Omnicom Group's DDB Worldwide is laying off 23 staff members, or 3.5% of its Chicago work force, citing recent account losses, spending cuts by clients and the weakening of the economy. The cuts are being made across all departments, said a spokeswoman. The agency recently lost the General Mills and Energizer accounts. Separately, DDB Worldwide, New York, cut staff June 5 from its 450 employees. A spokeswoman cited a softening economy.
DreamWorks to keep media acc't at GSD&M
DreamWorks SKG has called off its search for an agency to handle some spot media buying projects, according to executives close to the situation. The movie studio had contacted two large media shops about possibly handling some assignments, but has now opted to keep all work its roster agency, Omnicom's GSD&M, Austin, Texas.
McConnaughy at Tatham parts ways with Midas
Midas is launching an agency review for its U.S. strategic and creative account after terminating its three-year relationship with Havas Advertising's Euro RSCG McConnaughy Tatham, Chicago. Executives close to the agency said they had resigned the account, but the marketer said it told the agency it was making a change and would not invite the agency to defend the account. A spokesman declined to name potential contenders.
Nissan, TBWA/Chiat/Day take big prize at Effies
Nissan and Omnicom's TBWA/Chiat/Day, Playa del Rey, Calif., won the Grand Effie from the New York American Marketing Association. The agency has won the Grand Effie for the past three years, and for nine of the past 15 years. Effie Awards honor ad effectiveness by recognizing campaigns that meet or exceed stated, measurable objectives. TBWA and Nissan were recognized for the launch effort for Nissan North America's Xterra. Offices of Omnicom's DDB Worldwide and WPP Group's Y&R Advertising tied for winning the most awards, with 10 apiece.
Muris taps Beales to head FTC consumer protection
Tim Muris, sworn in June 4 as Federal Trade Commission chairman, said he will name J. Howard Beales III as director of the bureau of consumer protection. Mr. Beales, an economist and most recently a college professor, was Mr. Muris' deputy when Mr. Muris served as head of the bureau of consumer protection in the 1980s and was a consultant for R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. in its challenge of FTC Joe Camel allegations.
Amazon to step up use of Sunday paper circulars
Amazon.com told analysts it will focus advertising on print and some radio, relying primarily on Sunday newspaper circulars that it intends to increase to monthly distribution. Amazon in late May hired Wieden & Kennedy, Portland, Ore., as agency for what had been billed as a $50 million account, but it's unclear whether the e-tailer will spend at that level (AA, June 4).
AOL Time Warner agrees to acquire `Business 2.0'
AOL Time Warner's Fortune Group agreed to acquire the assets of Business 2.0 from Imagine Media and fold them into eCompany Now. Terms were not disclosed. Fortune Group acquired the Business 2.0 brand and trademark, as well as online and conference activities. ECompany Now will assume the Business 2.0 name, starting with its August/September issue, said Ned Desmond, editor-president of eCompany Now, who will hold the same titles in the new Business 2.0.
Dentsu closes $11.5 mil Harmonic investment
As expected, Harmonic Communications, San Francisco, has closed an $11.5 million investment by Japanese ad agency Dentsu (AA, June 4). Dentsu and Harmonic will develop and deploy the Harmonic marketing platform in Japan. Harmonic's management software enables campaign development and execution across traditional and digital media in real time from one system.
Turnstile Publishing to fold `Golf & Travel'
Turnstile Publishing Co., Orlando, Fla., will cease publication of seven-times-a-year Golf & Travel with the summer issue. Much of the content will be shifted to a section in Turnstile's Golfweek called Golf Style. Henry Robinson, publisher of Golf & Travel, becomes advertising director at Golfweek, a new post. Turnstile Chairman Rance Crain is also president of Crain Communications and editor in chief of Advertising Age.
Vivendi-Universal sold its remaining 9.9% stake in Havas Advertising for $383 million, mainly to institutional investors and Havas. ... General Motors Corp. named LinkOnline Group's Innovasia Communications, Los Angeles, as its first national Asian-American agency of record for all its brands. ... Dentsu's Colby Effler & Partners, Santa Monica, Calif., is changing its name to Colby & Partners. ... Venator Group's Foot Locker named AKA Advertising, New York, agency of record for its $30 million account. ... Interpublic Group of Cos.' Mullen/LHC, Winston-Salem, N.C., withdrew from the $10 million to $15 million pitch for Sara Lee Corp.'s Hanes. ... Terra Lycos signed a multiyear pact with auction site eBay to integrate eBay into its auctions section. ... Honda moved its $42.5 million U.K. account to Wieden & Kennedy, London, from Dentsu's CDP, London, and the Leith Agency, Edinburgh, Scotland. ... Ailing free ISP NetZero and Juno Online Services agreed to merge. ... Panoramic Communications named Mary Baglivo president from exec VP-chief operating officer at WPP's J. Walter Thompson/North America, New York, and Chuck Rybos chief financial officer from partner at Destination Group and at World Star Resorts.