in Canada before U.S.
Stroh Brewery Co. is testing its new Bohemian brand beer in Canada before offering it to the U.S. market. A Stroh spokesman claimed this is the first time a U.S. brewery has launched a new beer outside its own country. Stroh plans to roll out the brand throughout the U.S. soon.
umbrella for PR units
Omnicom Group, New York, has created Communications Consulting Worldwide, St. Louis, to handle PR. Housed under Omnicom's Diversified Agency Services operations, it will consist of five companies: Fleishman Hillard, St. Louis; Porter Novelli International, New York; Brodeur Porter Novelli, Boston; Copithorne & Bellows, San Francisco; and GPC International, Ottawa. Omnicom President-CEO John Wren said sales for the group would be more than $300 million by yearend.
DDB Needham gets
H.J. Heinz Co. chose DDB Needham Worldwide, San Francisco, as agency for its Ore-Ida frozen specialty products, replacing Foote, Cone & Belding, San Francisco, which resigned the account due to a conflict with the consolidation of Pillsbury's business at FCB. Spending is estimated at $20 million. Advice & Advisors handled the two month review, which included Goldberg Moser O'Neill, San Francisco.
Chicken Selects in N.Y.
McDonald's Corp. is rolling a new chicken product, Chicken Selects, into the New York tri-state region with local ads that broke Sept. 5 The upscale McNugget is a white-meat, seasoned, boneless strip sold in packs of four, seven or 14 pieces, and as value meals and Happy Meals. Point-of-purchase materials describe it as "crispy, tender cuts of whole breast chicken." TV, radio and outdoor ads support. Arnold Communications, New York, handles the launch with creative from Leo Burnett USA, Chicago.
A merger announced by Doubletree Corp. and Promus Hotel Corp. will create the nation's third-largest hotel company, ranked by revenue, behind Marriott Hotels and Holiday Hospitality. Promus Hotel Corp. is the name of the holding company for the two hotel subsidiaries. The new company will have about $5 billion in annual systemwide revenue. Still to be determined are responsibilities for marketing, finance and operations. Promus uses DDB Needham Worldwide, Dallas, as its lead agency while Doubletree recently selected GSD&M, Austin, Texas.
Gepetto unit formed
by WPP for kids' ads
WPP Group has formed Gepetto & Co., New York, specializing in advertising aimed at children and teen-agers. Gepetto will be led by three executives who last week left Saatchi & Saatchi's Kid Connection. Julie Halpin, formerly senior VP-general manager of the Saatchi unit, will be CEO.
Reed Elsevier finishes
big Chilton buy
Reed Elsevier has completed its $447 million acquisition of Chilton Business Group from Walt Disney Co.'s ABC Inc. subsidiary. Chilton's U.S. Trade Magazine Group and its Chilton Research unit will combine with Reed Elsevier's Cahners Publishing Co. in a new organization to be known as Reed Elsevier Business Information.
Labatt USA captures
rights to Carlsberg
Labatt USA acquired the U.S. distribution rights to brands from Danish brewer Carlsberg. The importer gains the brands effective Nov. 1 from current distributor Anheuser-Busch. Last month, Labatt Brewing Co. signed a deal to acquire brands from Lowenbrau AG once the German brewer's contract with Miller Brewing Co. expires in 1999.
Classic Sports net
joins ESPN stable
ESPN, as expected, has reached an agreement to acquire Classic Sports Network, which offers archival and original programming from major sports leagues. CSN is currently in 10 million cable and satellite homes. Terms weren't disclosed.
GM starts Western
General Motors Corp., looking to expand sales in California and the Pacific Northwest, is launching a new car-shopping service, GM BuyPower. Consumers in California, Washington, Oregon and Idaho can visit a Web site (www.gmbuypower.com) or call a toll-free number for vehicle information, pricing and GM dealer inventory. The Los Angeles office of D'Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles