Sears, Roebuck & Co. has disclosed plans for the June launch of National Tire & Battery, an off-mall tire and battery chain consisting of almost all 275 of Sears' Tire America and National Tire Warehouse stores. Sears plans to launch 100 new NTB stores per year. Industry sources said the new chain is expected to be backed with a $30 million advertising campaign. Ogilvy & Mather handles. Separately, Sears named Edward Keller as Kenmore brand director, a new post, from VP-account supervisor on Kraft Foods at Leo Burnett USA.
SUPER REGGIE GOES TO VISA USA
"Read Me a Story," a literacy-related promotion by Visa USA, was awarded the Promotion Marketing Association of America's Super Reggie Award as best promotion of 1996. Honored along with Visa USA for the project were Frankel & Co., Chicago; BBDO Worldwide, New York; and Ketchum PR, San Francisco.
SEVEN SHOPS IN LINE FOR PONTIAC-GMC DEALERS
The seven select shops named last week by General Motors Corp.'s Pontiac-GMC unit will pitch more than $100 million in business for larger, newly formed regional dealer groups. The division's dealers will form 14 boards per brand in the next six weeks. The boards will then hear pitches. The seven, which can now pitch either brand, are MacManus Group's Alliance for Automotive Marketing, Troy, Mich.; Terry Butz Creative, Waterloo, Iowa; Graham Group, Colorado Springs, Colo.; Martin Advertising, Birmingham, Ala.; Nichols Media Consultants, Sioux Falls, S.D.; Roberts & Russell, Knoxville, Tenn.; and McCann-Erickson's new SAS Partners, Troy, Mich. The seven shops were among 13 key dealer-account agencies that previously handled Pontiac or GMC ad efforts.
PACT LINKS SHELL OIL, TEXACO MARKETING
Shell Oil Co. and Texaco are planning to combine marketing and refining operations in the Midwest and western U.S. The combined marketing operation will likely affect the new company's relationship with Ogilvy & Mather, Houston, which handles Shell, and Bates USA, New York, which has Texaco. For the eastern U.S., the companies are in talks with Saudi Refining about combining the operations.
SEGA NARROWS LIST IN $25 MILLION REVIEW
Sega of America has narrowed the list in its search for an agency for its $20 million to $25 million account to BBDO Worldwide, Los Angeles; Bulter, Shine & Stern, Sausalito, Calif.; Fattal & Collins, Marina Del Rey, Calif.; Leap Partnership, Santa Monica, Calif.; plus San Francisco shops Foote, Cone & Belding, Goldberg Moser O'Neill, McCann-Erickson Worldwide, Saatchi & Saatchi Advertising and Y&R Advertising.
OLDS CUTLASS SOARS IN NCAA TOURNEY LAUNCH
General Motors' Oldsmobile division will launch the Cutlass later this week on CBS during the NCAA basketball tournament as part of the 1997 sedan's estimated $30 million push this year. Leo Burnett USA, Chicago, created the tag, "Totally rethought," to reflect the new design and repositioning.
MARTIN LANDS SAAB'S $50 MILLION BUSINESS
Saab Cars USA named Martin Agency, Richmond, Va., as its new agency. Other contenders for the estimated $50 million account were incumbent Angotti, Thomas, Hedge, New York, and Hal Riney & Partners, San Francisco. Martin is owned by Lowe Group, whose Stockholm unit handles all Saab work outside the U.S. Both Martin and Angotti are part of Interpublic Group of Cos.
MELDRUM & FEWSMITH SOLD TO WOLF GROUP
Meldrum & Fewsmith Communications, Cleveland, was acquired by Wolf Group, Toronto. Terms weren't disclosed. Meldrum, with clients such as Rubbermaid, Dirt Devil and Mr. Coffee, has annual billings of about $135 million. Wolf has billings of about $65 million. Meldrum will continue to operate under its own name.
PEPSI UNVEILS MLB PACT DETAILS
Major League Baseball and Pepsi-Cola Co. disclosed their five-year, $50 million sponsorship pact. A logo and tagline, "Pepsi: The choice of Major League Baseball," will be featured. Pepsi will sponsor All-Star Game balloting conducted through 5,500 7-Eleven stores but won't be involved in balloting done in ballparks as Coca-Cola Co. has exclusive sponsorship deals with most MLB teams (AA, March 10). Pepsi has agency BBDO Worldwide, New York, working on four MLB-theme TV spots that will most likely hit next season.
ICG TO JOIN AEGIS' CARAT NORTH AMERICA
Aegis Group has agreed to acquire media independent International Communications Group, Los Angeles. ICG will become part of Carat North America. ICG claims billings of $450 million.