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[aliso viejo, calif.] Technology e-tailer is in discussions with agencies for its more than $50 million account, according to Chairman-CEO Greg Hawkins. Mr. Hawkins declined to specify the shops. parted recently with Black Rocket, San Francisco, for print creative; its other work was produced in-house.

FCB Worldwide's

N.Y. office mulls cuts

[new york] FCB Worldwide's office here is considering across-the-board layoffs planned to affect no more than 5% of its staff. FCB would not comment, but executives familiar with the situation said a maximum of 35 of the shop's 750 employees would be involved.

Cliff Freeman explores

buyback from Saatchi

[new york] Cliff Freeman & Partners is said to be in talks to buy its independence from parent Saatchi & Saatchi. Agency executives couldn't be reached for comment.

Fila narrows list in $40 mil review

[biella, italy] Fila Holdings will narrow the list of agencies for its $40 million worldwide review this week, as the athletic shoe and apparel maker's marketing officials gather in Italy to review proposals. According to executives close to the company, agencies pitching include J. Walter Thompson Co., BBDO Worldwide, Euro RSCG Worldwide and another, unnamed European-based shop. Also, TBWA/Chiat/Day and Merkley Newman Harty, two Omnicom Group agencies, are collaborating.

Jiffy Lube picks three finalists

[houston] Pennzoil-Quaker State Co. selected three finalists in the agency search for its Jiffy Lube International chain: Barkley, Evergreen & Partners and Bernstein-Rein, Kansas City, Mo.; and Richards Group, Dallas. Ad spending is expected to reach $50 million next year.

Unilever poised for U.S. media review

[london] As agencies compete for Unilever's $30 million media account in Canada, the company is expected to initiate a review of all or part of its $700 million U.S. media account within 30 days. Agencies pitching in Canada are said to include incumbent Harrison, Young, Personen & Newell; Western International Media; Initiative Media; an alliance between J. Walter Thompson Co. and sibling Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide; and Carat, Canada. Botway Group, New York-which does most of Unilever's U.S buying-is expected to pitch the domestic business with Omnicom Group.

Lord Group will lay off 15% of staff

[new york] Lord Group, a joint venture between Young & Rubicam and Dentsu, will lay off about 15% of its staff. Lord Group General Manager Roger Chiocchi said the layoff was precipitated by the agency's recent KeyCorp account loss.

VNU seeks buyer for CMR

[amsterdam] As expected, Competitive Media Reporting has been put on the sales block by VNU (AA, Sept. 27). As part of a consent decree with the Federal Trade Commission, the Dutch media giant has agreed to sell CMR in exchange for being allowed to close on its $300 million purchase of Nielsen Media Research, which owns rival Monitor-Plus.

RioPort hunts agency for $12 mil acc't

[san jose, calif.] RioPort, marketer and designer of the Rio portable MP3 player, is looking for a full-service ad agency to handle its estimated $10 million to $12 million account, previously run in-house. A company spokeswoman declined to specify the 12 agencies in the group, but confirmed three will be chosen to make full presentations. A decision is expected Nov. 15.

Aldo Shoes tries on

Frierson as global agency

[montreal] Canadian shoe retailer Aldo Shoes hired Frierson Mee & Kraft as its first global ad agency. Frierson will break a spring 2000 print and outdoor campaign that may also include broadcast ads. Spending is estimated at $10 million.

Non-traditional ads planned

for launch of Snapple water line

[white plains, n.y.] Triarc Cos. will use non-traditional marketing to launch its Snapple flavored-water line next year. The plans for the calorie-free drink, expected to be called Snapple H2O, include a heavy emphasis on Internet advertising via SF Interactive, San Francisco, according to executives familiar with the plans. Deutsch, New York, is the lead agency for Snapple.


Celebrity Cruises to Saatchi & Saatchi, New York, from Harris Drury Cohen, Fort Lauderdale, Fla., as the creative and planning agency for its estimated $35 million account. Lieber Levitt, New York, which pitched with Saatchi, will handle direct marketing. . . . American Association of Advertising Agencies has created a new-business database listing ( for its members. To be listed, agencies will be charged a one-time fee of $500 to $5,000, based on their gross income. . . . U.S. News & World Report will lower its rate base-the guaranteed amount of circulation promised to advertisers-from 2.15 million to 2 million for the year 2000, down 6.9%. Ad rates will not be lowered. . . . Jim Mullen, founder of Mullen Advertising, Wenham, Mass., and vice chairman of Lowe Group, will step down as Mullen CEO to concentrate on his Lowe duties. Joe Grimaldi, Mullen president and chief operating officer, will succeed him. . . . Cyprus Tourism Organization to Bates UK, London, from 15 European agencies to handle its $22 million worldwide ad account. . . . Mark A. Cohen, president of softlines and exec VP-marketing, Sears, Roebuck & Co., has added the title of chief marketing officer. . . . to TBWA/Chiat/Day, Playa del Rey, Calif., as first agency for the investor information site's $10 million account. . . . DDB Worldwide has launched a new advertising and branding division-DDB Downtown (AA Daily, Oct. 14), to be run by John Staffen, most recently global creative director on the agency's McDonald's Corp. business. . . . Borden Foods has invited a handful of agencies to pitch as its first Hispanic agency of

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