JWT wins $96 mil Unilever European work

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Unilever consolidated its $96 million budget for culinary products across Europe at J. Walter Thompson Co. after a showdown against Lowe Lintas & Partners Worldwide. The move follows Unilever's creation of a central European food and beverage business unit and moves to sharply reduce the number of its brands.

Third quarter online

ad spending: $1.2 bil

Online advertising revenue hit $1.2 billion in the third quarter of 1999, up 148% from the year-ago period, according to the Internet Advertising Bureau's latest Internet Ad Revenue Report.

Kraft Foods buys

Boca Burger

Kraft Foods is entering the soy burger arena with the purchase of privately held Boca Burger, which saw sales double in 1999 to roughly $40 million. Kraft said its new Boca Foods division, headed by former pizza division General Manager Kevin Scott, will be based in Madison, Wis.

FDX to rebrand

its units as FedEx

FDX Corp. said it will adopt the FedEx name for itself and all subsidiaries under a rebranding strategy. Parent FDX Corp. will be renamed FedEx Corp. and all global units will adopt the FedEx name and logo. Changes include Federal Express becoming FedEx Express, and RPS-specializing in small-package ground delivery-becoming FedEx Ground. BBDO Worldwide, New York, handles.

R.J. Reynolds hands out

Winston project work

R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. has invited agencies to work on unspecified brand-related projects for its Winston cigarettes, but denied the $30 million account is in review. The undisclosed shops will work with its agency of record Long Haymes Carr, Winston-Salem, S.C.

Ha-Lo pays $240 mil

for Starbelly.com

Brand marketing and promotional products company Ha-Lo Industries said it will acquire Starbelly.com for $19 million in cash and Ha-Lo stock, bringing the value of the deal to $240 million. Ha-Lo plans to merge its promotional products group with the 10-month-old Starbelly, a custom-decorated merchandise marketer.

SicollaMartin wins

Novell int'l work

Novell named SicollaMartin, Austin, Texas, to handle ad duties on its estimated $20 million international account, as expected. The agency will work with DDB Worldwide, Dallas, lead international media agency for Novell.

Denny's, Lowe Lintas

agree to call it quits

Denny's and Lowe Lintas & Partners Worldwide, New York, are parting ways. Denny's cited a need for "fresh thinking" on the creative work Lowe Lintas handled, spending on which was less than $10 million, according to Jenifer Harmon, director of national advertising for the Advantica Restaurant Group unit. Denny's is entering into a review with four or five unidentified agencies.

Marriott signs on

as Olympic sponsor

Marriott International signed as an official sponsor of the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City and the 2000, 2002 and 2004 U.S. Olympic teams. Marriott operates 25 properties in the Salt Lake City area.

Sandwich suit over,

says Richards Group

A copyright infringement suit alleging Richards Group, Dallas, pirated a "talking ham sandwich" character for use in advertising for the Florida Department of Citrus has been withdrawn and the charges "amicably" settled, Richards said. Richards distributed a statement from the plaintiff, San Francisco-based Tabloid News Services, in which Tabloid said it realized after investigation that Richards' sandwich character had been created independently.

NAD urges changes

to Brillo advertising

Church & Dwight should modify certain claims in ads that compared its Brillo steel wool soap pads to Clorox Co.'s S.O.S pads, the National Advertising Division of the Council of Better Bureaus said. The claims had been challenged by Clorox. NAD found the claim that Brillo was the "toughest name in scouring pads" was comparative, unsupported and should be discontinued.

White House bars

advance scripts review

Advance review of anti-drug use themes in scripts of TV programs to determine if the programs qualify for credit under a government anti-drug advertising program will be halted, according to the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy. Under a revised policy, the office instead will review programming after it airs. The script reviews were a result of TV network officials seeking to qualify for ad dollars under the government's National Youth Anti-Drug Media Campaign, a multimillion-dollar paid advertising effort.

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