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Burger King trims review to 6 finalists

Burger King Corp. trimmed its $400 million account review to six finalists, said persons familiar with the matter. Still in the race are Campbell Mithun, Minneapolis; Publicis & Hal Riney, San Francisco; and New York agencies Grey Worldwide, McCann-Erickson Worldwide, Saatchi & Saatchi and incumbent Lowe Lintas & Partners Worldwide. The list was winnowed down from about a dozen candidates. Burger King and agency representatives declined to comment on the review. Each candidate will submit creative for copy testing. "It's something we should have done in the past," said one insider.

McCann recaptures Opel acc't in Germany

General Motors Corp. reunited McCann-Erickson Worldwide, Frankfurt, with the Opel account in Germany after 14 years. Sibling Interpublic Group of Cos. agency Lowe Lintas & Partners Worldwide, Hamburg, previously handled the $150 million account. The move makes McCann Opel's main European agency; the U.K. is now the only volume European market where Lowe handles the GM brand, where it's known as Vauxhall. After 57 years of handling the Adam Opel budget in Germany, McCann in 1986 unexpectedly lost the work to sibling agency Lowe Howard-Spink.

SBC-BellSouth wireless venture named Cyngular

Cyngular Wireless is the official name of the newly merged wireless venture of SBC Communications and BellSouth Corp. Stephen Carter, the company's president-CEO, announced the new name at a press conference Oct. 5 in Atlanta, where Cyngular will be based, and outlined business plans for the No. 2 wireless carrier. Cyngular broke print ads Oct. 6 in Investor's Business Daily, The New York Times, USA Today and The Wall Street Journal to introduce the company's name. Those ads were created by GSD&M, Austin, Texas, an SBC agency and one of the finalists in the ongoing review for Cyngular's account, estimated at close to $300 million. The other finalists are Atlanta agencies WestWayne, a BellSouth shop, and BBDO Worldwide. A consumer marketing campaign is set to start in January.

DaimlerChrysler links with CBS, Meredith

DaimlerChrysler, CBS and Meredith Corp. announced a yearlong, three-way marketing initiative to promote carmaker's 2001 Town & Country and Voyager minivans. The program, which begins in mid-October, includes 60-second spot TV "travel vignettes" on both CBS and Meredith-owned stations; a sweepstakes marketed across Meredith's Better Homes & Gardens, Country Living, Family Money, Midwest Living, Ladies' Home Journal and Mature Outlook; :60s about regional travel destinations on Westwood One radio; Chrysler-sponsored travel segments on CBS' "The Early Show"; and online initiatives.

Canadian actors allege U.S. incursion by GE

As U.S. advertisers, agencies and production companies fled north to avoid the actors strike, Canada was experiencing its own labor problem involving U.S. actors. The Alliance of Canadian Cinema, Television & Radio Artists threatened to confiscate film taken for General Electric Co. with U.S. actors smuggled into Canada. BBDO Worldwide, New York; HKM Productions, Los Angeles; Industry Films, Toronto; and GE allegedly used U.S. actors in a commercial made in Canada, even though they were refused work permits. It appears these companies may have gotten away without charges from Immigration Canada since only individuals can be charged and only if they are caught red-handed. The actors in this instance had all disappeared by the time immigration officers arrived on the scene. The alliance intends to continue to press for charges against the companies. BBDO refused to comment on the matter.

Arbitron revamps into 3 business areas

Arbitron Co. is reorganizing in an effort to help advertisers and agencies deal with the converging media marketplace. The radio measurement company will focus on three primary business areas that will operate as distinct units, each headed by a president. The U.S. media services division, to be led as of January by Owen Charlebois, currently president of Canada's Bureau of Broadcast Measurement, will consolidate all Arbitron domestic media information offerings. Arbitron's Internet information services unit, including Webcast Ratings and ongoing Internet studies, will be under the direction of Pierre Bouvard, now exec VP-general manager, Arbitron Radio & Internet. The third group, focusing on developing the company's portable people meter in the U.S. and abroad, will be headed by Marshall Snyder, currently exec VP-general manager, Arbitron Portable People Meter Development & Cable.

Also . . .

Burrell Communications Group, Chicago, is expected to make management structure announcements in the coming days after the agency revealed last week that President-Chief Operating Officer Sarah Burroughs retired Sept. 29. Ms. Burroughs spent 26 years at Burrell. . . . FHM, the lad mag Emap imported from England, next spring will be joined by British sibling FHM Collections, a title exclusively devoted to fashion. FHM Collections will come out twice a year and have a launch rate base of 100,000. . . Phil Guarascio, who left in May as VP-advertising and corporate marketing at General Motors Corp., has joined the board of Ltd. Eric Lipkind, VP-finance of Hotjobs, said he doesn't know whether the connection was made via McCann-Erickson Worldwide's Troy, Mich., office, which handles GM's Buick and had Hotjobs' account. Mr. Guarascio also is consulting on a project with Arbor Partners, a Michigan venture capital company, a spokeswoman there confirmed.

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