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$100 mil review opens for Aventis' Lantus

[strasbourg, france] Pharmaceutical company Aventis put the estimated $100 million global advertising assignment for its Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes drug Lantus in review, agency executives said. Aventis declined to comment. Believed to be pitching are: Omnicom Group's TBWA Worldwide; Interpublic Group of Cos.' McCann-Erickson Worldwide; WPP Group's Y&R Advertising, working with sibling shops Burson-Marsteller and Mediaedge:cia; and Havas' Euro RSCG Worldwide. Aventis has introduced Lantus in the U.S., England, Germany and, last month, Ireland. It is expected to be launched globally in late 2003.

$30 mil Hotwire acc't moves to DeVito/Verdi

[san francisco] Discount travel Web site Hotwire said it assigned its advertising account to independent shop DeVito/Verdi, New York, after a review. Spending was estimated at $30 million. Other contenders were Publicis Groupe's Publicis & Hal Riney, San Francisco, and Fallon, Minneapolis. DiMassimo Brand Advertising, New York, was the incumbent.

Citibank outdoor biz goes to Mediaedge:cia

[new york] Citibank assigned its estimated $25 million out-of-home media-buying account to WPP's Mediaedge:cia, New York, said executives with knowledge of the matter. Citibank and Mediaedge:cia did not return calls. The review included incumbent Aegis Group's Outdoor Vision, New York, and others.

Y&R wins Canada's KFC, Pizza Hut, Taco Bell

[toronto] Priszm Brandz, the Canadian operator of Yum Brands' KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell, is consolidating advertising for the fast-food brands at WPP's Y&R Advertising, Toronto, after a review. The combined account involves spending of $32 million. The review included the three incumbents: WPP's Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide (for KFC); Omnicom Group's BBDO Worldwide (Pizza Hut) and TBWA/Chiat/Day (Taco Bell), all Toronto. Also included were Cordiant Communications Group's Bates Worldwide and local agency Flavour and Grip, both Toronto.

ACNielsen bests IRI in big P&G shootout

[cincinnati] Procter & Gamble Co. awarded its estimated $30 million-a-year U.S. scanner-data business to VNU's ACNielsen Corp. The new five-year contract, effective July 1, replaces a three-year pact and ends P&G's 10-year relationship with Information Resources Inc. ACNielsen already handles P&G consumer-panel data but not scanner data. The move, involving what's believed to be the largest market-research contract in the world, deals a major blow to IRI, which announced a workforce reduction of 200 last week. In trading Dec. 13, IRI shares closed at $2.15, down 28%, an all-time low.

Pontiac to promote launch of `XXX' DVD

[detroit] General Motors Corp.'s Pontiac and BF Goodrich Co. will separately promote Columbia TriStar Home Entertainment's DVD release this month of "XXX," the Revolution Studios feature film starring Gen Y idol Vin Diesel. Mr. Diesel drives a 1967 Pontiac GTO in the movie. Pontiac officials appear on the DVD touting the return of the brand's muscle car next fall. Spending was not disclosed. Publicis Groupe's D'Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles, Troy, Mich., handles Pontiac. Norm Marshall & Associates, Sun Valley, Calif., brokered the Pontiac tie-in. Doner, Southfield, Mich., handles BF Goodrich.

A&E seeks `partner' for `Biography' mag

[new york] A&E Television Networks is seeking a "strategic partner" for its Biography magazine. A&E has retained media investment banker Veronis Suhler Stevenson, said Tom Heymann, senior VP for the Biography brand. Executives familiar with the matter said Biography, launched in early 1997, has annual revenue of just less than $20 million and is not profitable. Mr. Heymann declined to comment on financial data. See QwikFIND aao28s

Time Inc. changes hit circulation depts.

[new york] Time Inc. shook up its circulation department and said Time Consumer Marketing President Jeremy Koch is taking a sabbatical and will be succeeded by Brian Wolfe, currently Time consumer marketing director, according to a memo from Time Inc. Chairman-CEO Ann Moore. (Read the memo: QwikFIND aa028w.) Circulation heads at New York-based magazines will now be grouped into four clusters with each led by a VP. Time Inc. Exec VP John Squires declined to comment on whether the change involves staff cuts, but said "We are not looking at this as a cost-savings opportunity." Ms. Moore has made finding $100 million in savings a goal for `03. QwikFIND aao28x

Four A's finds allies in FCC media fight

[washington] The American Association of Advertising Agencies is working with consumer groups in Washington to oppose changes in Federal Communications Commission media ownership rules that could worsen media consolidation. Four A's will share data, and possibly file joint comments, with groups such as Consumers Union, the Consumer Federation of America and some minority media organizations. QwikFIND aao28y

FYI . . .

Tilia Inc., which markets FoodSaver, the Original Home Vacuum Packaging System, via infomercials, is reviewing ad agencies, executives close to the pitch said. Finalists include Publicis' Publicis Dialog, Grey Global Group's Grey Worldwide, independent Hoffman/Lewis, WPP's Y&R Advertising and Interpublic's Hill, Holliday, all San Francisco. Spending could reach $10 million to $15 million for the brand next year, it was said. ... The $65 million-plus media-buying review at the anti-tobacco American Legacy Foundation is expected to be decided this week when it chooses between Havas' ArnoldMPG, Boston, the incumbent, and an unnamed major media agency. It is also considering creating an in-house media unit to both buy ads and solicit donated public service ad space. ... Software marketer AutoDesk, San Rafael, Calif., is reviewing agencies for its global creative and media account. Spending was not disclosed. Incumbent Ten/United, Columbus, Ohio, has been invited to pitch. Consultant Jackie Walts, Oakland, Calif., is handling the review. ... Michael B. Ziebell, 50, to exec VP-chief marketing officer, a new post at frozen foods marketer Schwan's Sales Enterprises, from general manager of its home delivery business. ... Timex Corp. awarded its $6 million account to Kirshenbaum Bond & Partners, New York.

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