Computer Associates taps Draft Worldwide
[Islandia, N.Y.] Computer Associates shifted its global advertising responsibilities without a review from WPP Group's Y&R Advertising and Mediaedge:cia to a team of Interpublic Group of Cos.' agencies. "Our focus now is less about brand awareness and more on customer relationships," said Joan Blackwood, senior VP-global marketing. "We want to generate high quality leads and increase customer satisfaction." Draft Worldwide, New York, is Interpublic's lead agency on the account; Initiative will handle media buying; Jack Morton Worldwide is responsible for experiential and event marketing; and the Martin Agency, Richmond, Va., takes on consumer advertising responsibilities. A Computer Associates spokeswoman said that global spending "could be as high as $100 million." See AdAge.com QwikFIND aaq19i
Gap gives men's business to Crispin in North America
[San Francisco] Gap chose MDC Partners-backed Crispin Porter & Bogusky, Miami, to handle the clothing retailer's men's business in North America. Working with Gap's in-house marketing team, Crispin will be charged with developing print and TV creative in addition to non-traditional campaigns. Independent Laird & Partners, New York, will continue to handle creative for Gap women's GapBody, and babyGap and the men's business internationally. See AdAge.com QwikFIND aaq19s
Blamer tapped as president-CEO for FCB
[New York] Interpublic chose Steve Blamer, president-CEO of Grey Global Group's Grey Worldwide North America, to lead Foote Cone & Belding, ending a long search. Mr. Blamer, who was courted for a senior role at FCB in 2003, will replace Brendan Ryan as president-CEO of the agency. Mr. Ryan will stay on as chairman. It is unclear when Mr. Blamer will begin at FCB. Mr. Blamer has said he will honor the terms of his contract with Grey, which ends June 15, 2005. An Interpublic representative said, "We're confident we've got the best person for the job. We fully expect Steve to meet his current obligation and we're looking forward to having him join us." See AdAge.com QwikFIND aaq19j
[McLean, Va.] Capital One announced it hired Omnicom Group's DDB, Chicago, and Element 79 as its new ad agencies, replacing Interpublic's McCann Erickson, New York. Media will remain with Publicis Groupe's MediaVest; Hawkeye will retain the direct-response assignment. Capital One spent $192 million in media in 2003, according to TNS Media Intelligence/CMR. The banking company-one of the largest credit card issuers in the U.S.-hired McCann in 2003. See AdAge.com QwikFIND aaq19r
Kia keeps account at David & Goliath
[Irvine, Calif.] Kia Motors America retained independent David & Goliath, Los Angeles, to keep its estimated $240 million national and regional creative account. The agency pitched "engineering possibilities" as its ad theme, according to a senior manager close to the matter. Neither Kia nor the agency returned calls by press time. Kia used "make every mile count" in the U.S. for 18 months, but its South Korean parent is said to be mulling a new global tag. See AdAge.com QwikFIND aaq18u
Revlon narrows review; cuts Margeotes Fertitta
[New York] Revlon on Dec. 17 narrowed the list of participants competing for its $125 million account when it dismissed MDC Partners' Margeotes Fertitta & Partners and Havas' Euro RSCG, New York, from the list, according to executives familiar with the matter. In addition to Interpublic's Deutsch, the incumbent, agencies believed to be participating in the review going forward are Publicis Groupe's Kaplan Thaler Group, New York; and WPP's Berlin Cameron, New York. In early January, agencies will be briefed on an assignment and a winner is expected to be selected by March 1 on the basis of that performance. Revlon declined to comment as did the agencies involved in the review.
Mitsubishi's Hong leaves ad position
[Cypress, Calif.] Diane Hong resigned as ad director of troubled Mitsubishi Motors North America, effective Dec. 31, to join an undisclosed high-tech company in northern California, the automaker confirmed. Kevin Mayer, 35, was promoted to her post from product marketing manager and will assume her duties overseeing a review for creative, collateral and media planning accounts now at Interpublic's Deutsch, Los Angeles.
Time Warner settles dispute with Justice, SEC
[Washington] Time Warner moved to resolve disputes about America Online's reporting of ad revenues by agreeing to settle a Department of Justice probe and announcing a tentative settlement with the Securities and Exchange Commission, though that deal still has to be approved by SEC commissioners. In the Justice Department action the company was charged with aiding and abetting securities fraud, but those charges will be dismissed in two years without prosecution if the company complies with certain requirements. As part of the two settlements, the company would pay $510 million, some of which would be set aside to repay investors who lost money.
GM set to trim 20% of its staff
[Detroit] General Motors Corp. wants to trim its North American sales, service and marketing staff by roughly 20% after a $22-million, third-quarter loss in the region, according to executives close to the automaker. A GM spokesman would only say 2005 will be no different from the past few years to align its work force with its business needs. "We'll offer opportunities to accelerate those efforts" with voluntary programs like early retirement, he said, but declined to discuss specific numbers or which departments.
Viacom creates marketing unit; Schweitzer to head
[New York] Viacom Co-President and CBS Chairman Leslie Moonves has announced the creation of a new marketing group and named CBS marketing chief George Schweitzer its president. The new unit will serve CBS, UPN, King World, Paramount Television, Infinity Broadcasting and Viacom Outdoor. A statement released last week said the new marketing group will be responsible for sales promotion, affiliate promotion and network creative services and special events including the upfront presentations. Mr. Schweitzer had been exec VP-marketing and communications since 1994 and was responsible for marketing at the two broadcast networks. See AdAge.com QwikFIND aaq19v
Peter Schweitzer to retire from JWT
[New York] Peter Schweitzer, chairman and 30-year veteran of J. Walter Thompson Co., will retire at the end of the year, the company said. Before becoming chairman Jan. 1, Mr. Schweitzer spent three years as president-CEO of the WPP Group agency and earlier headed the agency's Ford Motor Co. account for 18-plus years. Bob Jeffrey, global CEO, praised Mr. Schweitzer's handling of the Ford account and its phenomenal growth as JWT's largest piece of business. "Peter's record on Ford is probably his biggest legacy to the agency." Mr. Jeffrey declined to comment on industry predictions that he'd succeed Mr. Schweitzer as chairman.
CBS, NBC pulls Miller ads after complaints from A-B
[St. Louis] Responding to complaints from Anheuser-Busch, Viacom's CBS on Dec. 16 told Miller Brewing Co. that effective Dec. 30 it would stop airing three ads taking shots at Budweiser and Bud Light. An ad poking fun of a Bud delivery man, it said, was "unduly disparaging" of Bud Light. Two spots showing bullhorn-wielding people airing grievances about Budweiser and Bud Light outside A-B's headquarters were "unduly disparaging ... and also convey an unsubstantiated preference claim." A-B complained to the four networks about the spots on Nov. 2. According to an NBC spokeswoman, NBC pulled five Miller ads. An ABC spokeswoman said it does not discuss advertising arrangements, and Fox did not respond by press time.
WB's Kolb heads to E! Entertainment
[Los Angeles] WB Exec VP-Marketing Suzanne Kolb is exiting the Viacom broadcast network to join the cable business. E! Entertainment announced last week it had hired Ms. Kolb as senior VP-marketing. The 35-year-old former ad agency executive replaces Gavin Harvey who departed from E! Entertainment earlier this year to run the Outdoor Life Network. She will oversee not only the main channel but its sibling Style Network and also E! Online and international operations.
Perdue Farms has begun a review for an Hispanic agency. Billings are undetermined. Select Resources International, Santa Monica, Calif., is handling. Incumbent on the general advertising account is Interpublic's Lowe, New York. ... General Motors Corp. confirmed that Jim Jandesek, national advertising director of Chevrolet, is now also handling global development for the brand. The 13-year GM vet is working with John Middlebrook,VP-global marketing chief, to expand Chevy worldwide.