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Advertisers pull back 4th-quarter TV spending

[los angeles] Advertisers have withheld more than $350 million in fourth-quarter scatter spending at the national broadcast networks and more than $400 million at local broadcast TV stations, Electronic Media reports. The spending pullback could extend well into 2001. The falloff in last-minute fourth-quarter ad spending is steeper than broadcasters expected, even though the market has been softening for months. Howard Nass, executive director local broadcast at TN Media, estimates network TV ad spending in the fourth quarter is down about 8%, compared with the forecast 3% rise. Pricing is as much as 10% to 12% below upfront prices.

Virgin Mobile cuts review to 3 agencies

[san francisco] Virgin Mobile USA has narrowed its $50 million to $90 million agency review to Black Rocket, Leagas Delaney and Lowe Lintas & Partners Worldwide. The review is for Virgin Mobile's first agency of record. Odiorne Wilde Narraway and TBWA/Chiat/Day were eliminated from the contest, according to Rob Gray, director of marketing.

Decision due on postal rate hikes

[washington] In a action that will have a major effect on publishers and direct marketers, the Postal Rate Commission today is to announce its final decision on a rate hike sought by the U.S. Postal Service that will take effect early next year. In January, the Postal Service sought a 15% rate rise on magazines, and for direct marketers rate hikes were sought that averaged 7% for mailers, 12% for catalogs and 6.4% for letter shaped pieces.

Polaroid hunting promo shop

[cambridge, mass.] Polaroid Corp. is looking at six shops to handle its estimated $20 million sales promotion account. Beyond DDB, Draft Worldwide and Zipatoni, Chicago; Ryan Partnership, Westport, Conn.; DVC Group, Morristown, N.J.; and TLPartnership East, Wilton, Conn., are the semifinalists. Communicator, Chicago, was the incumbent. Pile & Co., Boston, is the consultant.

Vogel to head new PentaMark

[troy, mich.] BBDO Worldwide named Mike Vogel chairman-CEO of the soon-to-be-created PentaMark Worldwide agency, which will handle DaimlerChrysler Corp.'s estimated $2.4 billion consolidated global creative and media account. Mr. Vogel had been president-CEO of the Southfield office of FCB Worldwide, which Nov. 3 lost the shoot-out with BBDO for the automaker's consolidated account.

Lucent unit hears pitches this week

[allentown, pa.] Lucent Technologies' Lucent Microelectronics Group hears pitches this week from four finalists for an account whose budget is undisclosed. The four agencies are: DDB Worldwide, New York; Hill, Holiday, Boston; the Martin Agency, Richmond, Va.; and Mullen, Wenham, Mass. Pile & Co., is the consultant. campaign debuts

[park ridge, n.j.] Sony Electronics' e-Solutions Co. next week debuts five TV ads to drive traffic to, its new e-commerce and community portal. The ads, created by Y&R Advertising, will run for four weeks in five markets. Separately, Y&R will shift its personal network solutions duties to its Irvine, Calif., office in response to Sony's move of the business from Park Ridge to San Diego. Previously, Y&R handled that business in New York and San Francisco.

Kohler's $25 mil review down to 3

[kohler, wis.] Kohler Co. will hear pitches for its estimated $25 million-plus creative account next week from three finalists: Frierson Mee & Partners, New York; GSD&M, Austin, Texas; and Merkley Newman Harty, New York. Grey Worldwide, New York, resigned part of the business in July and incumbent Martin Agency, Richmond, Va., declined to participate.

DiNoto Lee is seen as likely to win $15 mil Instinet account

[new york] Doner, Southfield, Mich., has dropped out of the running for the $15 million Instinet account, leaving DiNoto Lee, New York, poised to win; agency officials could not be reached for comment. A campaign for the stock-trading Web site should break in the fourth quarter. Instinet declined to comment.

Lowe sibling agencies still in the running for Burger King

[miami] While Burger King Corp. purged Lowe Lintas & Partners Worldwide, New York, as its agency when naming finalists for the creative portion of the $400 million account, parent Interpublic Group of Cos. has a good chance of keeping the business in the family. Its Campbell Mithun, Minneapolis, and McCann-Erickson Worldwide, New York, have made the finals with Grey Worldwide, also New York. Lowe's interactive shop Zipatoni is said to be still in the running for BK's protracted promotional review, say insiders.


S.C. Johnson & Son is launching Pledge Grab-It dusting mitts, an extension of the Pledge Grab-It electrostatic duster brand launched last year. The product ships to retailers in January with tags on existing TV ads and print ads from FCB Worldwide, Chicago, expected to break in February. . . . John Shannon, international president of Grey Worldwide, will take on the additional post of chairman of Grey's agency in Turkey, Cenajans Grey. The agency's chairman, Nail Kecili, will resign after being arrested and charged last week with involvement in organized crime (see earlier item on Page 92). . . . World Wrestling Federation Entertainment is suing one vocal parents group that has been pressuring advertisers to pull spots from WWF's programming. The lawsuit against the Parents Television Council was filed in U.S. District Court in New York. . . . Sidney E. Woloshin, co-composer of the famous McDonald's Corp. jingle "You Deserve a Break Today," died Nov. 5 of pneumonia at the age of 72. Last year, Ad Age declared the jingle as the century's best. Mr. Woloshin was a producer for J. Walter Thompson Co., New York before starting his own company devoted to jingles. . . . Screen Actors Guild fined Tiger Woods $100,000 for appearing in a non-union ad for General Motors Corp.'s Buick brand during the commercial actors strike.

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