Boeing Co. began a review for an ad agency for a global account with billings estimated between $70 million and $80 million, according to executives close to the process. Interpublic Group of Cos.' FCB Worldwide, Seattle, which has handled the account, has been asked to participate along with a number of Chicago-based agencies. The aerospace giant is in the process of moving its headquarters to Chicago from Seattle. A decision is expected in October, an executive said.
Nestle finalizes revamp of brand assignments
Nestle is readying a reshuffling of some of its biggest international brands with the goal of assigning lead agencies that will work on the same brand in each country. Currently the same brand is often handled by two or more of the marketer's networks: Dentsu; Interpublic's McCann-Erickson Worldwide and Lowe Lintas & Partners Worldwide; WPP Group's J. Walter Thompson and Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide; and Publicis Groupe's Publicis.
AOL and AT&T announce wireless, marketing pact
AOL Time Warner's America Online and AT&T Corp. announced a wireless and marketing initatives alliance. Among the projects the companies will undertake is an AOL/AT&T Wireless mobile service that will integrate some portions of AOL into a customized version of AT&T Wireless phones. The pact also calls for expanded marketing of AT&T Wireless products on AOL Time Warner properties. Terms weren't disclosed.
Coke takes harder look at juice deal with P&G
Coca-Cola Co. is taking a closer look at its deal to combine its juice brands with Procter & Gamble Co.'s snack and beverage brands in a new company. A Coca-Cola spokesman said the company is continuing its due diligence and that the two sides are working to conclude a mutually acceptable deal. The deal, announced in February, combines P&G's Pringles snack and Sunny Delight juice businesses with Coke's Minute Maid, Fruitopia, Hi-C and Five Alive brands. Analyst firm Sanford C. Bernstein recently noted Coke may be having second thoughts because of declining sales and profits of Pringles and Sunny Delight.
Ogilvy, anti-drug office working out billing issues
Ogilvy & Mather, in the process of revising its accounting system to meet government standards, found itself with $119 million in unpaid charges from the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy as of May. A third of the amount has been paid since; another third is due shortly. The drug office said the shortfall stemmed from delayed billing by Ogilvy; there is no dispute that the government owes the money. Separately, in response to a General Accounting Office report examining $7.6 million the government disputes it owes Ogilvy (AA, Oct. 10), the ad agency said "some mistakes clearly were made in billing practices and procedures." Ogilvy maintains only $850,000 of the $7.6 million should be disallowed. The GAO said Ogilvy billed for training and benefits the contract doesn't cover and urged the drug office to cancel Ogilvy's contract if the agency failed to come up with an acceptable accounting system.
Dailey heads Americas for Australia tourist board
The Australian Tourist Commission, abandoning its single global agency arrangement with Bcom3 Group's D'Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles, split its $17 million account. The group named Interpublic's Dailey & Associates, West Hollywood, Calif., to handle the Americas. Dailey pitched against incumbent D'Arcy; Rubin Postaer & Associates, Santa Monica, Calif.; and Kovel/Fuller, Culver City, Calif. Omnicom Group's Whybin Lawrence TBWA, Sydney, and sibling media agency OMD will handle Asia. Delaney Lund Knox Warren and BJK&E Media, both London, will work on Europe, and Navigator will handle New Zealand.
Sara Lee Corp. said July 2 it will buy baked-goods company Earthgrains Co. for about $2.8 billion in cash and assumed debt. ... Quaker Oats Co. on July 2 gave PepsiCo an extra 30 days to sell its All Sport beverage unit. The FTC is concerned about a proposed sale of All Sport to Monarch Co., fearing the company won't be able to compete with Pepsi and Coca-Cola. ... Arbitron bought the RADAR radio network audience measurement service for $25 million from Statistical Research ... P&G said it plans to divest its Comet brand; the company said it would keep Comet if it doesn't receive a suitable offer. ... Visa has narrowed the list in its interactive review to three: AKQA, Interpublic-backed Modem Media, and Seneca Investments-backed Organic, all San Francisco. ... Radio ad revenue fell again in May: Combined local and national revenues decreased 9% for the month. National dropped 22% and local fell 5%, according to the Radio Advertising Bureau. Year to date, total revenues are off 8%, with national down 21% and local down 4%.