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[New York] Wm. Wrigley Jr. Co. is consolidating its $150 million U.S. media planning and buying business with WPP Group's MindShare, according to executives familiar with the matter. The move follows a review involving roster shops Omnicom Group's OMD and WPP's MediaCom, these executives said. The agencies couldn't be reached for comment. Wrigley Senior Marketing Director Paul Chibe said MindShare will help "build our business through creative and efficient media solutions."

`Disappointed' Napier departs from McDonald's

[Oak Brook, Ill.] After losing out on the global chief marketing job at McDonald's Corp., Kay Napier, senior VP-moms and families, is planning to leave the marketer and is "wrapping things up," she confirmed. "I was disappointed, but I wasn't entirely surprised," she said. As a result, "I concluded there really wasn't anything there that would be a good use of my skills." Ms. Napier is credited with launching the fast-food giant's healthy lifestyle product strategy.

Ford enlists Kermit for Super Bowl spot

[Dearborn, Mich.] Ford Motor Co. is teaming with Muppets character Kermit the Frog for its second-quarter Super Bowl ad, showing off its fuel-efficient Ford Escape Hybrid SUV. Cisco Codina, new group VP-marketing, sales and service in North America, said the move shows Ford's emphasis on hybrids as a growing part of its future lineup. WPPGroup's JWT, Detroit, handled the spot, which will air through February on national TV along with print and online versions.

Wunderman ups Sable to chief operating officer

[New York] Wunderman has promoted David Sable to chief operating officer from chairman-CEO, Europe, Middle East and Africa. In this newly created role, Mr. Sable, 52, will focus on overseeing the direct-and-digital marketing agency's global operations, as well as new business initiatives, while Wunderman CEO Daniel Morel will devote more time to the agency's digital practice and acquisitions as well as Asia and Latin American regions. Marcus Starke, most recently chairman and CEO of Publicis' Frankfurt, takes over as president-CEO, Europe, Middle East and Africa at Wunderman.

Mercedes moves from lifestyle sites to car sites

[Montvale, N.J.] Mercedes-Benz USA said it is moving from lifestyle sites to third-party auto shopping sites for the launch of its flagship 2007 S-Class sedan since it better reaches in-market buyers. The blitz for the ninth-generation flagship model will also be backed by direct mail, TV spots and print ads blending the car's emotional heritage with a more rational presentation of its technology. The $85,400 car will be driven by Meryl Streep in this summer's "The Devil Wears Prada" movie for which Mercedes-Benz will do special screenings.

Universal McCann taps Fletcher for new role

[New York] New Universal McCann CEO Nick Brien has tapped Carat executive Wayne Fletcher as the Interpublic unit's first global head of communications planning, a role designed to bring a broader view of how consumers can be reached in an age of media fragmentation. Mr. Fletcher, 36, now runs Carat Deepblue, a European strategy unit that's done well-regarded work for Coca-Cola Co. and Adidas and is slated to roll out globally.

Discover Card taps Heat for interactive work

[Riverwoods, Ill.] Morgan Stanley's Discover Card has awarded a project for its interactive advertising for the first half of the year to Heat, San Francisco. The credit card marketer parted with agency of record Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, San Francisco, last year, and is currently in the process of conducting a review for its $80 million account. Billings for the interactive project were estimated at more than $10 million. Select Resources International, Santa Monica, Calif., is handling.

AOL rolls out broadband offering

[New York] AOL finally rolls out its broadband offering today with a multi-million dollar campaign handled by Omnicom Group's BBDO. AOL is offering broadband cable and DSL connections in partnership with providers BellSouth, Time Warner Cable, Verizon and AT&T. The service will be available nationwide. The objective is to migrate the portal's 20 million dial-up subscribers to broadband. "The majority of our spending going forward will be supporting the broadband effort," said Joe Redling, president of AOL's Access business. See QwikFIND aar35h

BBDO moves Frascione to prez-CEO North America

[New York] BBDO Worldwide promoted Gerry Frascione, 49, formerly head of BBDO Canada, to president-CEO of its North American region. Worldwide President-CEO Andrew Robertson gives up his North American role. As part of the reorganization, Jeff Mordos, chief operating officer of the New York office, will add the title of North American chief operating officer.

Lupinacci leaves boutique Anomaly

[New York] Anomaly Co-Founder and Partner Ernest Lupinacci is leaving the high-profile boutique agency to focus on branded content. His first clients are Plum TV and Success Television, a VOD network. Anomaly Partner Carl Johnson said he is searching for a partner-level creative director to replace Mr. Lupinacci.

FYI ...

Frank Lowe's two-month-old London ad agency finally has a name: The Red Brick Road. Mr. Lowe was intrigued by the idea of what might have happened if Dorothy in "The Wizard of Oz" had followed the red instead of the yellow brick road. ... The Bermuda Department of Tourism is moving its entire $12 million to $15 million U.S. account to multicultural agency GlobalHue, New York after a three-way pitch. The incumbent, Havas' Arnold Worldwide, Boston, wasn't involved in the pitch.

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