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Fast-food chain Checkers reviews $10 mil account

Checkers Drive-in Restaurants launched a review of its $10 million-plus account. Incumbent Crispin Porter & Bogusky, Miami, will not participate. Select Resources International, West Hollywood, Calif., is the consultant, with the goal of finding an agency by October. Checkers VP-Marketing Rich Turer said he launched the review because, while happy with Crispin's creative work, the fast-feeder's sales remained largely flat. In addition, Checkers wants to "give more marketing say to franchisees as the company continues its refranchising efforts," he said. In August 1999, Rally's Hamburgers merged with Checkers, forming the current 900-unit operation with restaurants under the Checkers or Rally's name. The merged company is the largest double drive-through restaurant chain in the U.S.

Kmart names 7 finalists in its $100 mil review

Kmart Corp. selected seven finalists for its $100 million account. They include incumbent Campbell Mithun, Minneapolis; FCB Worldwide, Chicago; Temerlin McClain, Irving, Texas; and the New York offices of Grey Worldwide, J. Walter Thompson USA and Lowe Lintas & Partners Worldwide. Kmart said a seventh agency is participating in the review but wouldn't disclose its name "by mutual agreement." Two of the contenders recently lost competing retail accounts: JWT's Detroit office last week lost the $100 million broadcast creative and media buying account of Kohl's Department Stores to McCann-Erickson Worldwide, New York, while Temerlin earlier this year lost the J.C. Penney Co. account to DDB Worldwide, Dallas and Chicago. Final presentations for Kmart are scheduled for the first week in September, with a decision expected later in the month.

FAST group expands digital marketing role

The Future of Advertising Stakeholders steering committee endorsed creation of a successor group whose mission will expand beyond advertising to include all aspects of digital marketing and commerce. The Digital Marketing & Commerce Coalition, or DMC2, will be led by a steering team representing the American Association of Advertising Agencies, Association of National Advertisers, Advertising Research Foundation, Direct Marketing Association, Internet Advertising Bureau and IAB Canada. FAST, spearheaded by Procter & Gamble Co., was established in 1998 at a summit in Cincinnati.

McCann magazine expert Garfinkle leaves agency

Roberta Garfinkle, one of the ad world's most visible and widely quoted experts on the magazine business, is leaving her position as senior VP-director of strategic print services at Universal McCann, New York. It's expected Ms. Garfinkle will consult. She has been at McCann-Erickson Worldwide since 1985. Her duties will be assumed by Elizabeth Eisenberg, who's being promoted to associate director of print services from assistant director of print services.

H&R Block takes wraps off new corporate identity

H&R Block introduced its first new corporate identity in 25 years as part of efforts to focus on its non-tax businesses. The new identity, from Landor Associates, San Francisco, includes a new logo and new names for its brokerage and e-commerce units. Olde Discount Brokerage was renamed H&R Block Financial Advisors; the e-commerce unit becomes H&R Block e-Solutions. The changes will be highlighted in an ad campaign breaking next January from Campbell Mithun, Minneapolis. Separately, Block hired VML, Kansas City, Mo., as interactive agency, succeeding Nicholson, New York. The interactive assignment was the last piece left unassigned in the $100 million account review begun in April.

Magazine groups unveil digital media guidelines

The Magazine Publishers of America and American Society of Magazine Editors released guidelines called "Best Practices for Digital Media," aimed at maintaining a clear separation of online editorial content and advertising on magazine Web sites. Among the guidelines are mandates to clearly distinguish between editorial and advertiser-sponsored content, and a disclosure page to report commissions from e-commerce and explain to users what the site's owners may do with information collected through cookies. Adherence to "Best Practices" is voluntary, but magazines that repeatedly violate the standards will be ineligible for National Magazine Awards in the New Media category.

3Com renews sponsor deal with 49ers stadium

3Com Corp. extended its title sponsorship of 3Com Park in San Francisco through 2002. The networking giant signed on for naming rights four years ago and decided to extend the sponsorship of the 49ers' stadium to showcase its wireless connectivity solutions. "We will be using 3Com's wireless technology in parts of the park; it will be used to connect with other people in the park and [provide] information in an entertaining way," said Jan Soderstrom, senior VP-marketing and brand management. The sponsorship extension ties in with 3Com's new mission of offering simple network solutions for consumers and small businesses; that positioning will be flagged in a forthcoming global brand campaign by Lowe Lintas & Partners Worldwide, New York.

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