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Consumer magazine ad pages post sharp drop

Consumer magazine ad pages, down 6.8% in this year's first quarter, saw the news worsen in April, with a 9.5% drop vs. the same month in 2000, according to Publishers Information Bureau. For the year to date, ad pages are down 7.5% to 79,109. Ad categories that recorded drops included automotive, financial and insurance, media and advertising, retail and technology. (See Consumer Linage, P. 24.)

Hoffman/Lewis wins McDonald's accounts

Two McDonald's Corp. franchise cooperatives awarded their ad accounts to Hoffman/Lewis, San Francisco. The McDonald's Advertising Co-op of St. Louis and Metro East and the Peoria-Bloomington Co-op, in Indiana, made the decision following a review that included incumbent Omnicom Group's Integer Group, Denver. Another McDonald's agency, Bcom3 Group's Moroch Partners, Dallas, was a finalist. Hoffman/Lewis already handles advertising for the 260 McDonald's restaurants in the San Francisco region; the win brings another 200 stores. Hoffman/Lewis is staffing an office in St. Louis to handle the account and will have 12 workers in an outpost. The independent shop claims $80 million in billings with 45 San Francisco employees. Other clients include the Northern California Toyota dealers and Bank of the West and Horizon Organic Dairy.

Havas reports increase in first-quarter billings

After a big first quarter for acquisitions, Havas Advertising reported a 63.8% leap in billings to $3.28 billion from the first quarter of 2000. But, discounting acquisitions and currency fluctuations, billings grew by only 7.9% during the first quarter. Growth was slowest in North America and Asia, at 5% each, but reached double digits in Europe and Latin America, at 10% and 16.4%, respectively. In a conference call with analysts, Chairman-CEO Alain de Pouzilhac said he considered it an encouraging sign that April was a strong month for new-business gains.

Vodafone taps Wieden as agency of record

Vodafone Group has named Wieden & Kennedy, Amsterdam, agency of record for an anticipated $75 million global advertising effort. Vodafone said Wieden's creative will be adapted for markets across Europe by its numerous local shops. Other agencies in the review included incumbent Interpublic Group of Cos.' McCann-Erickson Worldwide, as well as Havas' WCRS, London. The move was a major boost for Wieden, an independent shop based in Portland, Ore., which has been moving to increase the proportion of its overall billings from its overseas offices.

FCB Worldwide's Chicago office cuts 30 staffers

FCB Worldwide's Chicago office May 9 cut 5% of its 725 employees, citing the economic slowdown and a low attrition rate. At least 39 people will leave the True North Communications agency. A spokeswoman said the unit's attrition rate is half what it was at this time last year. The move comes amid cuts at True North's other units, including FCB in California and Temerlin McClain in Irving, Texas, and as the company finalizes acquisition plans with Interpublic.

Church & Dwight buys Carter-Wallace brands

Church & Dwight, maker of Arm & Hammer baking soda and other baking soda-enhanced brands, agreed to buy Carter-Wallace's consumer-products unit. A group comprising MedPointe Capital Partners, Carlyle Group and Cypress Group will buy the health-care business. Church & Dwight acquires Carter-Wallace's Arrid antiperspirant and Lambert Kay pet-care businesses for $128 million and its remaining businesses, including Nair hair removal products, Trojan condoms and First Response pregnancy kits, for $611 million via a partnership with private-equity firm Kelso & Co.

IXL Enterprises lays off 300 of its employees

IXL Enterprises, Atlanta, May 10 laid off 300 people after announcing a new client service and delivery structure. The company cut its staff from about 1,300 to about 1,000. IXL said it has hired more than 25 new senior client-service and delivery managers and about 175 professionals overall during the course of the year. The new industry groups and service lines include financial services, travel and transportation, manufacturing, retail and consumer goods and enterprise services.

Top executives resign from i-shop Red Sky

Red Sky, an interactive agency partly owned by Omnicom, went through a major management shakeup last week that included the departure of Chairman-CEO Bill Bingham. Other executives who left include exec VP-Chief People Officer Steve Migogna and Joe Neely, senior VP-sales and marketing. Chief Financial Officer Mark Schulz is staying through a transition period. According to the company, Bill Konrad, managing director of the company's San Francisco office, will become the new finance chief. Founder Tim Smith, a director and chief strategy officer, will remain in that role.

`Working Woman' owner explores possible sale

Working Woman Network, publisher of Working Woman and Working Mother magazines, retained media investment banker DeSilva & Phillips to help it explore a sale, a spokeswoman said. The company is believed to have revenue in the $45 million to $50 million range but remains unprofitable. Both titles have been losing ad pages. Through March, Working Mother's ad pages were down 19.5%, to 90.5; Working Woman's pages were down 26.8%, to 73.4-sharper ad drops than most women's titles but lesser drops than some business titles. For the last six months of 2000, Working Woman's circulation was 630,343, up 0.8% from the previous year.

PSA Peugeot-Citroen holds media review

PSA Peugeot-Citroen has invited virtually every major media specialist agency in France to pitch for its $250 million domestic media planning account, with a decision expected by early fall. Despite the major review, the business is considered likely to stay with the incumbent, Havas' Media Planning Group. Havas-owned Euro RSCG Worldwide is the creative agency for both the Peugeot and Citroen car brands.

Maytag to increase national ad spending

Despite sluggish sales in the major-appliances sector, Maytag Corp. told analysts last week it plans to increase spending on national advertising and research and development. The announcement comes as many companies, encouraged by the economy's downward trend, are slashing ad budgets. "Our intent is to put the foundations in place so that when the economic and industry winds shift, we are fully ready to participate and reap the benefits," CEO Leonard A. Hadley said. Bcom3's Leo Burnett USA, Chicago, handles advertising for the company's Maytag and Jenn-Air brands.

Momentum adds second PR agency to group

Momentum Worldwide, the event and promotional marketing unit of Interpublic's McCann-Erickson WorldGroup, is acquiring entertainment public-relations firm Huvane Baum Halls. Terms weren't disclosed. Momentum owns entertainment public relations firm PMK and plans to combine the two. Huvane has 15 employees and represents 125 clients, including Jennifer Aniston, Russell Crowe, Gwyneth Paltrow and Ang Lee. PMK, with 50 employees, counts Sandra Bullock, Tom Cruise, Tom Hanks and Martin Scorsese among its 200 clients.

FYI

Sunbeam Corp.'s Coleman Co. tapped WPP Group's Y&R Advertising, Dearborn, Mich., as agency of record for its estimated $8 million account. FCB Worldwide, Southfield, Mich., was incumbent. ... Andrew Lack, president of NBC News, becomes president and chief operating officer of the General Electric Co.-owned network. ... Kmart Corp. named True North-backed Don Coleman Advertising, Southfield, Mich., multicultural agency of record with responsibilities for Hispanic promotions. ... Luminant Worldwide, Dallas, said first-quarter profit was about $220,000, compared with an operating loss of about $13.3 million in the fourth quarter. Donald S. Perkins, a Luminant director, has been named chairman. ... Bink Garrison, chairman of Boston's Holland Mark Advertising, is leaving to open his own agency, Bink. ... True North's Temerlin McClain confirmed it cut 20% of its staff (AA May 7) in response to reduced client spending and account shifts. ... Denmark shoe company Ecco awarded its $20 million to $25 million global account to Ericsson Fina, New York, a unit of Grey Global Group's Grey Worldwide, following a review.

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