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GM names Bates for Buick ads in China

Shanghai General Motors awarded its $15 million to $20 million account to Bates Worldwide, the agency's first GM assignment (AA, Dec. 1). GM is investing $1.6 billion in the joint venture to produce Buick cars in China starting next year.

Nextel national agency Mullen adds regional ads

Nextel Communications consolidated its local and regional advertising with national agency Mullen, Wenham, Mass. The local and regional business had been handled by a variety of other agencies in the 12 markets Nextel serves. Nextel spent more than $12 million in advertising in the first eight months of this year, according to Competitive Media Reporting.

Lachlan Murdoch to succeed father

News Corp. Chairman-CEO Rupert Murdoch confirmed reports that his son, Lachlan, 26, would be forth as his eventual successor at News Corp. Three of Mr. Murdoch's children work for News Corp. Lachlan currently heads the Australian unit, News Ltd. A News Corp. spokesman said the children had decided the issue among themselves, but that nothing was imminent since Mr. Murdoch, 66, was planning to work as long as he could.

Avon elevates Jung to president

Andrea Jung, 39, has been named president of Avon Products, from exec VP-global business marketing and new business. The move is part of a succession plan for James Preston, 65, who previously held the title of president and remains chairman-CEO. Earlier, Avon announced Charles Perrin, 52, will become vice chairman-chief operating officer. He was Duracell International chairman-CEO until 1996 when the company merged with Gillette Co.

Pula leaves marketing post at Warner Bros.

Warner Bros. said Chris Pula, president-theatrical marketing, is leaving after less than a year with the studio. Mr. Pula has taken some heat for Warner Bros.' lackluster performance this year, though studio executives attributed the parting to differences in working styles.

PM to restructure int'l food operations

Philip Morris Cos. said it will strengthen its international food operations with a restructuring that will bring about $200 million in savings by the year 2000. The savings would go toward brand-building activities such as shedding brands that don't fit with core competencies and acquiring brands that do. Philip Morris said it will take a $630 million charge in the fourth quarter for the restructuring, which will involve closing several manufacturing facilities, and consolidating sales and administrative functions that will reduce its work force by 2,500. The international food business contributed $7.8 billion of Philip Morris' total $54.7 billion in operating revenues for the nine months ended in September.

P&G agrees to Aurora bid for Duncan Hines

Procter & Gamble Co. agreed to sell its $250 million Duncan Hines baking mix business to Aurora Foods, which has purchased a number of cast-off food brands including Log Cabin from Kraft Foods and Mrs. Butterworth's from Unilever.With the addition of Duncan Hines, Aurora said it will become a $450 million company. N.W. Ayer & Partners, New York, currently handles Duncan Hines. Aurora kept Log Cabin's account at Ogilvy & Mather, Chicago, but moved Mrs. Butterworth's to Sive/ Y&R, Cincinnati, from McCann-Erickson Worldwide, New York.

ABC's 'Nothing Sacred' moves to Saturday

ABC will move "Nothing Sacred" to 8 p.m. (ET) Saturdays, starting Jan. 17, from 8 p.m. Thursdays, where it went up against NBC's steamroller lineup. Season-to-date, in the 18-49 demographic coveted by advertisers, "Nothing Sacred" is receiving a dismal 2 rating. The show following it on Thursdays, the low-rated "Cracker," will move to 9 p.m. Saturdays. ABC said "Prey," a new hourlong action-adventure show, will replace "Nothing Sacred" on Thursdays, starting Jan. 15. Besides its strong competition, "Nothing Sacred" has been hit with an ad boycott by the Catholic League for Religious & Civil Rights.

NBC chief asserts that 'less is more'

NBC will continue to follow the media trend of "less is more," network President-CEO Bob Wright said at last week's PaineWebber Media Conference in New York. "Broadcast television has fewer viewers, and yet we are charging [advertisers] more for reaching them," he said, adding that magazine publishing is the model for this approach. "We don't want to get hung up on numbers," Mr. Wright said, contending that broadcast networks can afford to have some drop-off in viewers because the audience they are losing is so divided that the broadcast

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