SHOPS LINING UP TO WIN SMITHKLINE'S $25 MIL PAXIL

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[pittsburgh] Several agencies are competing for the upcoming, estimated $25 million account for anti-depressant prescription drug Paxil from SmithKline Beecham. McCann-Erickson Worldwide and Jordan McGrath Case & Partners, both New York; and WPP Group's CommonHealth USA, Parsippany, N.J., are in the running to market the drug, which is still awaiting approval from the Food & Drug Administration.

N.Y. creative chief

may exit DDB Needham

[new york] DDB Needham Worldwide this week is expected to announce a personnel change regarding New York Executive Creative Director Mike Rogers. An executive with knowledge of the situation said Mr. Rogers is expected to leave his position and most probably the agency. The DDB Needham announcement would come one week after Mr. Rogers pitched to retain the $50 million New York State Lottery account.

Lincoln Mercury

acc't to Wunderman

[irvine, calif.] Lincoln Mercury awarded its estimated $50 million event marketing account to Wunderman Cato Johnson. The Young & Rubicam unit's Chicago office has done project work for the carmaker for the past year, inking Mercury deals with a pro cycling team and women's pro golf. Wunderman's relocated Detroit office in Irvine will report to the Chicago office. Mike Pirolo is account director. Y&R and Wunderman, Irvine, have the Ford Motor Co. brands' national accounts, advertising and integrated marketing.

$100 mil review on

financial services

[new york] Consultant Geduldig & Ferguson has sent out a request for proposals to agencies for an undisclosed $80 million to $100 million financial services review. Agencies that received the questionnaire have speculated the marketer is NationsBank Corp. NationsBank and BankAmerica Corp. announced a merger in April. Grant O'Neal, senior VP-brand management for NationsBank, said July 16 there was no official review happening, but said an assessment was likely once the merger was completed in the fall. Temerlin McClain, Irving, Texas, is NationsBank agency of record, while Deutsch, Marina del Rey, Calif., and New York, handles Bank of America.

Strikes force GM

to slash more ads

[detroit] General Motors Corp. said it has significantly reduced advertising spending in nearly all media through August to conserve cash during two strikes that have virtually halted production. GM, the nation's top media spender last year at $2.2 billion, said it will continue to review the situation on a regular basis (see earlier story on Page 33). Earlier, GM had cut spending through July.

Frito-Lay cuts

VP-advertising post

[plano, texas] Frito-Lay has eliminated the position of VP-advertising, moving Larry McIntosh into a new post, VP-branding. The shift follows the company's consolidation of its worldwide snacks account-except Cracker Jack-at BBDO Worldwide. As VP-advertising, Mr. McIntosh was Frito's primary contact with agencies; now, Frito-Lay North America President-CEO Brock Leach is taking a more hands-on approach to advertising.

Virgin's gay wedding

ad rejected by stations

[los angeles] An ad from the new Virgin Cola USA "Say something" campaign that depicts a gay marriage has been rejected by eight stations in Boston, San Diego and Washington. ABC, CBS, Fox and NBC affiliates and an independent station would not carry the ad.

JWT's Brouillard

lands SkyBridge account

[new haven, conn.] Brouillard Communications, the business unit of J. Walter Thompson USA, New York, has won a new satellite-based telecommunications account, SkyBridge. Budget is not available yet. SkyBridge is a consortium venture led by telecom equipment maker Alcatel and will provide Internet access and high-speed multimedia service by 2001.

Aetna conflict pushes

Ammirati out of Dreyfus review

[new york] Ammirati Puris Lintas has pulled out of the $30 million Dreyfus Corp. review, citing a conflict with Aetna. Finalists now include Angotti, Thomas, Hedge; Partners & Shevack; and Grace & Roth-schild.

Republic Industries expands

Bob Thomas' marketing duties

[fort lauderdale] Bob Thomas, who joined Wayne Huizenga's Republic Industries last fall from Nissan Motor Corp. USA, adds advertising and marketing-new and used cars to his assignments as exec VP-strategic marketing. The duties of John Drury, senior VP-marketing, switch from advertising to market research, brand strategy and in-store merchandising.

F.Y.I.

Brown & Williamson Tobacco Corp. Chairman-CEO Nicholas Brookes will formally announce the company's new ad campaign on responsible tobacco use July 21. Grey Advertising, New York, handles most corporate ads for Brown & Williamson. . . . UtiliCorp United launches this week an estimated $3 million national branding campaign from DDB Needham Worldwide, Dallas, that will lay out the theme "Smart. Simple. Energy" as the company moves into the emerging deregulated electric utility industry. . . . DDB Needham Worldwide, New York, dropped out of Sony Electronics' $35 million to $50 million review because of a conflict with its Compaq Computer Corp. account. . . . Morgan, Anderson & Co. is restructuring to form two companies, each led by a principal partner: Lee Anne Morgan & Partners, a company headed by Lee Anne Morgan to start up, renew and invigorate client/agency partnerships; and Morgan Anderson Consulting, a marketing communications management consultancy headed by Arthur Anderson.

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