Kirshenbaum Bond & Partners, New York, said it is laying off 12% of its staff, or 36 people, bringing total company headcount to 256. The cuts are being made across all areas of the company. The agency recently laid off 10 staffers from its 55-person San Francisco office as a result of the loss of the PeopleSoft account. Co-Chairman Richard Kirshenbaum said he does not anticipate further layoffs in the near future.
Separately, WPP Group's Y&R Advertising, San Francisco, laid off between 10 and 12 employees Oct. 29, an agency executive said. The shop, whose clients include Chevron/Texaco and VeriSign, is in the process of restructuring its 85-person office and looking for a new chief executive following the departure of President-CEO Austin McGhie, 45, who announced he is leaving the agency.
Nestle overhauls roster of global advertising shops
Swiss food giant Nestle last week announced an overhaul of its $1.9 billion global ad agency roster, aligning its top categories with five of its multinational agency networks. According to a Nestle spokesman, the shift calls for the agencies to lead a category or brand, not necessarily executing or developing the advertising but taking on more of a consulting role. Interpublic Group of Cos.' McCann-Erickson Worldwide becomes lead agency for Nescafe, Publicis Groupe's Publicis for culinary products and frozen foods, Interpublic's Lowe Lintas & Partners for sugar confectionery, WPP Group's J. Walter Thompson Co. for chocolate brands and WPP's Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide for the chilled dairy business. Nestle has not made a decision on its global pet foods category, and it said none of its other agencies, including Japanese agency Dentsu, will be knocked off the roster, though some assignments may change.
Real Media is sold to 24/7 for $1.9 million
The acquisition saga of digital marketing solutions company Real Media ended in unexpected fashion last week when the PubliGroupe unit was sold to 24/7 Media for $1.9 million. The new company will be called 24/7 Real Media. The fate of Real Media had been up in the air for weeks, and at one point, the company was close to two deals in which its ad sales network would be sold to Interep online unit Interep Interactive, and the technology assets would be sold to DoubleClick (AA, Oct. 8). Executives familiar with the talks said those deals began to founder when DoubleClick purchased the tech assets of yet another competitor, L90. PubliGroupe executives were then said to want a higher price for the Real Media assets. Real Media CEO Walter Annasohn will leave the company. (See related article, P. s14.)
Bcom3 forms Pangea multicultural venture
Bcom3 has formed a multicultural holding company called Pangea, comprising Bcom3's three existing ethnic marketing agencies and Asian and gay and lesbian agencies (AA, Oct. 15). Bcom3 has an option to buy Asian ad group New-A, New York, and is taking a 20% stake in gay and lesbian agency Double Platinum, New York. Bcom3 already owns Hispanic agencies Bromley Communications, San Antonio, and Lapiz, Chicago, and urban and African-American agency Vigilante, New York. Under Starcom MediaVest Group, Bcom3 is forming Tapestry, a joint venture between Bromley and Starcom's Hispanic division.
Allied Domecq consolidates ad and media accounts
U.K. wine and spirits marketer Allied Domecq has announced a major consolidation of the advertising, media and direct marketing networks that handle its global advertising and promotions accounts, believed to be worth $478 million. Three above-the-line networks now have responsibility for Allied Domecq's core brands across all markets: Cordiant Communications Group's Bates Worldwide; Omnicom's BBDO Worldwide; and d-rush, a joint venture between music mogul Russell Simmons and Interpublic. Publicis Groupe's Optimedia has been named Allied Domecq's worldwide media agency, working with its sister agency Zenith Media in some markets. Cordiant's direct marketing network 141 has been named global marketing services agency for all of Allied Domecq's key brands.
Rodale folds offshoot of its `Men's Health' magazine
On Oct. 31 Rodale shuttered its short-lived attempt to crack the teen male magazine market, the Men's Health offshoot MH-18. Steve Murphy, Rodale President, wrote in a company memo the title "did not meet all of our expectations for advertising or newsstand sales." The decision will affect 12 staffers, although a company spokeswoman said about half of them may find jobs at the company. Earlier this month Rodale laid off 148 workers. The fifth and last issue of MH-18 hits newsstands Nov. 12.
Greg Stuart is temporarily taking stewardship of the Interactive Advertising Bureau, replacing Robin Webster, who is taking a leave of absence for family reasons. Mr. Stuart, a longtime IAB board member, had most recently been CEO of tech startup DeltaClick. ... Stephen Chao resigned as president of USA Cable. He oversaw the USA Network and Sci-Fi Channel. USA's cable group will become part of its the unit that also includes Studios USA and USA Films. ... R.J. Milano, senior VP-U.S. marketing and kid innovation of McDonald's Corp. resigned along with Kim Poston, who was a senior member of the company's U.S. marketing calendar team, according to an internal memo from Tom Ryan, McDonald's U.S. chief marketing officer. ... General Mills acquired Pillsbury Co. from Diageo, a deal first announced last year. A print ad in The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times and USA Today touts the closure, showing a large cookie with blue chocolate chips and the tagline, "Fresh from the oven. A new blue chip."