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Postal agency picks stir protest talk

[washington] The U.S. Postal Service decision to consolidate its ad accounts at two Interpublic Group of Cos. agencies may be challenged by two incumbent ad agencies that failed to win the consolidated business. An executive who asked not to be identified but was closely involved with the losing bidding team of Interpublic's Foote, Cone & Belding Worldwide, New York, and Publicis Groupe's Frankel, Chicago, said the agencies were planning a formal protest. An FCB spokeswoman, however, said "to say that we will file a grievance or protest is premature at this time." The $136 million account was awarded to FCB sibling agencies Campbell-Ewald, Warren, Mich., and DraftWorldwide, Chicago. FCB handles direct marketing and Frankel handles point-of-purchase advertising under the current contract.

Playtex files lawsuit as P&G launches Pearl

[cincinnati] Procter & Gamble Co. is rolling premium Tampax Pearl tampons into stores nationally in late August despite a lawsuit from Playtex Products claiming Tampax Pearl infringes a patent. An estimated $30 million to $40 million in ads for Pearl, from Bcom3 Group's Leo Burnett USA, Chicago, break in October as part of a $50 million-plus marketing effort. Playtex CEO Michael Gallagher said his company will increase ad support for Playtex brand tampons from Grey Global Group's Grey Worldwide, New York. Playtex spent more than $32 million on tampon ads last year, according to Taylor Nelson Sofres' CMR. A P&G spokeswoman said the Playtex suit is without merit.

United account gets new creative chief

[minneapolis] Publicis Groupe's Fallon Worldwide named a new top creative on its United Airlines account. Stuart D'Rozario, 34, joins Fallon Aug. 5 as group creative director on United, from Kirshenbaum Bond & Partners, New York, where he was partner and creative director. At Fallon, Mr. D'Rozario succeeds Bob Moore, who left in April to join Publicis in the West, Seattle, as co-president and executive creative director.

DuPont picks McCann to handle Lycra brand

[wilmington, del.] E.I. DuPont de Nemours & Co.'s Textiles & Interiors unit named Interpublic's McCann-Erickson Worldwide, New York, to handle the estimated $40 million global consumer ad assignment for Lycra fiber. Publicis' Saatchi & Saatchi, New York, was the incumbent. Saatchi and WPP Group's Y&R Advertising, New York, were finalists in the review.

Quaker eyes heat & eat `breakfast squares' line

[chicago] PepsiCo's Quaker Foods & Beverage division will test Oatmeal Breakfast Squares this fall in Syracuse, N.Y., and other markets. The five varieties of heatable bars, two under the Nutrition for Women banner, are intended to offer a more portable version of its hot cereals. Spot TV and newspaper inserts begin in September. Omnicom's Element 79, Chicago, handles. Spending was not disclosed.

Comic Carvey stars in new Frito-Lay ads

[plano, texas] PepsiCo's Frito-Lay this week will launch ads featuring comedian Dana Carvey in roles that bring to life the regional flavors in its new Lay's Tastes of America line. Spending was not disclosed. Two initial spots, from Omnicom Group's BBDO Worldwide, New York, show Mr. Carvey as both a hip skateboarder and a surfer-dude to demonstrate the deliciousness of California Cool Dill, and as a Southern truck driver and European hitchhiker to showcase new Memphis BBQ.

McD's franchisees OK more national ad funds

[oak brook, ill.] The McDonald's Corp. franchisee advertising committee voted to raise contributions to the national ad budget to 1.65% of gross sales from 1.50%, or a $33 million per year increase, according to executives close to the company. McDonald's had recommended an increase to 1.81%. A McDonald's spokesman declined comment.

FYI . . .

McDonald's Corp. assigned its "McDonald's with a Diner Inside" concept to lead agency DDB Worldwide, Chicago, after a hotly contested review. Omnicom unit DDB will handle a media test in Evansville, Ind. Spending is likely to be less than $1 million. DDB bested WPP Group's Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide, Chicago. ... Boeing Co. is close to a deal to sponsor NBC's star-studded Sept. 11 tribute "Concert for America," according to executives close to the situation. A Boeing spokesman referred calls to NBC. An NBC network spokeswoman also had no comment. ... Virgin Group's Virgin Mobile USA breaks a multimillion ad campaign Aug. 1 touting its prepaid wireless service for young consumers. Leagas Delaney, San Francisco, handles. Some ads are co-branded with its wireless content partner, Viacom Corp.'s MTV, VH1, Nickelodeon and CMT brands. ... Hill, Holliday, Connors, Cosmopulos San Francisco President Nancy Hill shifts to the agency's New York office as a managing partner and head of the Interpublic agency's Verizon Wireless account. She succeeds Laurel Rossi, who remains exec VP-chief integration officer at Hill Holliday. A search for a new head of the San Francisco office is to begin shortly. ... Federated Department Stores' Rich's/Lazarus/Goldsmith's selected Interpublic's Temerlin McClain, Irving, Texas, to handle a branding assignment, besting Grey Global Group's Grey Atlanta and independent WestWayne, Atlanta. Spending was not disclosed. ... AARP selected two finalists for its $20 million ad account: Interpublic's Mullen, Wenham, Mass., and Omnicom's GSD&M, Austin, Texas. A decision is expected Aug. 2. ... The New York City Police Department, planning a recruitment ad campaign estimated at $9 million, is reviewing nine agencies, including Omnicom's TBWA/Chiat/Day, DDB Worldwide and recruitment ad specialist Bernard Hodes Group, all New York; and WPP's J. Walter Thompson and Y&R Advertising, also New York. A New York City spokesman would not identify the agencies or disclose a spending figure.

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