FCB LAYS OFF 6% OF STAFF AS PART OF RETOOLING EFFORT

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Foote, Cone & Belding, Chicago, laid off 40 staffers, which the agency said represents about 6% of its work force. The general agency suffered the brunt of the downsizing as part of a strategy to become a "total branding solutions" provider emphasizing all facets of integrated marketing. To that end, FCB has, as already reported, moved to forge closer relations between the general agency and its Impact promotion and direct marketing unit. FCB didn't identify any staffers let go and said it wasn't due to an account loss.

Alberto-Culver moves

VO5 line to Avrett

Alberto-Culver Co. awarded Avrett, Free & Ginsberg, New York, its entire V05 line. Partners & Shevack/Wolf previously handled the V05 hot oil line, worth an estimated $3 million. The other V05 brands, which haven't received much ad support in the past several years, are expected to be backed with larger budgets over the coming year. Media buying for all of Alberto's U.S. brands, worth $50 million to $60 million, will be consolidated at Carat/MBS, New York. Media was previously split between Carat/MBS and Lois/EJL, Chicago.

Snyder acquires 2 shops

in San Francisco

Snyder Communications, Bethesda, Md., purchased two San Francisco shops, as expected. General agency Ingalls Moranville had been a subsidiary of Davis/Elen Advertising, Los Angeles. It will now operate under Snyder's Arnold Communications unit. The other acquisition is Rockpile, a year-old interactive agency that will become a separate entity within Ingalls Moranville.

Revlon to expand ethnic

line after '98 losses

Revlon will expand its ethnic makeup and haircare lines in 1999. Plans include the launch of African Pride High Lites, a hair highlighting product, and relaunch of existing ethnic cosmetics brands. Tarlow Advertising is Revlon's in-house agency. Revlon announced a net loss of $69.1 million for the fourth quarter, vs. net income of $41.4 million a year ago; sales dropped 1.5% to $630.5 million. For the year, Revlon had a net loss of $143.2 million, vs. net income of $43.6 million for 1997, as sales rose 0.6% to $2.25 billion. Revlon blamed the losses on restructuring costs. New products are part of its strategy to reverse the decline (AA, Jan. 25).

P&G profits climb

9.2% in 2nd quarter

Procter & Gamble Co. reported second-quarter earnings rose 9.2% from a year ago, to $1.1 billion, on 3% higher sales of $9.9 billion. Sales were up from to the 1% gain in the first quarter but still below the 7% gains P&G needs to reach sales goals set by Chairman John Pepper. Earnings growth for the second quarter, ended Dec. 31, fell short of the 11% to 14% growth P&G expects for the year, and it also reported earnings in the January-March quarter are likely to fall short of that target. But P&G expects a rebound in its fiscal fourth quarter.

FTC officially ends

pursuit of Joe Camel

The Federal Trade Commission formally announced dismissal of the case its staff filed against Camel cigarettes' Joe Camel ads. The FTC staff earlier moved to abandon the case after R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. signed a pact limiting tobacco ads and banning cartoon characters. RJR, which dropped Joe in ads more than a year ago, had continued to fight the case, arguing the FTC had no statistical evidence to back its charge that Joe influenced kids to smoke, and couldn't take action without it. The FTC said another reason it dismissed the case was that the government is going to gather better information about underage brand share itself. Mezzina/ Brown, New York, handles Camel.

District judge rules

on Oakland ad curb

A U.S. District Court judge in San Francisco delivered bad news to friends and foes of an Oakland, Calif., ordinance limiting liquor outdoor ads, saying studies presented to the City Council, together with common sense, provide sufficient proof that alcohol ads cause underage drinking to allow Oakland to limit the ads. However, Judge Fern M. Smith also ruled the city must still prove other, less speech-restrictive alternatives wouldn't work. The judge rejected the city's request for a summary order upholding the law, but also rejected outdoor companies' request that the city be forced to show alcohol ads cause underage drinking.

Dealers sue Gen'l Motors

over local advertising

A group of 70 General Motors Corp. dealers in Illinois filed suit in Cook County Circuit Court against GM over its plans to dismantle regional dealer ad groups April 1. Dealers attorney Sam Skinner, co-chairman of Hopkins & Sutter, Chicago, said the dispute is over the 1% added to the suggested retail price of every vehicle and now spent for dealers' regional ads. The dealers claim the money is theirs, not GM's, and they fear the automaker will spend the money advertising in other markets, Mr. Skinner said. Nationwide, GM dealers collect about $500 million for regional advertising annually.

Gap unveils vintage

1969 brand jeans

In a move against Levi Strauss & Co. on the authenticity front, The Gap launched a limited collection of vintage-style blue jeans named 1969, after the year the company was founded. Marketing efforts will include in-store promotions.

Compaq to spin off

Internet's AltaVista

Compaq Computer Corp. plans to spin off AltaVista Co., the Internet search engine acquired with its purchase of Digital Equipment Corp. last year. Compaq President-CEO Eckhard Pfeiffer said AltaVista would go forward with an initial public offering. Compaq named Rod Schrock president-CEO of AltaVista, from senior VP of Compaq's consumer product group. Plans reportedly include a $60 million brand development and marketing campaign this year to back AltaVista. DDB Needham Worldwide, New York, is agency of record for Compaq and AltaVista.

Lazarus nominated

chairman of Four A's

Shelly Lazarus, chairman-CEO of Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide, New York, was nominated to be the next chairman of the American Association of Advertising Agencies. She will succeed Patrick McGrath, chairman-CEO of Jordan McGrath Case & Partners/Euro RSCG. BBDO Worldwide Chairman Phil Dusenberry succeeds Ms.

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