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Swiss owner cuts off cash for Panoramic

[lausanne, switzerland] Swiss advertising company PubliGroupe said it cut off financing for its 50.5%-owned U.S. agency company, Panoramic Communications, New York, after the Swiss firm posted a 2001 net loss of $117 million. Panoramic owns ad agency EPB Communications, New York, ranked by Ad Age No. 74 among U.S. agency brands in 2001 (with U.S. billings of $334 million), and Yesawich, Pepperdine & Brown, Orlando (2001 billings of $139 million). "Today we have halted all further financing, and Panoramic is obliged to turn to other sources of finance to safeguard its future," PubliGroupe CEO Jean-Jacques Zaugg wrote in the annual report released last week. PubliGroupe said it took a one-time charge of $66 million to write off its entire stake in Panoramic and that Panoramic has sought new financing via third-party loans, new investors and the proceeds of divestitures. Last month, management at the R.J. Palmer agency bought the media buying shop back from Panoramic in a cash deal. Panoramic did not return phone calls by deadline.

Martha, Spike team in new Kmart TV ad

[troy, mich.] Martha Stewart this week makes a rare appearance in a Kmart Corp. corporate TV spot, promoting her Everyday product line in a Spike Lee directed "Stuff of Life" commercial from Omnicom's Group's TBWA/Chiat/Day, New York. Ms. Stewart, who has stepped up her support of the retailer, also urged viewers to go to Kmart in a campaign for her garden furniture from Omnicom's Arnell Group, New York.

Burger King shops for 2nd premiums supplier

[miami] Diageo's Burger King Corp. is seeking a second vendor to handle its high-volume global premiums business, currently at Equity Marketing, Los Angeles, according to an executive familiar with the situation. BK sent out requests for proposals and will hold a creative test this month, with a decision expected in June, said an agency executive with knowledge of the review. BK spending on premiums could not be determined. Equity referred calls to Burger King. BK did not return calls for comment.

Color Wheel owner shifts daily control to execs

[new york] Haluk Ergulec, owner of print production company Color Wheel, is stepping back from day-to-day control of the company, which has been involved in a federal probe of fraudulent billing practicies. He is succeeded as Color Wheel president by Senior Exec VP Mark Wenger, 46. Senior Exec VP Michael LaRaia, 42, was named chief operating officer, a new post. Controller Pat Citera, 50, was named chief financial officer.

Pentamark U.S. shop to take BBDO name

[troy, mich.] Pentamark Worldwide, Omnicom's dedicated Chrysler Group creative and media agency, is expected to change its name in the U.S. to BBDO Detroit, said executives close to the situation. The agency will continue doing business overseas under the Pentamark name to avoid conflicts with car accounts at BBDO offices abroad.

Wrigley tackles Listerine with Eclipse Flash Strips

[chicago] Wm. Wrigley Jr. Co. will take on Pfizer's popular Listerine PocketPaks breath strips with the $20 million launch this fall of Eclipse Flash Strips. Omnicom's BBDO, Chicago, handles the introductory TV, radio and print campaign targeting teens and young adults. Creative positions Flash Strips as offering "Fresh breath at the speed of life." The effort is slated to run from October through September of 2003. Wrigley expects Flash Strips to reach $96 million in sales this year.

OMD bid for Viacom media deal stalled

[new york] Talks between Omnicom media agency OMD USA and Viacom on a $1 billion media mega-deal (AA, May 6) were said to be stalled late last week, with a good chance the deal may not get done. One executive close to the companies said, "We are not doing this deal as it is structured." The reason: Viacom doesn't like that the deal is strictly a volume-for-price pact. Talks continue on OMD's mega-deal with Walt Disney Co. Neither Viacom nor Disney would comment.

First multicultural shop picked by FleetBoston

[boston] FleetBoston Financial picked GlobalWorks Group, New York, as its first multicultural agency after a review. Spending is undetermined, said a bank spokeswoman. GlobalWorks will start with Spanish-language advertising in the New York-New Jersey market and its work is then expected to expand throughout Fleet's network.


ConAgra Foods will bring back the "talking tub" character for its Parkay margarine this summer with a TV campaign from Grey Global Group's Grey Worldwide, New York, and in-store promotions from Pinnacle Promotion Group. ... The International Advertising Festival in Cannes, France, is scrapping plans to do a separate three-day direct marketing show and will instead incorporate the first Cannes Lions Direct into the existing festival week. QwikFIND aan49f. ... Deloitte Consulting named four finalists in the review for its estimated $50 million account: independent Wieden & Kennedy, Portland, Ore.; WPP Group's Red Cell, Seattle; and Omnicom's DDB Worldwide, San Francisco, and Doremus, New York and San Francisco. Deloitte Consulting separates from Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu later this year. ... Verizon Communications' Verizon Information Services is expected to name a new agency this week to handle ads for its SuperPages business. Contenders are: Interpublic's Bozell and independent Kirshenbaum Bond & Partners, both New York; and Omnicom's TBWA/Chiat/Day, Playa del Rey, Calif. A fourth agency, MDC Corp.-backed Crispin Porter Bogusky, Miami, recently withdrew from the review. ... Coca-Cola Co. breaks its largest Nestea Cool advertising effort May 13 with five spots on cable TV and in network primetime targeting teens. Two are new, from WPP's Berlin Cameron/Red Cell, New York.

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