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[new york] CNN is said to be close to naming Hill, Holliday, Connors, Cosmopulos, Boston, as the winner of its estimated $10 million to $15 million account. Officially, CNN said it has given an "assignment" to one shop and that agency is the lead shop in the review, but said no final decision has been made. Hill Holliday referred questions to CNN.

Talk Media, Hearst ponder joint venture

[new york] Talk Media, the Miramax venture with editor Tina Brown and publishing executive Ron Galotti, and Hearst Magazines are in discussions to do a joint venture or back-office deal, according to executives close to the companies. A deal may be imminent, according to one publishing executive. If such an agreement is reached, Hearst may provide Talk Media with subscription fulfillment, newsstand distribution and production help for its title being launched this fall.

Hasbro turns to Grey for $20 mil-plus account

[pawtucket, r.i.] Hasbro has chosen Grey Advertising, New York, for its $20 million-plus Micro Machine assignment, which includes "Star Wars" licensed products and other toys. The previous agency was Towne, Silverstein, Rotter, New York. Also, the estimated $8 million Pound Puppies assignment has been assigned to Jordan McGrath Case & Partners, New York, from TSR, New York.

DaimlerChrysler nears $2 bil media decision

[stuttgart] A panel from DaimlerChrysler may decide by month's end how to merge nearly $2 billion in global media buying (AA, Nov. 16). Company executives said the account may be split by continent. Executives close to the car marketer expect incumbent BBDO Worldwide's PentaCom, Troy, Mich., to get Chrysler and Mercedes-Benz brands' $1.3 billion U.S. account; BBDO unit GFMO, Hamburg, for the combined Europe account; and Bozell Worldwide and its affiliate CIA, London, for Asia and South America.

Glaxo trims list in $200 mil media review

[research triangle park, n.c.] Glaxo-Wellcome has narrowed its estimated $200 million media review down to a short list. A spokesman for incumbent Media Edge, New York, said, "No comment" when asked if it made the cut. Glaxo-Wellcome could not be reached for comment at press time. Rich O'Gorman of Blueprint Communications, Atlanta, is handling the review.

Apple benches ad plans for the Super Bowl

[cupertino, calif.] Apple Computer said it will not advertise on the Super Bowl, ending plans for what would have been the company's first appearance on the event since its controversial 1985 "Lemmings" spot created by Apple's then and current agency, TBWA/Chiat/Day, Playa del Rey, Calif. At Apple's request, Fox late last week was shopping for an advertiser to buy Apple's slot.

Miller set to pick new direction for Lite

[milwaukee] Miller Brewing Co. is expected to select a new creative direction and possibly a new agency for Miller Lite as early as today. Last week it heard pitches from incumbent Fallon McElligott, Minneapolis; Square One, Dallas; Wieden & Kennedy, Portland, Ore.; Publicis & Hal Riney, San Francisco; and Y&R Advertising, New York.

Taco Bell testing Chalupas in Memphis

[irvine, calif.] Taco Bell Corp. this week launches a market test of Chalupas, a fried taco with the same fillings as the Gordita product launched nationally last year. According to an executive familiar with the plans, the Memphis, Tenn., test will be backed by at least one new TV spot from TBWA/Chiat/Day, Playa del Rey, Calif., featuring the chain's chihuahua mascot in a "Cops" scenario where the dog demands a man give up his food.

Union Bay ups budget for '99 to $10 mil

[seattle] Union Bay launches its spring 1999 campaign in February and plans to expand its marketing efforts with event sponsorship and a larger TV buy. The apparel company's campaign, from Toth Design & Advertising, Concord, Mass., breaks in March books and TV follows the second week in March. Spending is estimated at $10 million.

McDonald's and Disney put millennium promo on menu

[oak brook, ill.] McDonald's Corp. is readying a millennium promotion to break in October linked to Walt Disney Co. theme parks. The event will have other elements, and will be backed by a four-week national TV campaign beginning Oct. 1.


Reader's Digest Association's stock price jumped 9.83%, up 2.56 points to $28.62, at the end of the day Jan. 15 following reports that it was in talks with Time Warner about a possible merger of parts of the two publishing and direct mail giants. Time Warner's stock price was up 3.78%, rising 2.25 points to $61.81. . . . DDB Needham Worldwide, New York, has dropped out of the Bermuda Department of Tourism's review for its $12 million to $15 million account. The agency was the incumbent. . . . . UNUM Corp. and Provident Cos. are said to looking to Saatchi & Saatchi, New York, and Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, San Francisco, as candidates for the newly merged account of the insurance providers. Saatchi is the incumbent on Provident, estimated at $20 million; Goodby currently handles UNUM, which spends about $5 million. . . . Marine Midland Bank to Partners & Shevack/Wolf, New York, from Eric Mower & Associates, Buffalo, N.Y., for its $25 million account. . . . Anheuser-Busch plans to start the roll out of its tequila-flavored beer Tequiza on Feb. 3. The brew will be positioned against Mexican import Corona Extra. . . . Quaker Oats Co.'s Golden Grain division has narrowed the review for its $13 million advertising account for a new product to Gardner, Geary, Coll & Young, San Francisco, and Suissa/Miller, Los Angeles. Select Resources International, West Hollywood,

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