Smucker, Burnett end 5-year relationship
J.M. Smucker Co. will review its $10 million-plus account after splitting with Leo Burnett USA, Chicago, its agency since 1994. The marketer and Burnett said they were parting amicably. In addition to Smucker's fruit spreads, Burnett worked on the Goober, Magic Shell and Snackers product lines.
Safeway moves $100 mil in print work to NSA Media
Supermarket chain Safeway selected the NSA Media unit of Newspaper Services of America, Naperville, Ill., for U.S. print media planning and buying. American Communications Group, Los Angeles, previously handled. Spending is said to approach $100 million a year. Newspaper Services is a unit of Interpublic Group of Cos. Safeway earlier moved spot TV and radio planning and buying to J. Walter Thompson USA, Detroit, from Interpublic units Western Initiative Media Worldwide, West Hollywood, Calif., and McCann-Erickson Worldwide, San Francisco.
JWT, Ammirati swap Unilever's Wisk, All
Unilever said it's swapping agency assignments for its two leading U.S. laundry detergent brands. J. Walter Thompson USA, New York, trades in its Wisk account for All; Ammirati Puris Lintas gives up All and gets Wisk. The accounts are similar in size, with spending of $19 million on Wisk and $21 million on All last year, according to Competitive Media Reporting. Unilever said the move is consistent with efforts to align global brands or brand positionings.
Sunsweet Prunes taps S.F.'s new Nice agency
Sunsweet Prunes switched its $7 million account to new San Francisco agency Nice Advertising, as the marketer moves to expand its product line with the addition of fruit juices and fresh fruits such as grapes and plums. J. Walter Thompson USA previously handled. The new San Francisco shop was founded by the Nice brothers, Tim and Kelly. Tim Nice previously worked at JWT on the Sunsweet account.
Microsoft campaign to shun 'e-biz' theme
Microsoft Corp.'s forthcoming brand campaign will broadly target business decisionmakers and use more TV advertising to do so. People familiar with the effort via McCann-Erickson Worldwide, New York and San Francisco, say Microsoft is aiming for a positioning that establishes it as a solutions provider for the Internet world, but doesn't want to play the increasingly overexposed "e-business" card to do it. "We don't want to be 'e-too,' " said a person close to the work. The campaign for the estimated $300 million account is set for December.
Dreyer's, M&M/Mars blend expertise for ice cream
Dreyer's Grand Ice Cream and Mars Inc.'s M&M/Mars division are partnering to market a new line of premium packaged ice cream products that will debut next spring. The new line initially will feature six flavors based on popular candy brands, among them Milky Way, Snickers and Twix. The joint venture, known as M&M/Mars/Dreyer's Grand Ice Cream, will be headquartered in Dreyer's hometown of Oakland, Calif.
AmEx-Barbara Smith magazine debuts
The first issue of B. Smith Style, the joint venture between American Express Publishing Corp. and restaurateur Barbara Smith, launches Oct. 26 with 200,000 copies on newsstands and 62 ad pages. The debut of the multicultural women's magazine coincides with an 11-city book tour for Ms. Smith's latest tome from Random House, "B. Smith Rituals & Celebrations." Barnes & Noble plans to feature both the book and magazine in special standalone displays at a majority of its stores. Advertisers in the first issue include DaimlerChrysler, foofoo.com, General Motors Corp., L'Oreal, Nicole Miller, Procter & Gamble Co. and Revlon.
Lois' Chicago agencies shuttered: Staffers
Lois/USA closed its two Chicago offices as of Oct. 15, said workers for the financially troubled company. Staffers at Lois' Fogarty Klein 312 and Lois/EJL offices received a paycheck Oct. 8 and were told it was good through Oct. 15, said an employee at one of the Lois agencies in Chicago. An Oct. 8 memo from human resources said employees wouldn't be offered Cobra health insurance coverage, which workers can get after they leave a company; however, the memo never explicitly said the agencies were closing, employees said. Some staffers were still on the job in Chicago last week, though the agencies didn't return calls for official comment. The status of the New York office wasn't clear at press time -- an answering machine responded to calls during working hours, but management there didn't return calls for comment. Chicago employees said the Oct. 8 memo was the only communication the New York-based holding company had sent workers.
Also . . .
Nissan Motor Co.'s revival plan, announced last week in Tokyo, includes a statement calling for a single global ad agency. What that means for TBWA/Chiat/Day, Playa del Rey, Calif., agency of record for Nissan North America's $500 million-plus account, is uncertain. "At this point, there has been no decision," a Nissan spokeswoman said. . . . Saatchi & Saatchi, London, sold Cliff Freeman & Partners, New York, to Freeman management for an estimated $4.6 million, as expected (AA, Oct. 11). . . . ESPN International consolidated its branding assignment at Bates Worldwide, New York. A variety of agencies around the world previously handled. . . . Brauerei Beck & Co. early this month started testing reduced-calorie Beck's Light in Chicago, Denver, Miami and Rhode Island. Initial ad spending is about $1 million, via Saatchi & Saatchi, New York. . . . FCB Worldwide, New York, appointed Sam Gulisano and Rich Russo to head the shop's creative department as exec VPs. They succeed Ted Littleford, who left the agency two weeks ago. Mr. Gulisano had been group creative director and had worked on Fila, Nabisco's LifeSavers and Tropicana. Mr. Russo had been