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Stop & Shop fires 4 in scandal

QUINCY, Mass.-Stop & Shop Supermarket Co. terminated four employees who admitted accepting gratuities from vendors: Merchandiser-Sales Planner Peter Barone, Sales Manager Carl Annese and buyers Edgar Dawe and Roy Piercey. Stop & Shop General Counsel Peter Phillipes identified the payers of the gratuities as food brokerages Marketing Dynamics and Food Enterprises. The brokers are said to represent major marketers in the scandal. Messrs. Barone and Dawe also admitted to the "misuse of promotional funds," Mr. Phillipes said.

Warner-Lambert strips Y&R of $70M in work

MORRIS PLAINS, N.J.-Warner-Lambert is dismissing Young & Rubicam, New York, from its estimated $70 million consumer brands account in the U.S. The move kicks off a major global agency realignment for the company and its joint venture with Wellcome PLC. Industry executives said the Y&R business, including Certs, Efferdent, Rolaids and Dentyne, will move to Grey Advertising, but a Grey spokeswoman said the agency had received no Warner-Lambert assignments.

Candidates interviewed for Ayer ceo post

NEW YORK-N W Ayer investor Richard Humphreys, pushing forward with plans to name a new chief executive, is talking with at least two senior agency employees about the post held until recently by Chairman Jerry Siano. Other candidates are said to be BBDO Worldwide New York office Exec VP-Senior Account Director Bill Katz and Steve Dworin, former president of Deutsch. Mr. Katz is also rumored to be a possible replacement for Mr. Dworin. Mr. Siano is expected to retire by midyear.

Finalists in home stretch for BK

NEW YORK-Pitches for the $180 million Burger King account start this week here, with Lowe & Partners-SMS, Ammirati & Puris and Messner Vetere Berger McNamee Schmetterer Euro/RSCG vying for creative. Jockeying for media buying and field marketing are incumbent D'Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles, Ogilvy & Mather and DeWitt Media. A decision could come by March 18.

Pepsi's All Sport isotonic goes national

SOMERS, N.Y.-Pepsi-Cola Co. is rolling out nationally All Sport isotonic beverage, backed by a multimillion-dollar campaign breaking March 17 during the NCAA basketball tournament on CBS. Advertising outside NCAA games will feature NBA star Shaquille O'Neal. BBDO Worldwide, New York, handles.

IBM's Freeman switches to foreign duties

SOMERS, N.Y.-C. Ray Freeman has left his post as VP-communications at IBM Personal Computer Co., just months after finishing a lengthy agency review for the PC company's combined $80 million U.S. and European accounts. In the new post of VP-communications for IBM Corp.'s European, Middle East and African division, based in Paris, Mr. Freeman has responsibility for all product lines except PCs. Separately, IBM last week merged product development groups on its two desktop business PC lines, two months after combining the lines' marketing functions.

Lauder, Porizkova may split

NEW YORK-Estee Lauder is looking at a number of replacements for star model Paulina Porizkova, including actress and former model Geena Davis, industry executives said. A company spokeswoman said: "There is no truth to rumors we are presently negotiating with Geena Davis. We are, however, in the process of selecting a new model." AC&R handles.

Miller cool toward ice beer ads

MILWAUKEE-Miller Brewing, unhappy with initial creative for Miller Lite Ice from Leo Burnett USA, Chicago, asked its other agencies to develop ideas and is considering moving the brand. The others include Young & Rubicam and J. Walter Thompson USA, both Chicago, and Backer Spielvogel Bates, New York. Miller also replaced two Molson Ice beer TV spots after Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco & Firearms concerns about beer-strength claims.

Arden may tap agency for media work

BOCA RATON, Fla.-Unilever's Elizabeth Arden unit is conducting a review of its estimated $20 million U.S. media business, now in-house. Contenders include Unilever core agencies Lintas Worldwide, McCann-Erickson Worldwide, J. Walter Thompson Co. and Ogilvy & Mather, all New York.

Pulse quickens for healthcare ads

WASHINGTON-The ad barrage aimed, pro and con, at the Clinton healthcare plan continues. The Healthcare Reform Project coalition of labor, consumer groups and business today breaks in 15 major markets a 30-second TV spot supporting the basic tenets of the plan. It targets home areas of lawmakers from three House and Senate committees. The campaign also features a separate 30-second spot that began March 3 in Washington. Chlopak, Leonard, Schechter & Associates created the spots. Meanwhile, the National Restaurant Association today unveils its first healthcare commercial, a :30 that says health reform proposals that rely on employer mandate, like the Clinton plan, will cost American jobs. The spot breaks this week in four markets. Gannon McCarthy Mason handles.

C&R Clothiers, Roth settle out of court

CULVER CITY, Calif.-C&R Clothiers last week reached an out-of-court settlement with Jack Roth, a former C&R investor and board member and president-ceo of Admarketing, Los Angeles. Mr. Roth had filed a securities fraud claim against the men's clothing retail chain in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles. C&R fired Admarketing after an eight-year relationship in April 1992 and assigned its estimated $12 million account to Asher/Gould, Los Angeles. The account returns to Admarketing in July.

Management shuffle at Weight Watchers

PITTSBURGH-H.J. Heinz Co. last week announced a management shake-up centered on reviving its ailing Weight Watchers Food Co. division. Brian Ruder, 39, president of the Weight Watchers Food unit, was replaced by Michael R. McGrath, also 39, most recently VP-marketing for Kraft/General Foods' All American Gourmet Food Co., overseeing its Budget Gourmet and Birds Eye frozen food brands. Mr. Ruder's new post is corporate VP and area director for Weight Watchers' worldwide infant feeding products. In addition to frozen food category softness, a slowdown in business at Weight Watchers International, Heinz' weight-loss counseling subsidiary, is being blamed for declining sales of Weight Watchers' food, analysts said.

Renova skin treatment nears FDA approval

BOCA RATON, Fla.-Johnson & Johnson's Ortho Pharmaceuticals is nearing approval from the Food & Drug Administration to market Renova, a prescription skin treatment that reduces the appearance of fine wrinkles and damage due to sun exposure, industry executives said. Renova's approval would pave the way for a national introduction. But a further delay could be occur as J&J is said to be in discussions with the FDA to broaden the marketing claims it can make. DDB Needham Worldwide, New York, handles. FDA and J&J executives said the product is still under review.

P&G to test Oil of Olay makeup

BOCA RATON, Fla.-Procter & Gamble will start testing a full line of Oil of Olay makeup in selected food and drug stores in the Salt Lake City area this June, industry executive said. P&G declined to comment. Agency is Wells Rich Greene/BDDP, New York.

Future unclear for `Lear's'

NEW YORK-The fate of Lear's is again in question, and a spokeswoman shed little light last week on rumors the 6-year-old magazine will soon be folded. The spokeswoman said only that founder Frances Lear wants to shift the direction of Lear's to focus on women's financial needs and will make an announcement soon regarding possible format and frequency changes. Asked whether the magazine will continue being published, she said only: "It's being published now" and declined further comment.

Lotus to tout array of software

CAMBRIDGE, Mass.-Lotus, eager to shed its image as a one-product wonder, on March 15 starts its first-ever corporate campaign with a $35 million spot radio, national magazine and newspaper campaign, possibly extending to network TV. The company will also start a 20-city marketing push, including in-store promotions, informational seminars and sponsorship of local events. The new ads from Hill, Holliday, Connors, Cosmopulos, Boston, promote all of Lotus' personal computer software titles, not just its best-selling 1-2-3 spreadsheet.



Nikon abruptly terminated its relationship with Ammirati & Puris, New York, as agency of record for its estimated $6 million photographic account, citing account personnel turnover. Ammirati said Nikon had "unrealistic" expectations of service based on the agency's compensation. The company is expected to name a new agency within 90 days and increase its ad budget to $10 million.

Carillon Importers named eight finalists for the $10 million Stolichnaya vodka account, now handled by Calet, Hirsch & Ferrell, New York, but said a few more agencies may be interviewed. The eight are Gigante Vaz & Partners, Parsippany, N.J.; Mullen, Wenham, Mass.; and New York shops Margeotes Fertitta Donaher & Weiss, N W Ayer, Waring & LaRosa, Campbell Mithun Esty, Berenter Greenhouse & Webster and the Ad Store. Only Margeotes was in the original Stoli review that Monsieur Henri Wines was conducting before PepsiCo moved U.S. marketing of Stoli to Carillon.

Philips Consumer Electronics Co. to D'Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles, New York, from Backer Spielvogel Bates for the TV set marketer's $20 million to $30 million account.

Staples Inc. to Cliff Freeman & Partners, New York, from in-house for the creative portion of the office supplies marketer's estimated $12 million to $15 million TV and print account.

Inglis Ltd. to Heater/Easdon, Boston, to handle creative on its approximately $5 million account for KitchenAid and Whirlpool appliances. The Canadian distributor's media buying and planning goes to ProMedia, Needham, Mass. D'Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles, New York, previously handled the business as part of the North American account. Heater/Easdon was also chosen as first agency by U.S. Windpower, the nation's leading wind-generated power provider.

Krugerrand Organization to Ally & Gargano, New York, for its $3 million-plus gold bullion coin account, previously inactive.

Cole Haan to Weiss, Whitten, Stagliano, New York, from Margeotes Fertitta Donaher & Weiss for the shoe marketer's $3 million to $4 million account.

Maryland Department of Transportation Mass Transit Administration to Gray Kirk/VanSant, Baltimore, from Eisner & Associates for its three-year, $2.2 million account.

Stac Electronics to Dahlin Smith White, Salt Lake City, from the Colby Agency, Los Angeles, for the software marketer's estimated $2 million account.


Sears, Roebuck & Co.'s February sales led the pack for retailers, as its apparel repositioning continues to fuel new business. Sears' sales at stores open at least one year increased 13.5% from the same period a year ago, while overall sales grew 15.4% to $1.42 billion. No. 1 Wal-Mart Stores' same-store February sales grew 9%, while same-store sales at its Sam's Club warehouse outlets fell 2%. No. 2 Kmart Corp.'s same-store sales grew 0.2%, while J.C. Penney Co.'s same-store sales rose 10% and its catalog division sales soared 23.1% higher than a year ago. At Federated Department Stores, February sales were up 3.6% to $484.2 million. However, on a comparable-store basis, sales increased 1.8%.

Microsoft Corp. and Tele-Communications Inc. agreed to test interactive cable TV services using Microsoft's operating system software and TCI's digital interactive network. The companies will test the system in the fourth quarter among Microsoft and TCI employees in the Seattle area. The service will be tested next year by TCI customers in the Seattle and Denver areas. Microsoft has been working on various interactive cable TV initiatives, including designing TV set-top boxes with Intel Corp. and General Instrument Corp.

Kroger, Albertson's, Safeway and Vons filed suit in U.S. District Court in Cincinnati last week, alleging unfair price discrimination by 16 large pharmaceutical companies, including Merck, American Home Products and Bristol-Myers Squibb, and a major mail-order drug prescription company. The retailers claim drug companies charge hospitals, HMOs and others less for brand-name drugs than supermarkets.

Visa will reinstate a TV spot pulled after boycott threats from citizens and merchants in Todi, Italy. The commercial, which shows two tourists unwittingly trading their camera for a donkey because of a language misunderstanding, aired in the U.S. via BBDO Worldwide, New York. An initial Italian press wire report misportrayed the spot, saying it showed tourists being robbed. Visa met with Italian politicians, explained and will run the spot again "as soon as possible."

TBWA, New York, acquired Hoare Wilkins, London, to merge the agency with TBWA Holmes Knight Ritchie. The combined agency, with about $160 million in billings, will be called TBWA UK. Dick Knight will be chairman; Alasdair Ritchie, formerly managing director of TBWA HKR, is ceo; and Jonathan Hoare, formerly ceo of Hoare Wilkins, is managing director.

Sega reviews $45M media account: Sega Europe invited Initiative Media and Zenith Media Worldwide, both London, to pitch for its $45 million pan-European media account, currently handled locally by Debis GFMO, Hamburg; Carat, Madrid; Initiative, Paris; and WCRS, London.

Indian court permits foreign namesake papers: The Delhi High Court dismissed six petitions challenging the entry of foreign newspapers, including The New York Times and The Asian Wall Street Journal, into India (AA, Jan. 17). The decision may influence rulings in high courts in two other regions.


Iberia flies to new agencies: Iberia Airlines reportedly chose Casadevall Pedreno, Barcelona, and Grey, Madrid, as major agencies for its $28 million account. The shops will start with a $4 million image campaign. Iberia may drop longtime agency Tapsa/N W Ayer altogether.

Bertelsmann, Canal Plus team up for interactive: German media company Bertelsmann and French TV station Canal Plus signed a letter of intent to set up a 50-50 joint venture early this summer to participate in pan-European pay TV, pay-per-view, video-on-demand and other interactive services. Headquarters and a company name have not been determined. This venture is unrelated to Bertelsmann's interactive project with Deutsche Telekom and Leo Kirch.

Colgate chooses Mojo Down Under: Colgate-Palmolive's recent global consolidation at Foote, Cone & Belding and Young & Rubicam (AA, Feb. 28) resulted in Mojo Australia, Sydney, succeeding sister agency FCB for its Australian business. Mojo won the Mennen male toiletries business from McCann-Erickson. Mojo's personal-care products account and Y&R's fabric-care business also switched places.

Brits served Quorn meat substitute: Marlow Foods is introducing Quorn, a high-protein, vegetable-based meat substitute, nationally in the U.K. with a $9 million campaign from Abbott Mead Vickers/BBDO, London.

Sony spins new Mini-Disc account: Sony is creating a new pan-European budget of undisclosed size for its Mini-Disc. Bartle Bogle Hegarty, London, will handle TV advertising, and Ernst & Partners, Dusseldorf, gets print. Local assignments are not affected.

BMW returns to Scholz: BMW awarded the German introduction of its top-of-the-line 7 cars to Scholz & Friends, Hamburg. Scholz handled all BMW advertising until BDDP, Sulzbach, Germany, won the account last summer, but the shop has produced no ads at this point.

Australis prepares satellite: Australis Media awarded the $10 million to $15 million introduction of its unnamed satellite pay TV service starting in mid-1995, to Mojo Australia, Sydney. The assignment includes the development of a marketing strategy.

ACCOUNT ACTION: Italian insurance group INA's new $10 million privatization account to Ata Tonic, Milan. ... Bristol Myers Co.'s $7.5 million pan-European account to DFSD Bozell, London, from CME KHBB. ... Coles Myer retail subsidiary Myer Direct awarded its $6 million Australian advertising to incumbent Clemenger Direct Response after a pitch with three other Australian shops. ... Helene Curtis Australasia's$5 million business, including brands Finesse, Salon Selectives and Degree, to DDB Needham, Sydney and Auckland, from Saatchi & Saatchi Sydney. ... QUF Industries' $3 million Australian dairy products account to Lintas, Melbourne, from Cook Green & Moore.

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