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Hewlett-Packard studies streamlining its buying

[palo alto, calif.] Hewlett-Packard Co. is exploring options to streamline its global media buying activities after Publicis' acquisition of Saatchi & Saatchi. Both handle H-P media buying. Last year the marketer spent $213 million in U.S. measured media, according to Competitive Media Reporting.

New Line Cinema opens $120 mil media review

[new york] New Line Cinema is putting its estimated $120 million media planning and buying account into review, according to an executive close to the review. Incumbent Independent Media Services could not be reached at press time; New Line was unable to comment at press time.

AstraZeneca seeks shop for consolidated account

[wilmington, del.] AstraZeneca is launching a review to consolidate its estimated $170 million media planning and buying account for direct-to-consumer pharmaceutical advertising. Incumbents Creative Media and Zenith Media Services, both New York, are expected to be involved. An AstraZeneca spokeswoman could not be immediately reached for comment.

Bids due for Times Mirror magazines

[new york] First-round bids are due today for the Times Mirror magazine group being sold by Tribune Co. Companies submitting bids include Ziff Davis Media -- though CEO Jim Dunning may bid for the group outside Ziff Davis' auspices -- Gruner & Jahr USA Publishing, Primedia, American Media and Hachette Filipacchi Magazines. EMAP USA is considered a possible suitor, and the New York Times Co. is mentioned as a potential dark-horse candidate. An executive involved with the bidding process said the sellers believe the ultimate sale price will be between $400 million and $500 million, but that many initial bids would be in the low $300 million range.

Loudcloud picks Goodby for acc't

[sunnyvale, calif.] Loudcloud, the Internet infrastructure company headed by Netscape Communications Corp. founder Marc Andreessen, has named Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, San Francisco, as its first agency of record for a global account estimated at $50 million. Officials at the company, which is currently in a quiet period, did not return calls at press time.

Ground Zero wins anti-smoking acc't

[sacramento] The California Department of Health Services named Ground Zero, Marina del Rey, Calif., agency for its five-year, $25 million per year anti-smoking effort. Incumbent was Asher & Partners, now Asher/Gal & Partners, Los Angeles.

`N.Y. Times' rejects ad for Lee film

[new york] Spike Lee's new movie, "Bamboozled," about a black TV production seems to be getting shunned by The New York Times. Art Sims, CEO of 1124 Design Advertising, Los Angeles, said the newspaper rejected a print ad he produced because "they felt it was completely offensive to blacks." The ad features an illustration of a black child holding a watermelon. New print ads will be produced, said Mr. Sims, but the illustration will be part of an outdoor campaign. A spokesman for New Line Cinema was unable to comment at press time. Messages left at The New York Times were not returned.

New Lysol bowl cleaner will roll out

[wayne, n.j.] Reckitt Benckiser will roll out Lysol Foaming Brushless toilet bowl cleaner in September, with an estimated $8 million in TV and print ads from McCann-Erickson Worldwide, New York, breaking in November. The entry, formulated for daily cleaning much like daily shower cleaners, is similar to a brushless entry by S.C. Johnson & Son's Vanish brand launched earlier this year.

Time Inc. settles suits over sweepstakes

[new york] Time Inc. on Aug. 24 agreed to settle charges brought by state attorneys general in 48 states and the District of Columbia that its sweepstakes mailings were deceptive, by refunding $4.9 million to consumers who spent $500 or more in 1997, 1998 or 1999 on magazine subscriptions. Earlier last week Publishers Clearing House agreed to a separate settlement (see related item on page 32).

Blimpie increases regional control

[atlanta] Blimpie Subs & Salads is putting more of its $11 million media budget under regional control and is shrinking its regional agency roster from 40 to 18. The $315 million submarine sandwich chain will allocate 75% of its spending in regional buys vs. 50%. The new strategy was put into effect July 1 following conversations with franchisees in order to reduce administrative costs and increase media efficiencies. National media planning is handled by Kirshenbaum Bond & Partners, New York. Buying is handled by the regional agencies.


Renaissance Cruises is contacting agencies about its estimated $5 million account. . . . Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide will break a print campaign Aug. 28 for its Westin Hotels & Resorts line via DDB Worldwide, New York. In recent marketing efforts, Westin has played up its "Heavenly Bed" extra-comfortable hotel room mattress. . . . H.J. Heinz Co. is planning to launch its first-ever soy-based beverages, part of its strategic partnership with leading natural foods marketer Hain Celestial Group. Great Awakenings will fall under Hain's well-known Health Valley brand. Heinz plans to test market the products in Minneapolis and Denver before rolling the brand national. . . . KFC Corp. next week will break a multimedia ad campaign from Y&R Advertising, New York. The effort is not expected to feature the company's previous ad icon, an animated Col. Sanders. . . . Omnicom Group, New York, remains in discussions with talent agency Creative Artists Agency, Beverly Hills, Calif., about a possible affiliation, according to executives close to the talks. Omnicom executives didn't return calls for comment. . . . Jeffrey T. Dunn, 44, will succeed Ralph Cooper as group president of Coca-Cola North America, from deputy group president of the division. Mr. Cooper, 60, is retiring; he will advise the company through yearend. . . . Kyocera International's Kyocera Wireless Corp. to VitroRobertson, San Diego, as first agency for the wireless handset marketer's anticipated $4 million account. . . . Republican National Committee, under pressure from the Bush campaign, decided not to air a spot from National Media, Alexandria, Va., featuring a 1994 interview with Vice President Al Gore in which Mr. Gore said President Clinton had never lied in his political career.

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