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Unisys chooses Grey for $50 mil business

[blue bell, pa.] Unisys Corp. named Grey Worldwide, New York, to handle creative services and MediaCom as media agency of record for its estimated $30 million to $50 million account. Unisys, which specializes in information services and technology, is planning a business-to-business advertising campaign for early 2001. Leo Burnett USA, Chicago, and McCann-Erickson Worldwide, New York, were also finalists in the review. Incumbent Bozell, New York, did not participate. Unisys parted with Bozell earlier this year over a conflict at Bozell sibling shop FCB Worldwide, which handles Compaq Computer.

Hardee's to start review for its $80 mil account

[rocky mount, n.c.] Hardee's Food Systems is believed to have pulled its $80 million advertising account from Johnson/Urkopina, Irvine, Calif. The unit of CKE Restaurants is expected to begin a review under new marketing chief Brad Haley, exec VP-marketing. Hardee's executives could not be reached for comment by press time.

Kmart pares review to two shops

[troy, mich.] Kmart Corp. appears to have narrowed the review for its $100 million advertising account to TBWA/Chiat/Day and Lowe Lintas & Partners Worldwide, both New York, executives familiar with the situation said. Lowe and TBWA referred calls to Kmart, which declined to discuss the review. Some participating agencies had not learned of their status at press time. Campbell Mithun, Minneapolis, is the incumbent.

Omnicom, True North talks continue

[new york] Merger talks between Omnicom Group and True North Communications, Chicago, remain open, although there was apparently no progress last week. At press time, an executive close to True North said discussions are ongoing. But another industry executive said the possibility of a deal will fade if an agreement isn't reached before Oct. 6, when agencies owned by the companies will pitch for the consolidated DaimlerChrysler assignment.

Qwest names OMD for broadcast buying

[denver] Telecom company Qwest Communications tapped OMD USA, New York, to handle its national and local TV broadcast buying assignment. Prior to the merger of U S West and Qwest this summer, Cash Plus, Minneapolis, handled U S West's media buying, while MindShare, New York, had Qwest's media buying. J. Walter Thompson Co., New York, handles creative and planning for Qwest's global branding account. DDB Worldwide, Chicago, oversees Qwest's wireless and mass channel efforts. Qwest spent $21 million in measured media in 1999, while U S West spent $109 million, according to Competitive Media Reporting.

SBC, BellSouth trim list to three

[san antonio, texas] SBC Communications and BellSouth Corp., which are merging their U.S. wireless operations, selected three finalists for their $170 million to $250 million wireless account. Incumbents WestWayne, Atlanta, which handles BellSouth, and GSD&M, Austin, Texas, which handles SBC, both made the cut from the nine shops initially asked to participate, said executives close to the review. BBDO South, Atlanta, also is a finalist.

Euro RSCG Worldwide wins VO5

[melrose park, ill.] Alberto-Culver Co. moved its Alberto VO5 haircare brand to Euro RSCG Worldwide and consolidated its personal-care advertising at the agency. Euro RSCG Tatham, Chicago, will handle the U.S. portion of the account resigned last month by Avrett, Free & Ginsberg, New York; Euro RSCG Wnek Gosper, London, will handle the international portion previously at M&C Saatchi, London. The VO5 global account is estimated at $40 million. M&C Saatchi will continue working with Alberto on new-product development; Campbell Mithun, Minneapolis, retains creative responsibilities for hair and skincare brand St. Ives.

U.S. Postal Service names four shops to its account

[washington] The U.S. Postal Service formally tapped Leo Burnett USA, Chicago, for creative; FCB Worldwide, New York, for direct marketing; Frankel, Chicago, for point of purchase; and MediaCom, New York, for media buying on its $139 million account.

Kraft recalls taco shells from grocery store shelves

[northfield, ill.] Kraft Foods will voluntarily recall its Taco Bell Home Originals taco shells from retail grocery outlets as a result of the presence in the shells of a corn variety not approved for use in food. The recall follows a Food & Drug Administration investigation into the presence of StarLink, a biotech corn that may cause allergic reactions in humans. Kraft executives said in a statement that while there appear to be no adverse health effects from the corn, the company had not intended that StarLink be used in the products.

American Stock Exchange shops equities assignment

[new york] The American Stock Exchange has contacted agencies regarding an assignment for its equities group. A spokesman said executives are meeting with several undisclosed agencies as part of an in-house review; he did not disclose spending for the account. Martin Agency, Richmond, Va., handles the exchange's advertising account.

Orkin awards Doner $15 mil direct account

[atlanta] Orkin Pest Control tapped Doner, Southfield, Mich., as agency of record for its direct response account, estimated at $10 million to $15 million. J. Walter Thompson USA, Atlanta, the incumbent, retains the general ad account.


Kirin Brewery of America awarded Open Minds, Laguna Beach, Calif., its Kirin Lager, Kirin Ichiban and Kirin Light brands. Houston Helm, Los Angeles, previously handled. . . . XFL, a new U.S. football league, has inked a five-year deal with Quaker Oats Co.'s Gatorade, making the brand its official sports drink. Terms of the deal weren't disclosed. Hal Shoup, 70, in March will retire as exec VP of the American Association of Advertising Agencies, Washington, where he has been a lobbyist since 1989.

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