O&M WINS $100 MIL IN GERBER MEDIA BUYS

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Novartis Consumer Health North America awarded Ogilvy & Mather, New York, its $100 million network TV broadcast buying account for Gerber Products Co. Western International Media was the incumbent. The buying will be handled through the O&M Broadcast & Programming USA division. O&M already handled media buying for other Novartis products.

Hewlett-Packard spinoff's account goes to McCann

Hewlett-Packard Co. named McCann-Erickson Worldwide, New York, to handle the launch of its unnamed spinoff. McCann beat Y&R Advertising, San Francisco. Shirley Horn, director of brand management at the spinoff, wasn't available for comment, but earlier noted the unit was using AT&T Corp. spinoff Lucent Technologies as its model. McCann developed Lucent's ads. The budget for the new venture is expected to rival the $61 million Lucent spent on its 1996 launch.

Conlon succeeds Wooden as CEO of Ad Council

The Advertising Council tapped Peggy Conlon, 48, as its new president-CEO. She succeeds Ruth Wooden, who left the Ad Council after more than 11 years in the job. Ms. Conlon joins the Ad Council from Cahners Business Information, where she was VP-group publisher of its Broadcasting & Cable Group. She is the non-profit organization's fourth president in its 57-year history. Ms. Wooden left to join the National Parenting Association as president.

Lowe acquires majority stake in Mullen agency

Lowe Group, New York, acquired a majority stake in Mullen, Wenham, Mass., which will continue to operate as a stand-alone agency. Founder Jim Mullen will remain CEO and join Lowe Group as a vice chairman.

Agencies chalk up more double-digit gains

Double-digit gains remained the order of the day for ad agency companies reporting first-quarter results last week:

* Young & Rubicam, New York: Net income soared to $19.7 million in the quarter, up 61.5% over the same period a year ago. Revenue was up 10.3% to $383.9 million. Also, Y&R's board has approved the company's first-ever quarterly dividend of $0.025 per share.

* Interpublic Group of Cos., New York: Net income increased 18.8%, reaching $44.8 million. Gross income of $925.1 million was up 11.3%. Gross income from U.S. operations rose 11.6%, and international was up 10.9%.

* WPP Group, London: Revenue climbed 10%. Public relations and public affairs saw the greatest revenue growth among functions, at almost 23%; advertising, media planning and buying, and research was up almost 5%. WPP said it's in line to achieve the objective of increasing its operating margins from 12.8% to 13.4% in 1999.

Du Pont's 'Better things' yields to 'Miracles'

Du Pont Co. on April 28 launched its new corporate identity tagged "The miracles of science," replacing the 64-year-old "Better things for better living." McCann-Erickson Worldwide, New York, created the campaign after winning the estimated $30 million assignment earlier this year. The advertising broke first in print, to be followed by TV in September. Ads feature a variety of Du Pont products.

'N.Y. Times' bans cig ads; Boston sib doesn't follow

The New York Times is becoming the biggest newspaper yet to pull tobacco advertising. "We will not accept ads for cigarettes, cigars or other tobacco retail products," said a Times spokeswoman, noting the decision by senior management was part of an evolutionary process. The Times stopped soliciting tobacco advertising actively a few years ago. The spokeswoman said the ban didn't apply to event sponsorship, explaining, "If a tobacco company wanted to run an ad about sponsoring a music festival, that would be fine." Sister New York Times Co. daily The Boston Globe will not go the same route, said a spokesman for that paper. The Globe may review its acceptance of tobacco ads but will continue to accept such advertising. It limits what can be in tobacco ads.

Goodby is top winner at San Francisco Show

Goodby, Silverstein & Partners for the 11th consecutive year took home the cable car bell, the top honor April 29 at the San Francisco Show. Publicis & Hal Riney copywriters Jack Harding and David Wecal jointly won the Howard Gossage Award for General Motors Corp.'s EV1 print work. Goodby's Joel Clement picked up the Marget Larsen Award for Art Direction for Nike. The Don Ashley Account Management Award went to Goldberg Moser O'Neill's Dave Doyle for Kia Motors America. Among other winners: Black Rocket received the Mike Koelker Award for Campaign Excellence for Wired, and Goldberg Moser O'Neill got the Ellie Award for outdoor for Kia.

Advanstar picks EPB as 1st agency of record

Advanstar Communications selected Earle Palmer Brown, Bethesda, Md., to be its first agency of record after a yearlong review. EPB plans to create a stronger brand identity for the business publisher.

Conde Nast duo wins big at magazine awards

Conde Nast Publications' Vanity Fair and Conde Nast Traveler, and Fast Company and I.D. Magazine won general excellence prizes in their respective circulation categories at the 1999 National Magazine Awards April 28 in New York. All but newcomer Fast Company had won the same honor in past years. Other winners were: The American Scholar (feature writing); The Atlantic Monthly (essays and criticism); ESPN the Magazine (design); Good Housekeeping (personal service); Harper's (fiction); Martha Stewart Living (photography); Newsweek (reporting, for breaking the Monica Lewinsky story); The Oxford American (single-topic issue); PC Computing (special interests); Time (public interest); and Cigar Aficionado Online (general excellence in new media). The big surprise was the

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