In a move intended to kick-start the performance of an underperforming agency, Ed Vick, CEO of WPP Group's Young & Rubicam, last week moved Ron Bess, CEO of Y&R's Diversified Communications Group, into the position of chairman-CEO of Y&R, New York. Stephanie Kugelman, who had run the New York office, was shunted over into a new non-operational role as worldwide vice chairman-chief strategic officer of Y&R Advertising.
Fixing the New York office of Y&R has been a front-burner issue for Mr. Vick and for WPP Group Chairman Martin Sorrell. Last year the agency was in the news more notably for its losses than for its wins. Y&R was dropped by several high-profile clients immediately after it was purchased by WPP. Lost business include Citibank, Ericsson, KFC and the U.S. Army. Messrs. Sorrell and Vick are turning to an old agency hand to help right the ship. Mr. Bess, 54, started at FCB, Chicago (now part of True North Communications), which he left to form his own shop, Bayer Bess Vandewalker. That shop was then purchased by FCB Worldwide and Mr. Bess returned to the fold. In December 1999, Mr. Bess left his position as president of FCB Worldwide to join Y&R. Other management shuffling at Y&R involved shifting Etienne Boisrond, regional chairman of Y&R Asia, to CEO of Y&R Europe, Middle East and Africa. He replaces Bert Meerstadt, who is leaving the agency.
McCann-Erickson, Frankel cut staff
McCann-Erickson Worldwide, New York, a division of the Interpublic Group of Cos., May 15 laid off about 40 of its 1,300 employees, a spokeswoman said. The cuts came from all departments and were not connected to any individual account, she said. Separately, Publicis Groupe's Frankel, Chicago, cut 30 positions, or 4.5% of its 660 staff, in response to client spending cuts and slower new business, said Dan Rose, agency president-chief operating officer. The cuts were across all departments from entry level to officers in Chicago and California operations.
Ex-CEO Carpenter leaves iVillage board
According to its quarterly report, iVillage former CEO Candice Carpenter resigned as a member of the women's site's board of directors in April, but will remain an employee "available for special projects at the request of [iVillage's] chief executive officer and board of directors" through Dec. 31, 2002. Carpenter received a one-time lump sum cash payment of $1,327,900 (less an interest payment of $27,900 on her promissory note to iVillage) in lieu of the salary, bonus and other payments set forth in her October 2000 agreement with the company. She also will receive a monthly salary of $3,100 in 2001 and $2,325 through the end of 2002. (See AdAge.com for more.)
Tannenbaum, former K&E chairman, dies
Former Kenyon & Eckhardt Chairman Stanley I. Tannenbaum, whose achievements ranged from writing the jingle "A little dab'll do ya" for Brylcream to becoming a pioneer in the development of integrated marketing communications, died May 14 in Chicago. He was 73. Most recently, Mr. Tannenbaum was professor emeritus at Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism. He joined Medill in 1983 after a career that included 26 years at K&E, including 12 as chairman. Mr. Tannenbaum served as the first chair of integrated marketing while at Medill and was also a founding member of the ad industry's self-regulation organization, the National Advertising Review Board. K&E was merged into True North Communications' Bozell Group.
Burkoff, former president of Doner, dies in Florida
Stanley Burkoff, 80, former president of W.B. Doner & Co. in Southfield, Mich., died May 10 from a long-term illness, at his home in Highland Beach, Fla. He began his career in 1963 as a creative director at Doner and retired from the agency in 1991. The agency said he was best known for his work on Dow Bathroom Cleaner's Scrubbing Bubbles, Tootsie Roll's "How many licks does it take?" and Ballpark Franks' "They plump when you cook 'em" campaigns. His column "Burkoff's Fables" ran in Advertising Age from June 1984 through November 1987.
Muris confirmation for FTC chair likely
Timothy Muris' nomination as chairman of the Federal Trade Commission, succeeding Robert Pitofsky, appears headed for confirmation by the Senate. Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee, told a hearing on the nomination he expects committee approval, followed by a Senate vote before the Memorial Day break. At the hearing, Mr. Muris, 51, a college professor and former FTC official, said he would continue examining marketing of violent products to kids, and looking at steps drug companies have taken to limit availability of generic drugs.
Advance Publication's new Golf Digest Cos. announced it reached an agreement with Meredith Corp. to purchase that company's golf-related title, Golf for Women. ... Susan Kantor has been named senior VP-creative director of Viacom's VH1. She had been exec VP-marketing for Studios USA Domestic Television. ... Publicis announced an 8.2% growth in billings for the first quarter of 2001 compared with the same period last year, excluding the first-time contributions from the acquisitions of Saatchi & Saatchi and Nelson Communications.