Hilfiger taps Optimedia for European media
Tommy Hilfiger awarded its $10 million European media planning and buying account to Publicis' Optimedia as the fashion company gears up for a major expansion drive there. The appointment follows a four-way pitch that also included Carat, the incumbent in Europe except for the U.K.; CIA Medianetwork, the U.K. incumbent; and Mediapolis. Optimedia's London office will lead the business. The assignment includes traditional media activities as well as event sponsorship.
Kia parks account at start-up agency
Kia Motors America-after citing the need for an agency with more resources in its decision to part with Goldberg Moser O'Neill, San Francisco-tapped Los Angeles start-up David & Goliath. Principals David Angelo and Skip Sullivan expect to operate in what their agency and Kia called a "collaborative team" with Omnicom Group's Optimum Media Directions, Rapp Collins Worldwide and collateral shop Boyd Communications, among others. Dave Park, president of DDB Worldwide, Los Angeles, said his agency "enabled the launch" of the new shop. DDB sells services such as help with audio-visual projects; its clients include David & Goliath. Kia said the budget will rise from the current estimated $75 million to $100 million in 2001.
Web florist Gerald Stevens puts review on hold
Internet florist Gerald Stevens formally put its estimated $20 million review on hold. Stevens (geraldstevens.com) sent letters to pitching agencies, introducing new Chief Marketing Officer Eleanor Callison, who came from Hallmark Cards. Those competing to be Stevens' first agency included Bartle Bogle Hegarty, DiNoto Lee and Grey Advertising, all New York; GSD&M, Austin, Texas; and undisclosed others. Agencies were initially told spending could go as high as $60 million during the next several years.
Securities trade group plans educational ads
The Securities Industry Association will lead a $500,000 campaign to educate investors about online stock trading, the New York state attorney general said. The announcement follows a nine-month investigation by the attorney general's office, which questioned online brokers' ads. The probe was prompted by consumer complaints about slowdowns and outages among broker Web sites due to explosive growth. The attorney general in a report concluded that, while most of the technical problems have been resolved, ads need to inform consumers better about the risks and capabilities of online trading. "If you were to believe all the online [brokerage] advertising today, you would get the impression that investors have access to both instant trades and instant wealth, neither of which is true," said Attorney General Eliot Spitzer's statement. The trade group was called in because it has experience with investor education programs, a spokeswoman said, but it was too soon to say how this campaign will be executed. She said the group will form an ad hoc committee shortly to oversee the effort.
Branded DTC ads coming for Hoffmann's Tamiflu
Hoffmann-La Roche is expected to kick off branded direct-to-consumer ads for its flu drug Tamiflu in January. The marketer launched unbranded ads to prompt people to see their doctors to treat flu symptoms Nov. 15 via Y&R Advertising, New York.
Levi's creative Angelos leaves TBWA/Chiat/Day
Peter Angelos, creative director on Levi Strauss & Co. at TBWA/ Chiat/Day, San Francisco, has left the agency. Mr. Angelos helped open the San Francisco office after the agency won the account in 1997. Last month, TBWA brought in Chuck McBride from Wieden & Kennedy, Portland, Ore., to oversee the Levi's business.
Conde's `House & Garden' to hike rate base by 7.7%
Conde Nast Publications' House & Garden will raise its rate base by 7.7% to 700,000 from 650,000 with the January issue. This is the title's fourth rate base increase since its 1996 relaunch at 400,000. Meredith Corp.'s rival Traditional Home has a rate base of 800,000, while Hearst Magazines' House Beautiful has a rate base of 850,000.
BeautyBuys wraps up equity-for-media deal
Synergy Brands closed a deal with Sinclair Broadcast Group to swap a 50% stake in e-tailer Beauty-Buys.com for cash and $69.4 million in advertising and media credits on Sinclair's 58 TV stations and 52 radio stations. For this holiday season, BeautyBuys plans to spend $3 million in TV and radio. Kopf, Zimmerman & Schultheis, Hauppage, N.Y., handles.