N.Y. Times Co. opens $35 mil Web review

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[new york] The New York Times Co.'s Times Company Digital subsidiary is conducting a review for its estimated $25 million to $35 million assignment for six of its key Web sites. Requests for proposals were sent out last week from AAR/Bob Wolf, New York.

Energizer cuts list for global assignment

[st. louis] Ralston Purina Co.'s Energizer Co. has trimmed the contenders for its new global assignment for a battery that competes with Duracell Ultra. DDB Worldwide and Leo Burnett Co., Chicago, are finalists. Also last week, Energizer assigned its $20 million pan-European business to Mustu Merriman Herring Levy. Bates Worldwide was the incumbent.

Miadora seeks agency for $30 mil account

[san bruno, calif.] Miadora.com, a high-end online jewelry retailer, is looking for an ad agency for its $30 million account. Miadora CEO Barry Gilbert said the e-tailer will use print, radio, online, direct mail and TV. Miadora previously worked on a project basis with Publicis & Hal Riney, San Francisco.

Disney seeks agency for go.com

[new york] Walt Disney Co. is conducting a review for go.com, the network created this summer by the merger of Disney's Buena Vista Internet Group and Infoseek. The account, currently handled in-house, is estimated by Disney at $15 million.

Snack food company opens review

[dallas] An undisclosed snack food company is conducting a review for its estimated $10 million account. Agencies were told the account will be split between two brands. The consultancy on the review is Achenbaum Bogda Associates.

Bennigan's considers about 10 shops

[dallas] Casual-dining chain Bennigan's is considering some 10 agencies, most located in Texas, for its account. Incumbent Doner, Southfield, Mich., and Cleveland, is not participating, but will retain media buying through 2000, a Bennigan's spokesman said. Finalists will be announced in the next few weeks. A decision is expected in the first quarter of 2000. The chain is also shopping for a promotion agency. Both reviews are being handled in-house. Through August of this year, the chain spent $4.6 million.

Kraft cooks up Pokemon mac & cheese

[northfield, ill.] Kraft Foods will lure kids beginning in February with a new line of macaroni and cheese based on Pokemon characters. The line features six Pokemon pasta shapes packaged in six Pokemon-themed boxes, the backs of which will carry eight Pokemon collector coins. A 30-second TV spot from FCB Worldwide, Chicago, starts airing April 10. Kraft has exclusive rights to Pokemon in dry and canned pasta and soup categories through 2001, according to a company spokeswoman.

Gateway touts `Yourware'

[north sioux city, s.d.] Gateway continues its holiday push, with an ad that was set to break last weekend in its "Yourware" PC campaign via McCann-Erickson Worldwide, New York. The spot features a pumped-up young guy cruising in a convertible carrying his brand-new "T5" computer. His enthusiasm turns into chagrin when he spots two guys pasting over a "T5" billboard to advertise the "T6" as the latest and greatest PC.

MyWay.com to launch Calif. portal

[andover, mass.] MyWay.com, a portal from Internet investor CMGI, will develop a regional portal for southern California using content from the Los Angeles Times site (latimes.com), as well as content from MyWay.com's partnerships with providers such as Barnes & Noble's barnesandnoble.com. Local merchants will be able to target area residents with interactive advertising and sponsorships on the portal, due to launch in February or March.

LaBatt expected to pick agency for Sol beer

[norwalk, conn.] LaBatt USA is expected to make a decision on its Sol beer account early this week. Agencies believed to be in the pitch include McKinney & Silver, Raleigh, N.C.; Mullen, Wenham, Mass.; Kirshenbaum Bond & Partners, New York; and Bos, Toronto. Incumbent Amster Yard, New York, did not defend. The beer brand got $1.4 million in measured media last year, according to Competitive Media Reporting.

PlanetRx and Goodby split on $50 mil account

[south san francisco, calif.] PlanetRx and Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, San Francisco, parted on the estimated $50 million account. A spokeswoman for the online store confirmed the move.


Lowe Lintas & Partners Worldwide, New York, fresh from its merger, is working on a new campaign for Burger King Corp., an effort said to be the agency's last chance to appease the No. 2 fast-food chain. A BK spokeswoman said, "We are not changing agencies." . . . Principal Financial Group to Publicis & Hal Riney, Chicago, from Brown Marketing Communications for the financial product marketer's $25 million to $28 million account. . . . Deborah Cavanagh, executive director-group marketing for Wenner Media, has left. No replacement is expected; each of Wenner's three titles plans to hire individual marketing directors. . . . Indy Racing League has sued its only major sponsor, Pep Boys, because the league said the auto parts marketer did not meet its marketing commitments, including a promise for national TV exposure. . . . Ezgov.com to Carmichael Lynch, Minneapolis, as first agency for the $20 million account for the Web service, designed to ease consumers' dealings with government organizations. . . . Paul Levine to exec VP-chief marketing officer at Bates Worldwide's New York office, from general manager at Mad Dogs & Englishmen, New York. . . . Anheuser-Busch is scheduled to announce today that hockey great Wayne Gretzky will serve as spokesman for Bud Light as part of its "Official Beer of the NHL" sponsorship. . . . PepsiCo's Tropicana North America unit is slated to debut an ad on the Super Bowl. Tropicana's agency is FCB Worldwide, Chicago. . . . Kellogg North America announced the creation of a new e-commerce unit and named former Andersen Consulting e-commerce strategist Richard Herbst to be VP-general manager in charge of the unit.

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