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Dell reviews corporate ads; media thought in review

[round rock, texas] Dell Computer Corp. is talking to three agencies in a closed review for its estimated $50 million global corporate branding account, now at Omnicom Group's BBDO Worldwide, New York, said people close to Dell. The PC maker is talking with Omnicom's DDB Worldwide; Interpublic Group of Cos.' Lowe Lintas & Partners, New York, agency on Home and Small Business; and True North Communications' Temerlin McClain, Dallas. Dell also is believed to be reviewing media; Omnicom's OMD buys corporate ads and Lowe handles other Dell media. Lowe and BBDO referred calls to Dell. DDB execs couldn't be reached. Dell and a Temerlin exec declined to comment.

CBS ad inventory for NCAA tournament 90% sold out

[new york] Viacom's CBS has sold about 90% of its advertising inventory in the NCAA basketball tournament, which starts next month, at single-digit percentage price increase vs. a year ago, according to executives. CBS is slightly behind its sales pace of a year ago. Two significant advertisers moved out of the event-Pizza Hut and Merrill Lynch. But executives say a number of new advertisers-amounting to $60 million-have signed on, including IBM Corp., Nextel, Cingular Wireless, Autotrader, Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co., and Fidelity Investments.

Network Solutions conducting review

[herndon, va.] Network Solutions, the domain name registry owned by VeriSign, is conducting a review for its estimated $20 million advertising account. Incumbent agency, Interpublic Group of Cos.' The Martin Agency, Richmond, Va., created a two-spot TV campaign for the registry last November.

AnswerThink looks to unload ad businesses

[miami] AnswerThink, an e-business developer, is trying to exit the traditional advertising business by attempting to unload its Los Angeles and Seattle offices, according to executives close to the companies. The Los Angeles office, called 120 Advertising, and the Seattle office, called Think New Ideas, were part of Think New Ideas, New York, which AnswerThink acquired in November 1999. An AnswerThink spokeswoman said it doesn't comment on speculation. The two offices have been given the OK to explore potential buy-out options, according to an executive close to the situation.

Grey reports revenue increase

[new york] Grey Global Group posted a 17% increase in its 2000 revenue, to $1.25 billion from $1.07 billion in 1999. Fourth-quarter income from commissions and fees grew 11% to $351 million from $316 million in 1999. Grey's management credited a strong performance by its marketing services units, which now make up 50% of the company's revenues. It singled out its direct marketing, public relations and healthcare operations-Grey Direct, GCI and Grey Healthcare, respectively-as strong performers in 2000.

P&G launching teen community site

[cincinnati] Procter & Gamble Co. is launching a test of, an online community for teens, in Southern California on March 4 with parties for 450 teens at malls in Glendale and San Diego. Through a contest promoted on local radio stations starting last week, teens can enter a drawing online or by filling out entry blanks at Longs drug stores and Food4Less supermarkets. Teens can register online for "welcome gifts," which include P&G sample products. Barefoot Advertising, Cincinnati, is agency of record, the shop's second P&G brand assignment in recent months.

Cable TV ratings back on track this season

[new york] The Cabletelevision Advertising Bureau is projecting that cable TV ratings are back on track this season, as the 2000-2001 season will see a 2.5 share-point rise, to a Nielsen 37.3 share, in cable TV's collective share for all its advertiser-supported networks. The previous season, cable networks collectively only grew 0.5 points, due to the flattening or falling ratings from their established cable networks, as well as a rise in broadcast gross rating points due to specific reality-shows such as CBS's "Survivor" and ABC's "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire" and the Super Bowl.

New York Lottery $28 mil account in review

[schenectady, n.y.] The New York State Lottery selected eight agencies to vie for its $28 million account. Contenders include incumbent Grey Global Group's Grey Worldwide, New York; WPP Group's J. Walter Thompson, New York; Omnicom Group's DDB Worldwide, New York; Publicis Groupe's Publicis in New York; the Wolf Group, New York; Interpublic Group of Cos.' McCann-Erickson Worldwide and two undisclosed agencies. The client is expected to meet with finalists March 16.

Cingular looks for direct-response agency

[atlanta] Cingular Wireless is searching for its first direct-response agency. Consultant Wanamaker Associates, Atlanta, will contact undisclosed shops this week and hopes to conclude the search within three months. Spending was not disclosed.


Best Western International is expected to pick an agency this week for its $17 million advertising account. ... Bennigan's Irish American Grill and Tavern, a unit of Metromedia Restaurant Group, breaks a new branding effort today from the Richards Group, Dallas. ... Aegis Group's Carat Worldwide unit Carat Freeman today will announce that Jane Deery will be named exec VP-managing director, replacing Sarah Fay, now president of Carat Interactive. ... McDonald's Corp. elevated Tom Ryan to its top U.S. marketing post. Mr. Ryan will add the senior VP-marketing title to his current post as senior VP-menu management/new concepts for McDonald's USA. ... Australian Tourist Commission is reviewing its $8 million North American account with Bcom3 Group's incumbent D'Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles, Los Angeles; Interpublic Group of Cos.' Dailey & Associates, West Hollywood, Calif.; and Kovel/Fuller, Culver City, Calif. ... FCB Worldwide, San Francisco, cut 10 staffers. Dot-com laden Leagas Delaney, San Francisco, laid off a portion of its 87 employees.

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