Mini's $24 million account goes to Butler, Shine, Stern
[Woodcliff Lake, N.J.] BMW's Mini USA unit tapped independent Butler, Shine, Stern & Partners, Sausalito, Calif., for its $24 million advertising and viral account. Mini execs flew to Sausalito to surprise the shop with the news Dec. 8. The other finalists, Mother and Strawberry Frog, both New York, were told they were out just 30 minutes before a live Web cast revealed the news. Butler, Shine visited 25 Mini dealers in 16 states to prepare for last week's pitch.
Harkin asks HHS to track kids food ads
[Washington] Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, will write Health and Human Services Secretary Michael Leavitt asking the agency to immediately begin tracking kids food ads, according to an aide. An Institute of Medicine study suggested the tracking be initiated and if marketers didn't switch to advertising more healthful foods within two years, Congress enact legislation requiring the switch.
Grey settles suit against Blamer, FCB, Interpublic
[New York] WPP's Grey Global Group, which in September sued former CEO-North America Steve Blamer, rival holding company Foot Cone & Belding and Interpublic Group of Cos., settled the matter out of court. Grey sued Mr. Blamer, who moved from Grey to FCB early in 2005, after FCB hired former Grey executive Steve Centrillo. A press release issued jointly by both Grey and FCB said that as part of the settlement, "no money changed hands and all allegations were withdrawn. All other terms were not disclosed."
Pontiac traffic spikes after `Survivor' promo
[Detroit] Online page views for Pontiac's Torrent sport wagon jumped by 869% on the evening of Dec. 8 after the marketer introduced a promotion during the CBS broadcast of "Survivor: Guatemala." Consumers can win one of four new Torrents. The model was integrated into the show as part of a reward challenge in the show's Dec. 8 broadcast. Pontiac said click-throughs to the dealer locator area rose by 361% the night of the CBS broadcast.
Avenue A/ Razorfish snaps up DNA for $4.8M
[Seattle and London] Interactive agency Avenue A/Razorfish has bought London-based full-service interactive agency DNA, for $4.8 million. The acquisition is the first step toward the agency's goal of building a global network, said Clark Kovich, worldwide president. The purchase price is based on DNA's performance over three years. DNA, the seventh-largest interactive agency in the U.K., had net revenue of about $9 million for fiscal year 2005. Avenue A/Razorfish, which is a unit of aQuantive, plans to retain all 60 employees of DNA.
Kellogg to reduce transfats in snacks
[Battle Creek, Mi.] Kellogg Co. plans to reformulate some of its products, including Cheez-Its and Pop-Tarts, to reduce or eliminate trans-fatty acids in early 2006. The reformulations, using Monsanto's Vistive low-linelenic soybean oil, are in response to a Jan. 1 deadline the FDA has set for food companies to flag trans-fats on labels and follow similar announcements by competitors including Kraft Foods, PepsiCo and Campbell Soup Co, among others.
Goodyear nears decision; Goodrich launches review
[Akron, Ohio] Goodyear Tire and Rubber Co. will hear presentations Dec. 13 and 14 for the creative of its $66 million U.S. account, with a decision as early as week's end, a spokesman said. The finalists are: Havas' Euro RSCG, New York; Publicis' Saatchi & Saatchi, New York' and Interpublic's McCann Erickson, New York and Detroit. Incumbent Havas' Arnold, Boston, declined an invite to defend. Separately, B.F. Goodrich, a unit of Michelin North America, has put its $16 million account into review. Goodrich's agency for 16 years, independent Doner, Southfield, Mich., has elected not to participate.
Schering-Plough has awarded media-planning duties for its Levitra and Nasonex drugs to Omnicom Group's OMD, New York, according to executives familiar with the situation. ... Interpublic Group of Cos. named Marjorie Altschuler as exec VP-chief growth officer. Ms. Altschuler most recently held the same role at Interpublic unit McCann Worldgroup. She replaces Steve Centrillo, who was named president of the New York office of Interpublic's Foote Cone & Belding. ... Interpublic's Campbell Mithun laid off approximately 10 people, or more than 2% of staff earlier this month. Jack Rooney, CEO of Campbell, said the cuts were related to "structural changes" and tied in part to the loss of Andersen windows. ... Gary Pascoe, who joined BBDO, Troy, Mich. as a creative director on Chrysler Group's account from TBWA/Chiat/Day in April, is expected to join Campbell-Ewald, Warren in January as an executive creative director, a spokesman for that shop said. BBDO said Mr. Pascoe was still employed there. ... Ocean Drive Publishing Group will introduce Atlanta Peach, another local luxury magazine, in April. The 300-page first issue, to be sold at Atlanta-area Barnes & Nobles and the Hartsfield-International Airport, will be sent free to affluent households and high-end retailers.