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Marriott reassigns ad duties for six brands

Marriott International reassigned ad duties in the U.S. for six of its brands: Marriott Hotels, Resorts & Suites; Courtyard by Marriott; Residence Inn by Marriott; Fairfield Inn by Marriott; TownPlace Suites by Marriott; and SpringHill Suites by Marriott. Interpublic Group of Cos.' McCann-Erickson Worldwide, New York, picks up creative duties that focus on business travel, while sibling Lowe Lintas & Partners, New York, will handle work targeting the leisure market. Previously, Lowe Lintas created all advertising for the Courtyard brand, while Siegelgale, New York, held creative duties on the Marriott brand. Siegelgale continues to represent Marriott's Renaissance Hotels. McCann is already a Marriott roster shop, handling creative efforts outside the U.S. From mid-1995 to mid-1999 McCann also held the U.S. portion of Marriott's business.

WPP's Impiric names Morel chairman-CEO

Impiric, the marketing-services agency owned by WPP Group's Young & Rubicam, named Daniel R. Morel chairman and global CEO, a position vacated last month when former chairman-CEO Jay Bingle left the company. Mr. Morel, the former CEO of Euro RSCG Worldwide's marketing-services shop The Sales Machine, will be based in New York, reporting to Mike Dolan, chairman-CEO of Y&R.

Postal Service and FedEx announce an alliance

The U.S. Postal Service announced an unusual alliance with Federal Express that will have FedEx planes carrying Priority Mail and post offices having FedEx boxes, but the two services still competing and possibly running comparison advertising. FedEx will mostly use empty planes that the previous night transported overnight FedEx express packages to transport second-day Priority Mail packages. Both Postal and FedEx said some overnight Priority Mail will be transported on FedEx planes but they suggested the two are largely noncompetitive.

Campbell appoints Conant to president-CEO position

Campbell Soup Co. named Douglas R. Conant president and CEO. Mr. Conant, 49, most recently served as president of Nabisco Foods Co. He succeeds David W. Johnson, 68, who left in 1997 but returned last March in an interim role after Campbell ousted Dale Morrison due to sales disappointments. Separately, Vlasic Foods International President-CEO Robert Bernstock resigned. Mr. Bernstock's resignation was voluntary and he plans to join another company that has not been identified, Vlasic said. Since spinning off from Campbell in 1998, the pickle and frozen-dinner marketer has been unable to sustain earnings and is $500 million in debt.

Magazine ad pages dropped in December

Despite strong overall gains for 2000, magazines posted a decline in ad pages for the month of December. The average title's ad pages declined 2.0%. The Industry Standard, which saw its 2000 ad pages rise 133.1% to lead all magazines with 7,440.1 ad pages-outpacing its nearest competition, Time Inc.'s Fortune, by over 1,000 pages-saw its December ad pages fall 41%. The magazine last week announced layoffs that will affect 36 positions, or about 7% of its work force. For the year, the tech category saw its pages leap 45.3% to 35,358 to make it the industry's leading ad sector, after placing third in 1999 to automotive (down 6% to 22,934, although the category posted a double-digit gain in December) and apparel (up 9.5% to 22,934). Overall magazines saw ad pages grow 10.1% to 286,931.7.

American Airlines says it intends to acquire TWA

As expected, American Airlines plans to purchase assets of Trans World Airlines. The deal calls for TWA to file for bankruptcy and American to take it over for some $500 million. On the ad front, the big loser may be agency D'Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles, St. Louis, which handles TWA's estimated $30 million account. American has a solid relationship with Temerlin McClain, Irving, Texas. American's plans could be scuttled if a bidder emerges who is willing to pay more for TWA, though that is considered unlikely. And creditors such as financier Carl Icahn could argue TWA has more value if its assets are sold separately.

Brown & Williamson extends Pall Mall line

Brown & Williamson Tobacco Corp. announced the national launch of its filtered Pall Mall, the 21st century iteration of its more than a century old brand Pall Mall. Brown & Williamson, the No. 3 tobacco marketer in the U.S. behind Philip Morris and R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., is positioning the cigarette as a premium-quality product in the less-than-premium price segment, alongside sibling brands GPC and Viceroy. The smoke will be available in six styles-regular, full-flavor, lights, menthol lights, king size and 100s. The national launch will be supported by

advertising breaking in mid-February from G2, New York, a unit of Grey Global Group. Spending was not disclosed.

Nader group pushes for Paige nomination query

Ralph Nader's consumer group urged members of the Senate panel considering president-elect George W. Bush's nomination of Houston school superintendent Roderick Paige as secretary of education to examine whether Mr. Paige "may not understand the importance of protecting children from in-school commercial" ads and marketing. In a letter, Consumer Alert suggested Mr. Paige's willingness to sign a deal with Coca-Cola Co. and to allow Channel One in some Houston schools should be questioned.

ABC struggles to secure advertising for `The Mole'

Unlike CBS's "Survivor: The Australian Outback," ABC has been unable to sell any big advertising sponsorships for its limited series, "The Mole"-the first of a number of network reality-limited series-according to ad execs. Those packages, initially priced at $2.1 million, were difficult to sell because of a weak marketplace. Through show cancellations and other make-good commitments, ABC has been able to secure advertising for the series.

Sirvaitis is appointed Mediaworks president

Rick Sirvaitis, 51, joins Interpublic Group of Cos.' General Motors Mediaworks today in the new post of president-chief operating officer from Web venture Phase2Media , where he was president. He'll work in the New York office's TV unit. The media-buying agency also promoted John Miles, 41, from senior VP to exec VP, managing director. He'll lead the agency's broadcast and cable TV buying, succeeding Mark Goldstein, who left the agency in November to join WPP Group's MindShare as president, national broadcast and programming.

Publicis' Riney cuts staff, citing dot-com slump

Publicis Groupe's Publicis & Hal Riney, San Francisco, cut 12 jobs because of slumping work on dot-com accounts and an ad pullback by First Union Corp, agency execs said. Dot-com clients eToys and Webvan Group are struggling with stocks below 50 cents., part of Discovery Communications, last year cut staff, narrowed its business plan and abandoned plans for an initial public offering. Meanwhile,

First Union, the Charlotte, N.C., bank, last year began a restructuring and has made moves to cut costs.

Maxxcom announces plans to buy Crispin Porter

Maxxcom, the marketing and ad arm of Toronto's MDC Communication Corp., announced plans to buy Crispin Porter & Bogusky, Miami, for $10 million to $20 million in stock. Crispin Porter is a small but high-profile shop that won AdAge's Creativity magazine's Agency of the Year award for 2000. Maxxcom will purchase 49% of Crispin Porter now and has the option to purchase the remainder of the agency in 2006.

Publisher of `Maxim' plans to launch new magazine

Dennis Publishing, publisher of Maxim and Stuff, said it will launch a U.S. version of its British newsweekly This Week in the spring. Mike Lafavore, founding editor of Men's Health, will be the title's general manager, and Harold Evans, former president and publisher of Random House and once a top exec at the New York Daily News, will be a consulting editor. Its editor is William B. Falk, a longtime New York-area newspaperman, and Perry W. Gaa, who headed ad sales at, will be the launch publisher. Initial distribution will be 150,000, and a year's subscription will be $75.

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