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National Tobacco Control Foundation, created by the state attorneys general pact, announced a fast-track approach to picking an agency for what it's now saying could be up to a $250 million annual account for advertising, media buying and public relations. The foundation, technically called the Master Settlement Agreement National Foundation, today will put its request for proposals on the Web ( On June 30, it will conduct a bidders conference in Washington. Questionnaires are due July 16, and the plan is to pick up to five finalists between July 19 and July 30, with visits in August. As expected, the foundation chose to use a two-year contract, renewable for two years.

Publicis profits up 41%

as billings climb 36%

Publicis Communication, Paris, said net profit soared 41% to $60 million last year as its worldwide billings rose 36% to $5.7 billion. Major new accounts won in 1998 included Hewlett-Packard Co. and United Biscuits. Publicis said its billings are up 12% during the first quarter of 1999 vs. a year ago.

New studio Destination

eyes 6 shops for media

Destination Films, a new producer and distributor of theatrical films, is looking at six agencies to handle its media account: Carat ICG, Los Angeles; Media Edge, New York; Ogilvy & Mather, Los Angeles; Palisades Media, Santa Monica, Calif.; Rubin Postaer & Associates, Santa Monica; and Starcom Worldwide, Chicago. Spending could reach $40 million in the studio's first year.

Air France's $39.2 mil

acc't lands at Euro RSCG

Air France tapped Euro RSCG Babinet Erra Tong Cuong, Paris, to handle its $39.2 million global account. With the move, Euro RSCG Worldwide reclaims an account it lost in 1997 to Ammirati Puris Lintas. New TV and print advertising is set to break in September aimed at bolstering Air France as a brand as well as increasing top-class traffic on North Atlantic routes by 20%.

Intro of Britannica's new

Web site goes to Deutsch

Encyclopaedia Britannica awarded Deutsch, New York, the $25 million to $35 million assignment for on- and offline advertising to launch the Web site. The knowledge and information service is due to be up and running by yearend. It will complement Britannica Online (, the encyclopedia that debuted on the Internet in 1994.

'CosmoGirl' spinoff

to debut June 29

Hearst Magazines on June 29 launches Cosmopolitan spinoff CosmoGirl, with 850,000 copies distributed to newsstands. The inaugural issue of the magazine aimed at girls ages 12 through 17 is the first of three issues planned for this year. Advertisers include Clinique, Esprit, The Gap, L'Oreal, Tommy Hilfiger, and Polo/

Ralph Lauren jeans. A Web site will debut the same day (www. Atoosa Rubinstein, 27, is project editor. Cosmopolitan Senior VP-Publisher Donna Kalajian is overseeing the spinoff.

Meigher, U.K.'s Brown

team for Ikea magazine

Meigher Communications is teaming with the U.K.'s John Brown Custom Publishing to produce a custom title for furniture retailer Ikea North America. Initial circulation of the quarterly Space is targeted at 1.2 million; the first issue will appear in October. External advertisers will be sought for the title, said S. Christopher Meigher, chairman-CEO of Meigher Communications. John Brown publishes a similar title for the U.K. stores titled Room.

Burnett revamps

administrative setup

Leo Burnett Co., Chicago, is reorganizing its global administrative functions under former General Counsel Chris Kimball, who has been promoted to vice chair-chief administrative officer. He will be in charge of finance, technology, office administration and legal affairs. Mr. Kimball, 44, assumes a vacant post most recently filled by current Chief Operating Officer Roger Haupt. Mr. Haupt said centralizing administrative functions will allow Burnett to "better focus on the quality, speed and efficiency of services we provide to operating management teams around the world."

Credit union association

breaks 1st branding ads

Credit Union National Association, a trade group for 11,000 credit unions, on June 18 launched its first national branding campaign. The push features a new logo and slogan: "America's credit unions, where people are worth more than money." The group also plans to develop TV spots that hype the personal service aspect of credit unions. The spots will be distributed to state credit union associations, which will have the option of buying TV time to air them early next year. Malahat Group International, Vancouver, handles. The push comes as credit unions try to hold onto market share that has come under siege from for-profit financial institutions.

MasterCard sues HBO

over 'Priceless' parody ad

MasterCard International is suing Home Box Office over a parody ad the cable network used to promote its "Arliss" series. The suit in U.S. District Court in New York seeks $15 million in damages for infringing on MasterCard's trademarks and copyrights. HBO agency Seininger Advertising Group, Beverly Hills, Calif., isn't named in the suit. The suit centers on MasterCard's 2-year-old "Priceless" effort created by McCann-Erickson Worldwide, New York. The MasterCard campaign features vignettes showing the price of several items and their "priceless" emotional benefits, with the tagline "There are some things money can't buy. For everything else, there's MasterCard." The HBO ad shows the series' lead character, an unscrupulous sports agent, wheeling and dealing. It ends with the tagline: "There are some men money can't buy. Arliss isn't one of them." Responding to MasterCard's action, Henry Gomez, director of corporate communications for HBO, said: "We clearly do not think our ads are an

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