Sony nears review
of $50 mil Euro acc't
Sony Europe is poised to review its $50 million European account. Those familiar with the situation believe Young & Rubicam may be asked to pitch since its joint venture offices with Dentsu handle Sony in China, Hong Kong, Japan, Philippines, Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand. Sony European Marketing Manager Barbara Hase could not be reached by press time. Michael Bray, managing director of worldwide accounts at incumbent BMP DDB, London, would neither confirm nor deny the expected review.
Sega splits duties on
$102 mil Dreamcast debut
Sega Europe, in a surprise move, split the $102 million pan-European September launch of games console Dreamcast among two creative ad agencies, two media groups, a marketing consultancy and a PR agency. The announcement follows earlier reports that the entire creative assignment had been handed to WCRS, London. As it turns out, the Havas Advertising-owned agency will develop the positioning, communication strategy and consumer advertising for Dreamcast; M&C Saatchi will advise on business strategy and, in particular, direct marketing, sales promotion, sponsorship, live events and digital marketing. Sharing the media buying assignment are Carat Group U.K., handling the U.K. and Spain, and Initiative Media Worldwide, buying media in France and Germany. London-based consultancy Branded will advise Sega Europe on marketing strategy, and Bell Pottinger Communications will work on European communication strategies and PR.
Rental car ads again
draw AGs' attention
State attorneys general have their eyes on rental car ads again. The National Association of Attorneys General, meeting in Washington late last week, was expected to approve a recommendation to create a car rental advertising task force. A resolution co-sponsored by 11 attorneys general suggests car rental advertising may not fully or clearly disclose fees, and actual rental costs may exceed advertised rates by 75%. State attorneys general looked at rental car ads a decade ago.
hangs up on Freeman
Ameritech Corp. pulled its estimated $25 million in cellular and paging business from Cliff Freeman & Partners, New York. With consolidation in mind, Ameritech will divide the account among its other roster agencies. An Ameritech spokesman said Ammirati Puris Lintas, Chicago, will handle traditional ad work.
Togo's restaurant chain
taps Vitro Robertson
Togo's, a Randolph, Mass.-based a chain of 260 primarily takeout restaurants, named Vitro Robertson, San Diego, as first agency of record for what could become a $10 million-plus account. Also competing were Allen Gerritson, Watertown, Mass.; Citron Haligman Bedecarre, San Francisco; Haggman Advertising, Marblehead, Mass.; and Heater Advertising and Simon & Partners, both Boston. Togo's, acquired by Allied Domecq Retailing USA in 1997, expects to launch a test broadcast campaign this summer. The chain in the future also may have its outlets paired with other Allied Domecq chains, such as Baskin-Robbins and Dunkin' Donuts.
Hertz pushes hard
to add biz customers
Hertz Corp. this month launches its biggest-ever print push aimed at business customers. Moss/Dragoti, New York, created several executions for the multimillion-dollar campaign, breaking in business and news magazines as well as national newspapers and business-trade books. The ads tout the car rental marketer's time-saving services and continue the "Hertz exactly" tag. DDB Needham Worldwide buys media.
Saatchi ships Old Spice
to San Francisco office
A significant piece of package-goods business is heading to the West Coast, as Saatchi & Saatchi assigns to its San Francisco office Procter & Gamble Co.'s $25 million Old Spice account, recently awarded from Euro RSCG Tatham, Chicago. The Old Spice account is believed to be one of the first pieces of P&G business handled in San Francisco.
Conde Nast venture
to reach Latin readers
Conde Nast Publications, New York, and Ideas Publishing Group, Miami, will start a joint venture to publish Spanish-language titles based on Conde Nast magazines. Ideas already publishes Glamour en Espanol with Conde Nast. First to be published under the new agreement is Vogue en Espanol, launching in October. It will be distributed in the U.S. and 20 Spanish-speaking countries in Latin America.
to unite in $60 bil merger
Comcast Corp. and MediaOne Group announced they have entered into a $60 billion merger agreement. The companies said the deal would create the world's leading broadband communications provider, marrying the third- and fourth-largest domestic cable companies. The combined Comcast/MediaOne would serve 11 million cable customers and together would have generated more than $8 billion in 1998