General Motors Corp.'s new Hummer brand tapped upstart shop Modernista!, Boston, as agency of record for its estimated $35 million account. Brand Manager Marc Hernandez said the agency offered "creative freshness" in its pitch. He said GM will give the required 90-day termination notice to incumbent and finalist Pyro, which pitched with the Richards Group, both Dallas. The other finalists were the Troy, Mich., office of McCann-Erickson Worldwide, which has GM's Buick brand and just won GM's corporate account earlier this month without a review; and the Martin Agency, Richmond, Va., which handles GM's Saab brand. The first GM-developed Hummer, dubbed H2, is due to arrive in the first half of 2002, but Modernista! will assume duties on the current H1 model.
Martin/Williams dons $20 mil L.L. Bean acc't
L.L. Bean selected Martin/ Williams, Minneapolis, for its $15 million to $20 million advertising and catalog account. The agency bested FCB Worldwide, New York and San Francisco, and Carmichael Lynch, Minneapolis, from an initial field of seven. Pile & Co., Boston, was the consultant. Incumbent Mullen, Wenham, Mass., didn't defend the account. Contenders were asked to review the outfitter's catalogs over the past decade with the goal of attracting new and younger buyers with a target age of 40. The agencies also were asked to present a media plan with specific promotional recommendations. "They've gotten lost among the Eddie Bauers, Lands' Ends and North Face [type outfitters] but have an incredible guarantee, quality and heritage," said Mike Gray, exec VP-business development at Martin/Williams. "People love brands that have stories to tell, and they have a true one." Mr. Gray said his team will focus on leveraging L.L. Bean's heritage, simply and clearly, but also promote its home furnishings, kids clothing and sportswear.
Diaper maker Drypers asks for Ch. 11 reorganization
Drypers Corp. filed a petition for Chapter 11 reorganization in U.S. Bankruptcy Court. The disposable-diaper company also announced it has settled its licensing dispute with Procter & Gamble Co. so Drypers can continue licensing P&G patents. Drypers is seeking court approval for $25 million in debtor-in-possession financing needed to meet obligations to suppliers. An agreement for a payment plan for the P&G licenses, for which P&G had sought back payments of $4.1 million, is subject to court approval. Drypers stock has tumbled by more than 90% this year (AA, Oct. 9). Among its woes: losses from Latin American operations and recently expanding a plant for Wal-Mart Stores private-label business that has yet to materialize. The company doesn't have an agency of record.
ABC Radio readies debut of urban-theme network
ABC Radio Networks on Jan. 1 will launch the Urban Advantage Network in a move to provide advertisers easier access to the urban market. The network will enable marketers to reach listeners more efficiently by making targeted media buys on ABC Radio's complete line of urban programming, including the "Tom Joyner Morning Show" and "The Doug Banks Morning Show," which air on urban stations across the country.
Arnold agency goes `Worldwide' in name
Arnold Worldwide is the new name of Arnold Communications, Boston. Ron Lawner was appointed chairman-chief creative officer and Fran Kelly becomes president-chief operating officer of Arnold Worldwide, the U.S. agency of Arnold Worldwide Partners, a division of Havas Advertising. Mr. Lawner had been chief operating officer of Arnold; Mr. Kelly had been chief marketing officer.
Ford online banner ad for tire recall is a hit
Ford Motor Co.'s online ad with information about the Bridge-stone/Firestone tire recall rocketed to the No. 1 banner ad the week of Sept. 18, Jupiter Media Metrix's AdRelevance reported. Ford's banner ad, which was on more than 200 sites and portals, got more than 50 million impressions during that week. J. Walter Thompson USA, Detroit, created the ad. Ford spent roughly $3.5 million for the online tire recall effort, or 44% of all online auto ad spending the week of Sept. 18, the measurement company said. The ad got more than 120 million impressions in the past month.
Dentsu, MarchFirst link for Asian Web venture
Dentsu, Tokyo, reached a joint venture agreement with Internet consulting company MarchFirst, Chicago, to form a Net company that will provide a wide array of services. The company will offer Internet consulting, Net branding and other services to clients in Japan and other Asian countries.