquisition of Advantage International and a 60% stake in API Group. Financial terms were not disclosed. Both operations will remain independent and under their current management, but IPG wants to increase its share of API to 100%. The two companies may eventually merge, said Mr. Geier.
TRUE NORTH REVENUE, NEW BUSINESS UP
After a difficult 1996, '97 has started out as the best new-business year in the history of True North Communications, Chairman Bruce Mason told attendees at the company's annual meeting May 21. The holding company Foote, Cone & Belding has had a new-business surge this year, he said, picking up assignments for Nabisco Brands and Citibank. Mr. Mason said first-quarter revenues were up 23% to $131 million from the same time last year, showing growth in all regions worldwide. Operating margins rose to $1.6 million for the quarter, after a loss of $2.8 million during the same quarter in 1996.
VS&A FUND GROUP BUYS `CHEMICAL WEEK'
VS&A Communications Partners II, the private equity fund of New York investment bank Veronis, Suhler & Associates, has purchased Chemical Week Associates, publisher of Chemical Week and organizer of chemical industry trade conferences and trade shows worldwide, from O.V.P., a French pharmaceutical information company.
`PEOPLE DRIVE US' CAMPAIGN FROM TOYOTA
Toyota Motor Corporate Services of North America this week begins a new version of its ongoing corporate campaign, introducing the theme, "People drive us," which shows the Japanese automaker's investments in the U.S. and other countries. The $20 million campaign from Oasis, New York, will run in business publications, newsweeklies and consumer magazines.
ALLEN, DILLER EYE SHOPPING POWERHOUSE
In a stock swap reportedly valued at around $210 million, entrepreneur Paul Allen is exchanging his 47.5% share of Ticketmaster Group for shares in Barry Diller's HSN Inc. The deal would link HSN, which owns Home Shopping Network, with Ticketmaster. Together, the electronic commerce operations sold about $2.5 billion in goods and services last year via the Internet and telephone.
TIGER WOODS TO TEE UP FOR AMERICAN EXPRESS
American Express Co. signed Tiger Woods to a five-year sponsorship deal that will pay him an estimated $13 million. The first print ads appeared last week for the American Express Financial Advisors money management unit, and TV ads are expected to start running in the third quarter.