SEAT'S $200M EURO ACCOUNT LOOSE; TIMES MIRROR PULLS OUT OF BUYING SERVICE; IBM COMPUTERS NOW COME IN BLACK; TOYOTA TO MARKET 31 NEW MODELS BY NOV. '97; EXIT POLL CREATOR ROPER EXITS; RALCORP PUTS $30M CEREAL ACCOUNT IN REVIEW; ZIFF-DAVIS CLOSE TO TV VENTURE; SINGAPORE AIRLINES GROUNDS U.S. ADS; MICROSOFT TAPS THREE BRANDING FINALISTS; LINTAS GRABS REGIONAL CHEVY GROUP; LAWSON TAKES MCCANN NORTH AMERICA HELM; MCDONALD'S VS. A 9-YEAR-OLD GIRL; AMMIRATI TOWERS, LITERALLY; HEALTHCARE ADS TURN TO COMEDY; GENESIS MEDIA GETS EXTENSION ON BIG ACCOUNT; MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL LOOKS FOR A PITCH; ACCOUNT ACTION; FOR THE RECORD; GLOBAL NEWS

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BARCELONA-Volkswagen's Spanish unit SEAT is believed to be reviewing its $200 million pan-European account. Incumbents Tapsa/N W Ayer, Madrid, SEAT's agency in Spain and most European markets, and Tiempo BBDO, Barcelona, which handles in Germany, the U.K. and Sweden, are among those being considered. Other agencies include Saatchi & Saatchi, Focum and Delvico Bates, all Madrid, and Casadevall Pedreno here.

LOS ANGELES-Times Mirror Co. is pulling out of Newspapers First, which provides national advertisers with one-stop ad buying services in Newspapers First's member dailies. The withdrawal is a serious blow since Times Mirror provided a third of the revenue to Newspapers First,which described the parting as amicable and motivated by the company's desire to represent its own papers. Times Mirror said it will cooperate with the Newspaper National Network, organized by the Newspaper Association of America, on multiple-newspaper national ad sales.

SOMERS, N.Y.-IBM on May 3 starts an estimated $30 million campaign marking the first global effort for a revamped AS/400 Advanced Series minicomputer line, and the first broad execution of IBM's new centralized approach to communications. The distinctive black box departs from the industry's usual beige cases, an indication of IBM's efforts to differentiate the look of its computers. The campaign from Lintas, New York, begins with page ads in The Wall Street Journal, USA Today and international papers. Separately, veteran IBM executive James C. Reilly, general manager-communications at the U.S. marketing division, announced his retirement Friday in a company e-mail. Closely involved in the introduction of IBM's original Personal Computer in the early 1980s, his influence diminished in recent months as IBM consolidated oversight.

TOKYO-Toyota, Japan's No. 1 automaker, will come to market with 31 new models between next week-when it launches the RAV 4 small sport-utility in Japan-and November 1997, when an all-new Camry-based minivan and a mysterious, new rear-drive sedan will make their debuts, Automotive News reported.

MAMARONECK, N.Y.-Marketing and opinion research pioneer Burns Roper, 69, who was credited with creating the first election exit poll, retired April 29 from Roper Starch Worldwide's Roper division. Exec VP Edward Keller has succeeded Mr. Roper as chairman.

ST. LOUIS-Ralcorp Holdings, an autonomous spinoff of Ralston Purina, is quietly talking to four agencies about handling its $30 million Ralston Foods breakfast cereal account, which includes Chex cereals, Cookie Crisp, Almond Delight and several private-label brands. Backer Spielvogel Bates and incumbent Avrett, Free & Ginsberg, both New York; D'Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles, St. Louis; and Tatham Euro RSCG, Chicago, are pitching. Presentations are slated for early June.

NEW YORK-Ziff-Davis Publishing, the nation's largest publisher of computer magazines, is believed close to announcing a TV programming venture with Missing Link Communications, Englewood, Colo., and CKS Partners, Cupertino, Calif. Missing

Link is owned by Intelligent Electronics, a large computer distributor, and has produced cable TV home-shopping shows involving computer products. Ziff late last year said it was considering a move into TV programming. Separately, Computer Life is the name of a top-secret new consumer magazine in the works at Ziff-Davis, industry executives said. The 300,000-circulation life-style magazine for adult home PC users is expected to make its debut in September.

LOS ANGELES-Singapore Airlines last week pulled all U.S. advertising because of publicity surrounding the Michael Fay case in Singapore. The teen was sentenced to caning and prison time as punishment for vandalism. The controversy stems from Singapore's use of corporal punishment. "We are cognizant of the diversity of opinion on the Michael Fay issue," said Agnes Huff, the airline's public affairs director-North America. Batey/Poindexter is the agency.

REDMOND, Wash.-Microsoft named three finalists on its new estimated $40 million worldwide branding account: Leo Burnett USA, Chicago; Ogilvy & Mather, New York; and Wieden & Kennedy, Portland, Ore. Agencies this week will be given an assignment, including devising speculative creative. O&M, Los Angeles, continues as Microsoft's main agency.

WARREN, Mich.-Lintas Campbell-Ewald racked up its first success in the drive to win over a big share of Chevrolet's 197 regional ad associations, taking the $2.8 million account for the Minneapolis-based Heartland of Minnesota group from Strong Automotive, Birmingham, Ala. In an effort to develop a more consistent Chevrolet brand image, the General Motors division is offering bonus ad funds to entice dealer ad groups to switch to its national agency.

NEW YORK-Thomas E. Lawson, 56, has been promoted to vice chairman-chief operating officer of McCann-Erickson North America. He retains the post of managing director of McCann Universal Group and succeeds John Fitzgerald, recently named president-CEO of McCann-Erickson Japan, Tokyo.

OAK BROOK, Ill.-McDonald's has filed with the Trademark Trial & Appeal Board in Washington to block a 9-year-old girl from using the "Nothing but net" slogan. Joanna Amron conceived the idea for a basketball game in 1992, which she claims to have named "Nothing But Net." Ms. Amron patented the game in November 1992 but didn't patent the name. McDonald's first used the expression during Super Bowl 1993 in the Larry Bird-Michael Jordan "Shoot-out" spot; the next month, she filed an application to register the name as a trademark. McDonald's said it expects to register the trademark, which it filed in June 1993, shortly.

NEW YORK-Ammirati & Puris gets another prize for winning the $180 million Burger King account a month ago-per a lease struck in the 1980s with Newmark & Co., the agency is allowed to christen the office tower at 100 Fifth Avenue with its name after taking more than 108,000 square feet of space. Renaming of the building hastened the departure of Houston, Effler, Hampel & Stefanides to a nearby location.

WASHINGTON-Three national consumer groups unveil an in-house created print and TV campaign in May, starring comedy team Jerry Stiller and Anne Meara, that backs a government-funded healthcare plan. Public Citizen, Neighbor to Neighbor and Single Payer Across the Nation combined for the $250,000 national campaign that breaks with a page ad in and three spots on CNN for a three-week flight.

TORONTO-The Canadian government has awarded Genesis Media a one-year extension of its $113 million media buying contract for print, radio and TV advertising. The award caused some controversy since it was placed without public tender, which a government spokesman said was done because the old contract was expiring and new rules aren't yet ready.

NEW YORK-Major League Baseball is looking for an agency to handle a new, estimated $8 million cause marketing effort similar to the National Football League's long-running United Way campaign. Deutsch, Kirshenbaum & Bond and Weiss, Whitten, Stagliano, all New York; and Goodby Silverstein & Partners, San Francisco, are pitching.

Digital Equipment Corp.'s estimated $30 million corporate account review won't be affected by last week's resignation of Edward Lucente as VP-worldwide sales and marketing and general manager of the systems division, the company said. About 50 agencies, including six main shops, handle the work.

ITT Hartford Insurance Group, Hartford, Conn., named four finalists for its estimated $5 million account, formerly at McCaffrey & McCall, New York: Houston, Effler, Hampel & Stefanides; Lord, Dentsu & Partners; Poppe Tyson; and Publicis/Bloom.

SyQuest Technology, Fremont, Calif., has begun an agency review. Incumbent Pagliaro/Kuhlman, San Jose, hasn't decided whether to compete for the ad business of the marketer of removable data storage drives and cartridges.

Aamco Transmissions to Ally & Gargano, New York, from N W Ayer for its $15 million account.

Data General Corp. to Pagano, Schenck & Kay, Providence, R.I., from Lois/USA, New York, for the computer marketer's estimated $10 million account.

A&M Products to McCann-Erickson Worldwide, New York, from J.W. Messner Inc., Grand Rapids, Mich., for the $6 million cat litter and pet specialty brand account.

J.B. Williams Co. to Avrett, Free & Ginsberg, New York, from Ogilvy & Mather for its $5 million to $7 million Cepacol mouthwash and lozenges account.

Claire's Stores to Graphtech Group, New York, from Hal Riney & Partners, San Francisco, for the retailer's estimated $4.5 million account.

WordPerfect Corp. to BBDO Worldwide, San Francisco, from a variety of agencies on a project basis, for its estimated $4 million "groupware" multiple personal computer software account.

Snapple Beverage Corp. to Banks Hoggins O'Shea, London, for the company's new $1.5 million European account. Also: Snapple to BSB Hong Kong and BSB Japan, Tokyo, as first agencies for the $1.5 million Asian account.

Celebration Co., a Walt Disney Co. subsidiary, to West Advertising & Marketing, Tampa, Fla., as first agency of record for the ad and public relations account. The residential development near Walt Disney World is to open in 1996.

Prince Sports Group to Chiat/Day, New York, from in-house for its creative account.

Kenny Rogers Roasters to Earle Palmer Brown, Tampa, Fla., for three new Florida franchise groups. Tinsley Advertising, Miami, handles the chain's national account.

Thoroughbred Racing Associations to Backer Spielvogel Bates, New York, from in-house.

Dean Foods decided to keep the ad account for Birds Eye frozen vegetables, acquired from Kraft General Foods, at Young & Rubicam, San Francisco.

Interpublic Group of Cos., New York, reported a first quarter 1994 net loss, after mandated accounting changes, of $8.8 million, compared with a $10.5 million profit in the year-ago period. Gross income, bolstered by U.S. operations, was up 8% to $420.9 million. Interpublic agencies, including McCann-Erickson Worldwide, Lintas and the Lowe Group, reported $254 million in net new business.

Omnicom Group, New York, posted a net loss of $9.1 million, after mandated accounting changes, for the first quarter of 1993 compared with a profit of $14.5 million in the year-ago period. Omnicom-parent of BBDO Worldwide, DDB Needham Worldwide and TBWA-said worldwide revenue from commission and fee income increased 11% to $376.5 million.General Nutrition Corp., the nation's largest seller of nutritional supplements, last week paid the largest civil penalty-$2.4 million-in Federal Trade Commission history for violating an advertising order. The FTC accused GNC of misleading, deceptive or unsubstantiated claims in in-house created ads.Delta Air Lines will restructure during the next three years to reduce annual operating costs by $2 billion, including the elimination of up to 15,000 jobs, or 20% of its work force. Eleven teams will evaluate costs including marketing. BBDO Worldwide, Atlanta and New York, handles the carrier's $110 million account.Tele-Communications Inc. last week said the U.S. Department of Justice approved its proposed merger with Liberty Media Corp.

Anheuser-Busch will roll out Ice Draft Light beer this week in Texas with national distribution later this year. DDB Needham Worldwide, Chicago, handles the account.

DeVito/Verdi, New York, was the big winner in the 1994 Best of New York Addy Awards last week, taking 13 for irreverent work for Daffy's, Empire Kosher Chicken and Lucille Roberts. Advertising Women of New York sponsored the awards.

Ogilvy & Mather Rightford, Johannesburg, and O&M's Promotional Campaigns Worldwide took one of eight excellence awards last week from the Council of Sales Promotion Agencies for a heartwarming promotion, featuring old friends being reunited, to sell more matches for South Africa's Lion Match Co.

GLOBAL NEWS

Experts study Berlusconi holdings: Media baron Silvio Berlusconi appointed three legal experts to propose new legislation on how to handle his media holdings while he is prime minister. Such legislation would ensure that his political and business interests remain separate while he retains the title. Mr. Berlusconi was asked to form a government last week by President Oscar Luigi Scalfaro. Also in a move to tighten controls, a referendum has been called to limit ownership of TV stations to one per person. The referendum also demands preventing companies from selling ad time on more than three national networks.

Honda holds $30M German pitch: Honda is reviewing its $30 million German account with Grey, Duesseldorf; BSB, Frankfurt; incumbent Lintas, Hamburg; and an undisclosed fourth agency.

P&G attacks Unilever detergent: Procter & Gamble's Netherlands Managing Director Stef Kranendijk charged in a Dutch newspaper that Unilever's new super-concentrated detergent rots clothing after several washings. Unilever responded with a conference where it presented a shirt that had been washed 120 times at 90 degrees in the detergent, called Omo Power and Persil Power in different markets. The shirt showed no apparent unusual wear. Unilever said it may take legal action. The estimated $300 million rollout (AA, April 11) is being handled by PPGH/ JWT, Amsterdam, in the Netherlands and J. Walter Thompson Co., London, elsewhere in Europe.

Brash on hold Down Under: Australian music chain Brash Holdings is suspending its $20 million ad review following the surprise resignation of Ad Manager David Batchelor. DDB Needham, Mojo, Clemenger/ BBDO, Box Emery & Partners and incumbent George Patterson Advertising, all Melbourne, pitched.

Switzerland rejects RTL license: Switzerland last week denied German-Swiss joint venture RTL Switzerland Television a license to produce Swiss programming for the Swiss telecasts of Germany's RTL TV. The government wants to keep Swiss media producers under its control and to prevent similar license requests. RTL Switzerland, which programs ads created for Swiss viewers, is expected to generate $17 million by 1996.

San Miguel hosts Hong Kong fight: Filipino brewer San Miguel has narrowed its $4 million Hong Kong account for its flagship beer to J. Walter Thompson Co. and DDB Needham. Incumbent McCann-Erickson did not pitch. The winner will handle all of the brewer's local media buying, including brands Lowenbrau and Kirin, also in review.

Knorr in German review: CPC International subsidiary Knorr is hearing pitches for its $20 million soup and sauces account from BBDO, Duesseldorf; Saatchi & Saatchi, Frankfurt; Wueschner, Rohwer, Albrect, Munich; and incumbent TBWA, Hamburg.

Hutchison starts $22.5M U.K. campaign: Hutchison Telecom (U.K.) introduced its Orange mobile phone system in the U.K. with a $22.5 million campaign from WCRS, London.

Australian discount chain in review: Australia's Big W discount chain, a division of Woolworth, is reviewing its $6 million account with four Sydney agencies, including incumbent Marketforce.

ACCOUNT ACTION: Benckiser Group's $10 million introduction of its new pan-European Finish single-use dishwashing tablets to Armando Testa Group, Turin. ... Philips' new $4 million to $5 million summer corporate German campaign to DMB&B, Hamburg.

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