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Toyota eyes four shops in race to land Scion

[torrance, calif.] Four ad agencies are vying for Toyota Motor Sales USA's estimated $50 million account for its all-new Scion youth sub-brand. Jim Lentz, VP-Scion, told Advertising Age Toyota expects to name a winner in about 90 days. He declined to identify contenders. Scion is targeting buyers under 25 years old and starts selling two models in June 2003 via Toyota dealerships. Scion will be sold for the first nine months in California only before rolling out to other regions. One model is a version of the boxy high-wagon Black Box that Toyota has sold in Japan for more than two years. Scion is targeting unit sales of 100,000 in 2005.

Simon Worldwide sees likely liquidation

[los angeles] Former McDonald's Corp. promotion agency Simon Worldwide said in a Securities & Exchange Commission filing that it expects to liquidate its holdings, possibly through bankruptcy, and would cut its worldwide workforce to 46 by the end of the first quarter. In the March 29 filing, Simon posted a net loss of $122 million, or $7.50 per share, for the year ended Dec. 31. Simon lost McDonald's, its key client, after a Simon-run McDonald's sweepstakes was allegedly subject to a multi-million dollar fraud involving a then-Simon employee.

Coors distributors cheer new FCB spots

[denver] Coors Brewing Co. this week breaks the first of 18 new TV spots unveiled to distributors at its annual convention last week. Earning standing ovations were two of six spots, via Interpublic Group of Cos.' Foote, Cone & Belding Worldwide, Chicago, for top brand Coors Light under the "Rock On" theme. One spot flashed a montage of young men stating things they love and the other centered on a heavy guitar interpretation of the song, "My Favorite Things." Spending was not disclosed. New Coors CEO Ron Askew had yanked previous spots and demanded new creative.

Pitney Bowes expands ties with OgilvyOne

[stamford, conn.] Pitney Bowes said it named OgilvyOne, New York, to develop brand positioning and execute a $12 million integrated business-to-business marketing push later this year. The unit of WPP Group's Ogilvy & Mather worked with Pitney Bowes for the first time last fall on print ads to address business concerns over anthrax and mail security. OgilvyOne is to develop an overall brand strategy for the company.

Rayovac plans new ads; Jordan role is unclear

[madison, wis.] Rayovac Corp. said it will roll out an improved version of its flagship value-priced alkaline battery brand in May to be backed by newspaper coupons and yet-to-be-determined advertising starting in June. Ad plans for the launch, including whether longtime brand pitchman Michael Jordan will appear, remain under review. WPP's Y&R Advertising, Chicago, handles. Rayovac's sales fell 2.3% to $630.9 million last year.

American Legacy ad targets safer cigs

[washington] American Legacy Foundation has again created an "April Fool's" anti-tobacco TV spot, this time with the claim that the tobacco industry has come up a with the first 100% safe cigarette, "Figment." The media buy includes broadcast and cable TV networks, including the NCAA basketball tournament championship game. Havas Advertising's Arnold Worldwide, Boston, and MDC Corp.-backed Crispin Porter Bogusky, Miami, handle.

CBS affiliates complain about UPN repurposing

[new york] CBS affiliates met with the network last week complaining that repeating "The Amazing Race 2" on Viacom sibling UPN violates their affiliation agreement, Electronic Media reports today. CBS is said to be rethinking its repurposing model. A CBS spokesman confirmed the meeting but had no further comment. One CBS station general manager claimed the UPN airings allow UPN affiliates to "undercut" national spot ad rates for "Amazing Race's" original airings.

DoubleClick settles suits, agrees to database curbs

[new york] Ad server DoubleClick agreed to settle class action suits that challenged its plans to combine Abacus Direct's offline database of consumer profiles with its own database. DoubleClick will pay attorneys fees of $1.8 million and agreed not to combine personally identifiable information with previously gathered Web data without first giving consumers notice and an opportunity to opt in. An education campaign including Web and print ads is included.

FYI ...

PepsiCo's Quaker Oats Co. launches its less-sweet Gatorade Ice extension April 1 with a national TV spot via Omnicom Group's Element 79, Chicago, that features soccer star Mia Hamm. ... First Data Corp.'s Western Union meets this week with three Chicago-based finalists in the review for its $25 million to $35 million advertising account: Bcom3 Group's Leo Burnett USA, Omnicom's BBDO and WPP's J. Walter Thompson Co. ... Dow Jones & Co.'s Wall Street Journal Online introduces a new digital advertising format April 1. The unit gives marketers a "front-page" position with ads that are 2.5 times the size of the standard 300 x 250 online ad. The ad expands upward, stays for three seconds, then slides back down. ... Cable TV's Game Show Network said it inked deals with Masterfoods USA's M&M's and Diageo's Burger King to sponsor gameshow "Whammy: The All New Press Your Luck" . ... PepsiCo's Frito-Lay will introduce in May a Lay's sub-brand dubbed "Tastes of America." The product features a rotating roster of flavors that play off specialties of different American locales. ... Masterfoods USA April 1 unveils its estimated $15 million launch campaign for Uncle Ben's Breakfast Bowls, featuring a send-up of soap operas. Bcom3 Group's D'Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles, New York, handles. Theme: "Delicious. Easy. Perfect."

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