Springer & Jacoby, Hamburg, the agency for Mercedes-Benz in Germany, said it's in discussions with True North Communications, Chicago, about an international partnership. TN's FCB Worldwide is the agency for DaimlerChrysler in the U.S. True North declined comment. Springer & Jacoby's goal is for True North to finance the establishment of a Europe-wide Springer & Jacoby network. "We are talking to several possible partners, including True North, but no decision has been reached yet," a Springer & Jacoby spokeswoman said. In March, Springer & Jacoby confirmed it was in talks with Omnicom Group about Omnicom becoming a minority shareholder in the German agency. Omnicom-owned Merkley Newman Harty handles Mercedes-Benz in North America. Springer & Jacoby has been looking for an international partner to help it grab the European Mercedes-Benz budget. Springer & Jacoby ranks No. 8 in Germany with billings of $409 million in 1999.
Gore-Lieberman, GOP launch new ad efforts
The Republican National Committee and the Gore-Lieberman campaign each broke new ads on the eve of the Labor Day weekend, the traditional start of the fall presidential campaign. The RNC ad, from National Media, Alexandria, Va., and airing in 17 states, features the GOP's strongest attack yet on Vice President Gore. In the spot, a woman watching TV says, "There's Al Gore reinventing himself again. Who's he gonna be today? The Al Gore who raises campaign money at a Buddhist temple? Or the one who promises campaign reform?" The Gore-Lieberman campaign's Campaign Co. ad team launched a spot in which Mr. Gore speaks about his support for a patients' bill of rights.
Mazda taps Hughes to lead N. American unit
Mazda Motor Corp. named former Land Rover North America President-CEO Charles Hughes, 55, to be president-CEO of Mazda North American Operations, Irvine, Calif., effective Oct. 1. He succeeds Richard Beattie, now VP-investor relations at Ford Motor Co. Ford has a controlling interest in Mazda and acquired Land Rover earlier this year. Mr. Hughes has been consulting since leaving Land Rover last year. He previously held top marketing jobs at Volkswagen of America, Porsche Cars North America and Audi of America and served a stint at Doyle Dane Bernbach, New York. Doner, Southfield, Mich., handles Mazda.
TBWA, Hakuhodo form new G1 shop for Nissan
TBWA Worldwide and Hakuhodo said they created a Tokyo-based joint venture agency named G1 Worldwide to work with Nissan Motor Co.'s new global marketing organization. Robert LePlae, formerly managing director on the Nissan and Infiniti accounts at Omnicom Group's TBWA/Chiat/Day, Playa del Rey, Calif., becomes president-CEO of G1 while Hakuhodo General Manager Takashi Ohashi becomes G1 chairman. The new agency will have three regional units: Mr. Ohashi will be president of HakuhodoG1 in Japan; Michael Allen will be managing director of TBWAG1 in North America; and Philip Purdon will be CEO of TBWAG1 in Europe. TBWA and Hakuhodo said they will each own a 50% share in G1. The Japanese agency will be 80% owned by Hakuhodo. In North America and Europe, the agency will be 80% owned by TBWA.
Miller Brewing launches Henry's Hard Lemonade
Miller Brewing Co. said it is launching Henry's Hard Lemonade Sept. 1 in Alaska, Idaho, Oregon, Montana and Washington. The fermented malt beverage brand is part of Miller's Henry Weinhard's portfolio and is Miller's first new-product launch since spring 1999, when it introduced Icehouse Light in the South. Radio and point-of-purchase materials will support. Publicis & Hal Riney, San Francisco, is handling. Spending was not disclosed. A Miller spokesman said there are no plans to roll Henry's Hard Lemonade national. It will retail for $5.49 to $6.49 per six-pack. Miller is the latest alcoholic beverage marketer to enter the soaring lemon category, following Hooper's Hooch and Anheuser-Busch Cos.' Doc Otis Hard Lemon malt beverage.
Volvo signs to sponsor `Time' education reports
Volvo Cars of North America will be the "featured advertiser" in a new monthly "special report" on education to appear in Time. The weekly said it will select a "school of the year" at the end of the 2000-01 school year. The monthly reports also will appear online at Time.com.
Managers to buy Genesee Brewing
Regional beer marketer Genesee Corp. said it intends to liquidate after selling its Genesee Brewing Co. unit -- for $22 million plus networking capital -- to a management group led by President-CEO Samuel Hubbard, and its holding in Ontario Foods to Ralcorp. Genesee Brewing reported net sales of $93.4 million for its fiscal year ended April 29, down $9.9 million from the previous year. The Rochester, N.Y.-based brewer reported barrel volume for its core Genesee brand was off 6% for the year. Separately, Howard Jacobson was named senior VP-chief marketing officer for Genesee Brewing from president, Anti-oxidant.com, a unit of Canandaigua Brands.
Kellogg, Joe Boxer team for briefs offer
Kellogg Co. has tied in with apparel marketer Joe Boxer for a promotion on boxes of Kellogg's Raisin Bran Crunch cereal. The promotional offer will be carried on 7 million boxes of the cereal, which Kellogg is pitching to young adults. It touts an offer for a pair of Joe Boxer boxer shorts for $5.99. The boxers feature Raisin Bran icon Sunny across the front and the brand's ad tagline, "Breakfast is back," on the back. J. Walter Thompson USA, New York, which handles advertising for Raisin Bran Crunch, is not involved in the on-pack promotion.
`Constellation' in, Canandaigua out
Alcoholic beverages marketer Canandaigua Brands said it will change its name to Constellation Brands effective Sept. 20 pending shareholder approval. It added its operating units -- Barton, Canandaigua Wine, Franciscan Estates and (in the U.K.) Matthew Clark -- will retain their names and current operating structures. The name Constellation "serves as a more apt description of a company that has grown in both the breadth and depth of its product lines as well as its geographic reach," said Chairman and President-CEO Richard Sands.
Saatchi deal wins OK; closing is set for Sept. 12
Publicis shareholders voted unanimously Aug. 29 to approve its planned acquisition of Saatchi & Saatchi. The deal was approved Aug. 16 by Saatchi & Saatchi shareholders and is expected to be finalized Sept. 12 with an exchange of shares between the two companies. The friendly takeover, valued at nearly $2 billion, was announced last June and will create the world's fifth-largest consolidated advertising network. Shareholders also voted a 10-for-1 stock split, effective Sept. 7, a limited capital increase and a formal name change -- to Publicis Groupe from Publicis -- meant to reflect the new profile of the company, which will consist of several independent networks. Saatchi & Saatchi Chairman Robert Seelert was made a member of the Publicis Groupe supervisory board.
Ian Beavis to head FCB's Boeing account
Ian Beavis, FCB Worldwide's Detroit-based Asia-Pacific regional account director on DaimlerChrysler, was named worldwide account director on the agency's Boeing account and president of FCB's Seattle office, previously Bozell, Seattle. Pete Hatt moved up to chairman of the office from president.
P&G expands pact with Women.com
Procter & Gamble Co. will expand its relationship with Women.com Networks under a $15 million pact in which Women.com will incorporate P&G's ParentTime site into its network and develop marketing programs for P&G's beauty and homecare brands. P&G already sponsors the Beautiful You (women.com/beautifulyou) and Home Made Simple (women.com/homemadesimple) areas of Women.com.
Excite@Home to buy game site Pogo.com
Broadband portal Excite@Home has agreed to buy online gaming site Pogo.com for an undisclosed amount. Pogo will be operated as a subsidiary of Excite and will continue to sell its multiplayer game services to other sites, which include Alloy, iVillage and NBCi. Excite said it plans to use the service to enhance its interactive TV offerings.