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Ericsson confirms $100 mil global account is in review

An Ericsson corporate spokeswoman confirmed the creative portion of the Swedish wireless giant's estimated $100 million global consumer products account is in review (AA, Oct. 30). Incumbent Y&R Advertising, New York, will participate, along with several unnamed contenders. "We are looking for global agencies that are not already working with our competitors," the spokeswoman said. Motorola recently consolidated its account at Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide, New York; Nokia's agency of record is the Richards Group, Austin, Texas. Jan Ahrenbring, Ericsson's Stockholm-based global marketing director for mobile phones, is leading the review, in conjunction with U.S.-based ad and marketing executives. Ericsson has worked with Y&R for five years; its business-to-business account stays at Publicis, London, and media buying remains at Young & Rubicam's Media Edge.

Jordan McGrath cashes in with $50 mil ING account

ING Group, Amsterdam, named Jordan McGrath Case & Partners/Euro RSCG, New York, as first agency for its $50 million U.S. branding account. The campaign for the financial services company will include TV, print, direct marketing, event marketing, Hispanic communications and public relations. SFM Media will handle media planning and buying.

CMGI selects FCB for $25 mil in global ads

CMGI named FCB Worldwide, New York, to handle its estimated $20 million to $25 million global account. The Internet investment company conducted the review in-house. CMGI previously used TFA/ Leo Burnett Technology Group on a project basis.

Checkers picks Marc USA; Wendy's profits up 9.3%

Checkers Drive-In Restaurants selected a new agency last week, as major burger rival Wendy's International posted appetizing quarterly results. Marc USA, Pittsburgh, won Checkers' $10 million-plus account, beating Atlanta shops Fitzgerald & Co. and Austin Kelley Advertising; Berenter Greenhouse & Webster, New York; and one undisclosed agency. Select Resources International, West Hollywood, Calif., was the consultant. Incumbent Crispin Porter & Bogusky, Miami, didn't defend its hold on the work. Marc's Miami office also will work on the account. Meanwhile, No. 3 burger chain Wendy's reported a 9.3% increase in third-quarter net income, vs. a year ago, to $48.6 million, exceeding analysts' estimates. Revenue rose 8.5% to $578 million. Growth at the company's Tim Hortons doughnut chain helped pace the gains.

T.J. Maxx narrows $20 mil review to 4 ad agencies

TJX Cos.' T.J. Maxx division trimmed the review for its $20 million account to Euro RSCG Tatham, Chicago; Hill, Holliday, Boston; Long Haymes Carr, Winston-Salem, N.C.; and the Richards Group, Dallas. Eliminated were Bates USA and Cliff Freeman & Partners, both New York; and Campbell Mithun, Minneapolis. Holland Mark Advertising, Boston, previously handled the off-price retail chain. The winner is expected to be chosen next month.

P&G 1st qtr. earnings flat; sees 10% growth for year

Procter & Gamble Co. met analyst expectations with first-quarter earnings of $1.16 billion, flat on a per-share basis vs. last year, not counting costs of the company's Organization 2005 restructuring. Sales rose 1% to $10 billion, and P&G forecast sales should increase only "slightly" next quarter on volume expected to decline 1% to 3% because of tough comparisons to the year-ago quarter, which included the launch of Swiffer and Dryel. Earnings may come in 2 cents below analysts' current expectations of 93 cents per share next quarter, P&G said, despite help from a better-than-expected gain from the sale of P&G's Clearasil brand. Chief Financial Officer Clayton Daley stuck by projections of 4% to 6% sales growth and 7% to 10% earnings growth for the full fiscal year, ending in June, and plans to increase marketing spending for the year in line with sales. But facing declining market share for its Bounty paper towel brand, P&G will cut prices 4.5%, partially reversing a 9% price increase earlier this year.

Unilever will sell off Arden to FFI Fragrances

Unilever will sell its Elizabeth Arden unit to FFI Fragrances, a marketer of prestige scents. The $225 million deal is expected to close by yearend, subject to regulatory and other approvals. Arden markets the Elizabeth Arden brand of cosmetic, fragrance and skincare products, as well as Elizabeth Taylor fragrances. It hired J. Walter Thompson USA, New York, last year but returned advertising in-house this summer after disagreements about spending. Unilever has owned Arden since 1989 but decided to divest the unit as part of a streamlining plan. Last year, Unilever announced plans to cut back its brand portfolio to 400 from 1,600 names over the next three years and concentrate on "power brands" that are first or second in their market or segment.

Cap Gemini Ernst & Young unveils $30 mil int'l push

Cap Gemini Ernst & Young on Oct. 31 unveiled a $30 million international branding campaign to promote the CGEY brand of the newly merged global management and information technology consulting company. Print ads from D'Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles, New York, show a series of brilliant yet simple solutions that come from innovative thinking. Images that aim to portray CGEY as a superior provider of business innovation include a footprint on the moon, a baby and a light bulb. Print and outdoor ads will run in 15 countries in Europe, North America and Asia into next month.

Telco Qwest uncorks $20 mil ad campaign

Qwest Communications International on Oct. 31 broke a $20 million multimedia campaign via J. Walter Thompson USA, New York. A spread appearing in The Wall Street Journal outlined the broadband Internet communications company's four components that cater to the business-to-business marketplace. National and regional TV, direct marketing, and Internet communications will follow through 2001. All work will continue to feature the company's tagline "Ride the light: Qwest."

Rubin Postaer to buy Blackboard agency

Rubin Postaer & Associates, Santa Monica, Calif., will purchase Marina del Rey independent agency Blackboard. Rubin Postaer's $800 million in billings includes primary client Honda Motor Co.'s Honda and Acura accounts. Blackboard has $3 million in revenue and an estimated $40 million in billings, with a client list that includes Kirin beer and K-Swiss. Blackboard is the new name launched last spring for Houston Helm Fattal & Collins, itself a combination of two small Los Angeles shops. The deal marks the first acquisition by 14-year-old Rubin Postaer, and President-CEO Gerry Rubin said his shop isn't necessarily seeking to grow through acquisition. "We're nowhere the Martin Sorrell type," he said, referring to the acquisitive chief executive of WPP Group.

E*Trade to Super Bowl; Suretrade bears new ads

Interest in marketing was on the rise last week at online brokers E*Trade and Suretrade. E*Trade signed an agreement with the National Football League to sponsor the halftime show during next year's Super Bowl. Super Bowl XXXV will air Jan. 28 on CBS from Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Fla. E*Trade also sponsored this year's Super Bowl halftime show, and company officials claimed market research reported E*Trade's brand awareness rose 96% after the game. Rival Suretrade on Oct. 30 kicked off a TV and print campaign from Wieden & Kennedy, New York. The b&w spots show a bear baring its teeth at the camera with a message asking, "Ever wonder if the stock market cares what month it is?" a reference to the traditional slump around October. The commercials are tagged "Suretrade. When you know."

Firestone ads tout brand's racing tires

Bridgestone/Firestone is trying to rebuild its troubled Firestone brand, which is wrapping up the recall of 6.5 million tires. The marketer touts Firestone brand race tires in a page newspaper ad that's been getting a limited run. "We race at over 200 mph with confidence and control on Firestone tires," says the headline. Nationally, the ad ran Oct. 31 in The Wall Street Journal and USA Today, and the previous weekend in regional papers. Gish, Sherwood & Friends, Nashville, handled.

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