Pete's Brewing Co. assigned its estimated $7 million to $10 million account to Black Rocket, San Francisco. Gotham, New York, had won the account last August; in January, Omer Malchin was named VP-marketing at the craft brewer.
The advertising feud between Federal Express Corp. and the U.S. Postal Service has rekindled. Council of Better Business Bureaus' National Advertising Division said Tuesday FedEx refused to respond to USPS complaints about FedEx radio advertising. USPS charged the radio spots in question "falsely disparaged" its Priority Mail service. NAD said FedEx refused to cooperate because it is separately pursuing a federal court suit against USPS Priority Mail ads. FedEx has until March 28 to respond to NAD.
Insurer Seabury & Smith, Washington, working with the American Association of Retired Persons, is seeking an agency for a direct-response print and TV assignment; spending is estimated at more than $5 million. S&S hopes to have four finalists this week.
Chapman Agency emerged as a big winner in the 19th annual John Caples International Awards for direct marketing, taking six prizes for clients including Prodigy and Guinness Import Co. Omnicom Group's Rapp Collins Worldwide won five awards, and WPP Group's Ogilvy & Mather received four.
Federal Trade Commission disclosed a settlement with Gerber Products Co. that bars Gerber from making unsubstantiated claims that four of five pediatricians recommend its baby food. FTC said Gerber's studies showed that 12% of pediatricians who recommend a baby food brand recommend Gerber but that 82% of pediatricians make no brand recommendations. Gerber said it dropped the claim.
Pearle Vision Centers, and GSD&M, Austin, Texas, agreed to part ways on the $25 million eyewear account. Cole National Corp., recently agreed to buy Pearle and plans to relocate its offices to Cleveland.
A new campaign from MCI Communications Corp. about long-distance access fees charged by local service providers tells consumers they are being treated like "cash cows." Print ads broke March 13 in The New York Times and The Washington Post. Messner Vetere Berger McNamee Schmetterer/Euro RSCG, New York, created the campaign with help from political consultants. The ads are expected to incite strong reaction from regional Bell companies.
Procter & Gamble Co. and Sony's Columbia TriStar Television entered a three-year deal to develop prime-time and syndication programming. The two companies will share development costs. Unlike P&G's similar deal with Viacom's Paramount Pictures, which remains in place, the Columbia TriStar pact includes the development of new daytime soap operas.
In a departure from its growth through acquisition strategy, K-III Communications said it plans to sell a number of "non-core" businesses: The Daily Racing Form, Pro Football Weekly, New Woman and Krames Communications.
IBM Corp. is readying a TV campaign pushing Internet business success stories. The effort, a TV extension of a print campaign, will start with three spots, each showing how customers-L.L. Bean, British Airways and a camera retailer-use IBM Web solutions. The campaign, expected to break this month, supplants IBM's "subtitles" corporate spots, though insiders denied speculation the subtitles