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Leo Burnett tech unit eliminates 15 positions

Leo Burnett Technology Group, a unit of Bcom3 Group's Leo Burnett USA, eliminated 15 jobs March 14 among its Boston, San Francisco, Chicago and Austin, Texas, offices. The move follows Leo Burnett USA's 200 staff cuts in February. A spokesman cited the flagging technology sector as the cause, saying, "We've had to adjust [the unit's] staffing to align with the current workload."

TBWA CEO Greenlees to shift to Omnicom job

Michael Greenlees, 54, president-CEO of Omnicom Group's TBWA Worldwide, will leave his job April 1 to take an Omnicom post focusing on e-services strategy. Replacing Mr. Greenlees is Jean-Marie Dru, 54, now president-CEO of TBWA's international operations. Mr. Dru will relocate from Paris to New York. Before the announcement, there was speculation Mr. Greenlees was leaving. Just hours before Omnicom's announcement, a high-ranking TBWA executive said of Mr. Greenlees: "I guess he's out of a job."

Navy breaks ad campaign during CBS's `Survivor'

The Navy broke its first ad campaign from Interpublic Group of Cos.' Campbell-Ewald, Warren, Mich., March 14 on CBS's "Survivor." The ads feature the Navy theme of "Accelerate your life," which replaces the "Let the journey begin" tag. TV and radio ads in the $30 million campaign from the rock band Godsmack. In one TV spot, over pictures of a Navy Seal's face followed by a landing crew, a voice-over asks, "If someone wrote a book about your life, would anyone want to read it?"

Tobacco spending is up despite marketing curbs

The Federal Trade Commission reported that in the wake of the pact tobacco makers signed with states' attorneys general in 1999 imposing curbs on marketing, tobacco companies' spending on advertising and promotion still rose 22.3% over 1998. The bulk of the increase went for slotting fees and value-added promotions. The FTC said tobacco makers spent $8.24 billion in 1999, the latest year for which figures are available.

Mitsubishi to serenade buyers in new campaign

Mitsubishi Motor Sales America, Cypress, Calif., will use music as a theme for its 2001-model year ads from Interpublic Group of Cos.' Deutsch, Marina del Rey, Calif., breaking today. In one spot, a montage of people inside the Eclipse coupe mouth the words and bop to the Wiseguys' dance track "Start the Commotion." Upcoming spots feature a different band for each vehicle: The Montero Sport sport utility vehicle, for example, gets '70s glam-rock band T-Rex, while the Montero SUV gets the New Radicals.

Yahoo! top sales executive Singh will retire this May

Yahoo!, Santa Clara, Calif., said top sales and marketing executive Anil Singh would retire in May. The departure comes less than a week after Yahoo! warned it would miss its first-quarter revenue expectations. The company already had plans to beef up its sales staff, including plans to look for a sales executive to take on some of what had been Mr. Singh's responsibilities. In addition to being Yahoo!'s chief sales and marketing officer, Singh was senior vice president, business operations.

Coca-Cola taps Doner for new Simply Orange effort

Coca-Cola Co. named Doner, Southfield, Mich., to handle advertising for its new Simply Orange not-from-concentrate orange juice. The brand will be marketed by a separate Minute Maid Co. unit. Simply Orange will reach stores in the Northeast in late May, backed by TV, print, coupons, a Web program and PR. One Minute Maid executive said initial spending will be as high as the $37 million Minute Maid spent last year in measured media against its brands nationally.

CMGI reports $2.6 billion net loss for 2nd quarter

Internet holding company CMGI reported a net loss of $2.6 billion for the second quarter ended Jan. 31, compared with a net loss of $636.6 million for the previous quarter ended Oct. 31. CMGI also reported net revenue of $342.7 million for the second quarter, a 116% increase compared with the same quarter a year ag0, but a 6% sequential decrease in quarterly revenue. CMGI shares closed March 15 at $3, down from their 52-week high of $137.

WPP division to oversee global media activities

WPP Group has formed The Channel, a global "coordination unit" that will oversee the activities of MindShare, the Media Edge and other media businesses within the company. Mandy Pooler, the former CEO of MindShare U.K., was named CEO. Speculation about the relationship between the agencies has been running hot since WPP last year bought Young & Rubicam, Media Edge's legacy shop. WPP CEO Martin Sorrell discounted suggestions of a merger, indicating that his preference was to have two brands that consult with each other.

Clorox revises projections, citing a sales slowdown

Clorox Co. warned that earnings for its fiscal year ended June 30 would be lower than expected, due to slow sales for its Hidden Valley Ranch, Glad, Armor All and STP brands and increased raw-material costs. Clorox said it should meet estimates for the current quarter. It projected earnings from $1.60 and $1.63 a share for the year, down 7% to 9% from last year. Despite the slowdown, Clorox Chairman-CEO Craig Sullivan said the company would stick by its previously announced program of ad spending increases for the second half of the fiscal year.

`New Yorker,' `Esquire' lead awards nominations

Perennial nominees lead the list of finalists for the National Magazine Awards. The New Yorker and Esquire each snapped up 11 nominations. The Atlantic Monthly and Rolling Stone claimed four each. There were some surprises: The American Scholar garnered three nominations, as did shelter-design newcomer Nest. Vanity Fair and GQ scored two nominations apiece.

True North announces fourth-quarter revenue

True North Communications announced fourth-quarter revenues of $441 million, up 9.3% from the year-ago period. The company had a net new-business loss of $742 million, mainly due to the loss of the DaimlerChrysler account. Excluding that account, new business billings would have been $191 million, up from $151 million in fourth quarter of 1999. The company delayed reporting net income until after Modem Media, which is 46% owned by True North, released its results.

FYI

Blaise D'Sylva, managing director of Starcom MediaVest Group's Procter & Gamble China agency of record, has been promoted to the newly created position of director of global media systems at the Bcom3 Group media company. ...Panoramic Communications acquired Odyssey Systems Corp., a Philadelphia Internet communications firm. Panoramic will merge the 20-person firm with its EPBi unit under the Odyssey name to be led by Dave Haan, president of EPBi.

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