Dentsu, Burnett talk slo-o-owly
Officially, Dentsu and Leo Burnett Co. say merger talks are on track, with a final agreement just a few weeks away. Others monitoring the discussions aren't so sure, saying the Japanese giant is pushing for a bigger piece of the Burnett pie, originally expected to be just 10% to 20%. Conservative Burnett shareholders, at the same time, are said to be balking at ceding away part of their company. Additional hitches hindering talks: Chicago-based Burnett has disappointed Dentsu on the new-business front, and the Tokyo-based agency has a reputation for difficulty in giving American managers a free hand.
Shop seeks shelf aggrandizement
San Francisco shop Grant, Scott & Hurley recently celebrated its move into the landmark that once served as a firehouse in the aftermath of the 1906 quake, and later as the offices of ad legend Howard Gossage. The agency asked guests to its office warming to bring a copy of a book for the digs' shelves. The take included three copies of "The Book of Jewish Humor" (prompting principal and Acc't Dir. Brian Hurley to wonder whether the group was perceived as lacking mirth), and from an anonymous donor, a copy of "Frankenstein" inscribed: "Sometimes when you create something, it can kill you. But good luck."
PSA: Food, music for Kosovar kids
Advertising does its bit to relieve the suffering in Kosovo with a PSA featuring Spike Lee, Sean Lennon, Christian Slater and other celebrities. Relief organization War Child USA worked with SoHo production house Progressive Image Group, aka PIG Productions, on the :30, which broke last week. War Child USA is the newest member of the international War Child organization, founded in 1992 to help kids suffering the ravages of war. But the organization provides more than food, says Heather Harding LaGarde, program director of War Child USA. It also offers "music therapy." For the Kosovars, it's planning food relief and a fleet of buses manned by therapists who hope to make beautiful music with the