ROYAL CARIBBEAN STARTS $10 MIL DIRECT REVIEW

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[miami] Royal Caribbean Cruises contacted agencies via consultant Jan Apple to handle its $10 million direct account. The work had been at CF2GS (now part of Bozell Worldwide, Seattle). Shops contacted include Blau Marketing Technologies, Wilton, Conn.; DraftWorldwide, Chicago; FCB Direct, Grey Direct, McCann Relationship Marketing, Rapp Collins Worldwide and Wunderman Cato Johnson, all New York; Holland Mark Martin Edmund, Boston; and Targetbase Marketing, Irving, Texas.

Lone Star Steakhouse pulls $15 mil campaign

[wichita, kan.] Lone Star Steakhouse & Saloon has yanked its estimated $12 million to $15 million TV campaign, its first broadcast effort, after just four weeks on the air in spot markets. The campaign is from new agency Levenson & Hill, Dallas, which won the account for the poorly performing steakhouse chain last May after a review. Agency Chairman Bill Hill said the marketer is addressing operational issues before deciding about future advertising plans. Lone Star did not return calls seeking comment.

Midas talks to 4 shops about $25 mil acc't

[chicago] Midas International Corp. met with four agencies last week to replace Foote, Cone & Belding, which resigned the $20 million to $25 million creative assignment. Contenders are said to include Euro RSCG Tatham and Cramer-Krasselt, both Chicago, and Lowe & Partners/SMS, New York. A Midas spokesman would not name contenders.

Lycos readies 1st national campaign

[waltham, mass.] Lycos Inc. in early November will break TV ads for its first national campaign, developed by Bozell Worldwide, New York, and in-house. The campaign, with a tagline of "Lycos, go get it," features a black Labrador named Lycos that fetches things.

Burnett, 3 others in running for Sara Lee

[chicago] Leo Burnett Co.'s StarCom Media Services is among the four agencies vying for Sara Lee Corp.'s $100 million consolidated media buying review. Grey Advertising's MediaCom, Ammirati Puris Lintas (pitching with Western International) and Optimum Media, all New York, are the other contenders.

Agencies vying for Marine Midland

[buffalo, n.y.] Contenders in Marine Midland Bank's $25 million review are said to include Margeotes/Fertitta & Partners; D'Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles; Angotti, Thomas, Hedge; Bates USA; M&C Saatchi; and DiVito/Verdi, all New York; Wolf Group, Buffalo; and possible undisclosed others. Marine Midland declined to comment.

Ziff-Davis foresees tech ad downturn

[new york] Tech ad pages will be down this year for Ziff-Davis and the tech/business print market for the first time since the arrival of the PC in the early '80s, Ziff-Davis Chief Financial Officer Timothy O'Brien said. Ziff-Davis on Oct. 23 reported a net loss of $4.5 million or 4 cents a share on slightly higher revenues of $226 million for the third quarter, vs. a loss of $66.6 million or 67 cents a share on revenues of $224 million for the same period a year earlier.

McDonald's may be near hiring marketing exec

[oak brook, ill.] McDonald's Corp. may be getting closer to ending its six-month search for a senior VP-marketing, a slot vacant since March when Brad Ball resigned to become marketing president for Warner Bros. Studios. Industry observers last week said Jeff Moody, who recently resigned as president-chief concept officer of Tricon Global Restaurant's KFC chain, is the newest name in the running. John Swan, exec VP-managing director, Y&R Advertising, New York, KFC's advertising agency, was offered the job and apparently turned it down. Messrs. Moody and Swan could not be reached for comment at deadline.

Energy barmaker Clif Bar opens agency search

[berkeley, calif.] One of the leading energy barmakers is looking for an ad agencies, while another is near a decision. Clif Bar parted with Publicis & Hal Riney, San Francisco, and has contacted agencies about its estimated $4 million account. And Balance Bar Co. this week is expected to make a decision on its $9 million account, having narrowed its review to Deutsch, Marina del Rey, and Suissa/Miller, Los Angeles. Former agency is Buckley/Friedman, Costa Mesa, Calif.

`Wall St. Journal' picks three shops for review

[new york] The Wall Street Journal confirmed it has selected three agencies to pitch for its $7 million to $9 million consolidated account: corporate branding incumbent J. Walter Thompson USA, New York; Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, San Francisco; and TBWA/Chiat/Day, Playa del Rey, Calif. Hill, Holliday, Connors, Cosmopulus, Boston, was the incumbent for the newspaper's direct-mail circulation marketing.

F.Y.I.

Angel Martinez to the vacant post of chief marketing officer-Reebok brand at Reebok International from president-CEO of Reebok's Rockport Co. . . . P.O.V., a joint venture of B.Y.O.B. Ventures and Freedom Magazines, has retained investment banking company DeSilva & Phillips to search for a strategic partner to enhance the newsstand presence of the young men's title. . . . The Gap Inc. has created a new division to handle e-commerce, catalog and direct marketing. . . . Ion Storm to Winkler Advertising, San Francisco, for the videogame maker's potential $8 million to $10 million account. Separately, Eidos Interactive has handed the advertising for its newly acquired Crystal Dynamics, with potential billings of $8 million to $10 million, to Winkler without a review. . . . Exelon Energy is meeting with agencies in a review of its $8 million account, including Angotti, Thomas, Hedge and Rapp Collins Worldwide, both New York; Earle Palmer Brown, Philadelphia; Eisner & Associates, Baltimore; and possible others. Tierney & Partners, Philadelphia, had handled.

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