B Com3 Group, Chicago, unveiled a restructuring plan for its two media buying groups, Starcom Worldwide and MediaVest Worldwide, as expected (AA, Feb. 21). Because of scale and conflicts, the two will continue to operate independently in North America and the U.K., but will combine in other markets, operating under the Starcom name. A new holding company, Starcom MediaVest Group, will oversee the two media buying operations. It will have a three-person "chief executive team" -- two drawn from Starcom and one from MediaVest. Starcom Worldwide CEO Jack Klues, 45, will be group CEO for the holding company; Starcom Chief Operating Officer Bob Brennan, 41, will be chief operating officer for the holding company; and Kevin Malloy, 36, will be the holding company's exec VP-international operations. He was named CEO of MediaVest North America, a new post, from exec VP-global chief operating officer, MediaVest.
Polaroid taps B Com3 for its $100 mil account
Polaroid Corp. consolidated its $100 million global account with B Com3 Group, leveraging the global resources of its European agency Bartle Bogle Hegarty, London. The deal has the most impact on Polaroid's North American roster, however, where Chicago-based Leo Burnett USA takes over the U.S. creative account from Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, San Francisco. Goodby has been agency of record for seven years and was instrumental in helping the ailing company launch and market its teen-targeted I-Zone Instant Pocket Camera, which resulted in a record-setting 1999 for Polaroid in sales. Polaroid last week broke a Goodby-created global TV campaign for the I-Zone, part of Polaroid's first-ever year-round ad effort. "It's never been a problem of [Goodby's] work," a Polaroid spokesman said. "It's the politics of business." Also affecting the decision was a conflict resulting from Goodby client Hewlett-Packard Co., which recently entered into a partnership with Eastman Kodak Co. centering on digital imaging products. Leo Burnett Co. also succeeds BBDO Worldwide in Canada and Mexico. In Japan, Dentsu, Tokyo, succeeds Hakuhodo. Media buying and planning will be handled globally by Starcom Worldwide, Chicago, except in Japan, where Dentsu gets media duties. Media was previously handled by Creative Media, New York. This is the first new-business win for B Com3, formed in January by the merger of Leo Group and MacManus Group, followed by a significant minority investment from Dentsu.
Martha Stewart adds to magazine empire
Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia's Martha Stewart Living will increase frequency to 12 issues from 10 per year starting with the January 2001 issue. Also, the company will publish a second special issue of Martha Stewart Baby next October, following the first issue in March. "Martha Stewart Living magazine delivered an average circulation of 2.3 million for the past three years, and we have consistently exceeded our 2.1 million rate base. Our first quarter 2000 advertising pages increased in excess of 20% over last year," Ms. Stewart said. Martha Stewart Baby is the company's first special issue devoted entirely to caring for a child through the first birthday. It was sold exclusively on newsstands and through marthastewart. com, and as a gift with purchase at Baby Gap stores, which was the single sponsor of the issue. The second issue will be sponsored by estyle, home of babystyle.com and kidstyle.com.
Della Femina near merger with Grace & Rothschild
Della Femina/Jeary & Partners late last week was in negotiations with Grace & Rothschild to merge the two New York agencies, said an executive close to the discussions. Neither shop would comment.
Merkley's Healthworks wins Activella account
Pharmacia Corp. tapped Merkley Newman Harty Healthworks, New York, for its estimated $20 million to $30 million Activella account. The hormone replacement therapy should hit the market next month. The agency was formed in January between Merkley Newman Harty and Consumer Healthworks to blend consumer ad experience with healthcare expertise as direct-to-consumer advertising grows in importance.
True North's profits double in first quarter
True North Communications, Chicago, reported its first-quarter net income more than doubled over the same period a year ago, hitting $10.2 million. Commission and fee income climbed 19% to $359.6 million, as organic growth rose to 13.5% compared with 1.4% a year ago. Net new-business wins increased 235% to $268 million in equivalent annualized billings. The second quarter is shaping up to be a good one too for True North, with the win by FCB Worldwide, New York, of Compaq Computer Corp.'s $350 million global account.
AOL Time Warner names management lineup
America Online and Time Warner announced the management team and organization of merged AOL Time Warner. Among the changes: AOL Chairman-CEO Steve Case will become AOL Time Warner chairman; Gerald Levin, Time Warner chairman-CEO, will become CEO of AOL Time Warner; Bob Pittman, AOL president-chief operating officer, will become AOL Time Warner's co-chief operating officer and oversee subscription services and ad and commerce businesses; and Dick Parsons, president of Time Warner, will become co-chief operating officer of AOL Time Warner, overseeing its content businesses in film, TV production, music and books as well as legal and people development operations. In addition, Time Warner Vice Chairman Ted Turner will become vice chairman of AOL Time Warner and will assume the additional title of senior adviser; Kenneth Novak, AOL vice chairman, will become vice chairman of AOL Time Warner; Kathy Buskin, AOL senior VP-corporate communications, will become a senior VP of AOL Time Warner; and Richard Bressler, chairman-CEO of Time Warner Digital Media, will become CEO of AOL Time Warner Investment Corp. and exec VP of AOL Time Warner.