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[New York] Johnson & Johnson and Merck & Co. filed suit last week to stop Procter & Gamble Co.'s $100 million launch campaign for Prilosec OTC charging P&G's ads mislead consumers into thinking the drug works in a day when it's meant to be taken for two weeks. The suit, in U.S. District Court in New York, asks that the ads, by Publicis Groupe's Publicis Worldwide, New York, be halted and seeks unspecified money damages. A P&G spokesman said the ads are "absolutely true" and that the three companies were in discussions last week. He said there would be no delay in the product's Sept. 15 rollout to stores.

Nike returns to football in spot featuring NFL stars

[Beaverton, Ore.] Nike will break what's believed to be its first football-related TV commercial in several years in November, said executives close to the situation. Wieden & Kennedy, Portland, Ore., handles. Nike and Wieden did not return calls. The 60-second brand image spot, still in production, stars Michael Vick of the Atlanta Falcons and Terrell Owens of the San Francisco 49ers. Using computer-generated images, the two play in the snow and complete a humanly impossible play that ends up with a scene that evokes Mr. Owens' playing field antics after scoring a touchdown.

BK to launch big push for low-fat sandwiches

[Miami] Burger King Corp. will unveil its three-item line of lower-fat (5 grams) Fire Grilled Chicken Baguette sandwiches Sept. 18 at a New York press event. Priced at $2.89, the baguettes are the first low-fat sandwich line for Burger King and will be backed by a major promotional effort spanning eight weeks and involving spending of as high as $40 million, said executives close to Burger King. A Burger King spokesman wouldn't confirm spending. WPP Group's Y&R Advertising, New York, handles.

Buick's Rainier SUV ads break on Emmy telecast

[Detroit] General Motor Corp.'s Buick, auto sponsor for Fox's Sept. 21 Emmy awards telecast, will introduce its Rainier sport utility vehicle in four TV ads from Interpublic Group of Cos.' McCann-Erickson Worldwide, Troy, Mich., and is partnering with TV Guide for a star-studded, post-show gala. The spots feature Buick spokes-celebrity Tiger Woods and Buick's "Harley Earl" character. Spending for the Rainier introduction was estimated at $25 million through this fall.

Nike settles Calif. suit; copycat cases likely

[Washington] Nike's decision last week to settle a suit brought under a controversial California false-advertising law is likely to prompt more suits against marketers in the future, a First Amendment attorney warned. The Association of National Advertisers, American Association of Advertising Agencies and American Advertising Federation said in a statement there is still need "for a final resolution" of the issues surrounding the law. Nike settled after the U.S. Supreme Court declined last spring to intervene and sent the case back for trial in California. The suit attacked as "commercial speech" public comments by Nike on conditions in overseas plants that make its products. Nike argued its comments were protected by the First Amendment. Unchanged, the California law is "potentially bread and butter for a lot of plaintiff's lawyers" in the state, said attorney Bruce E. H. Johnson, who represented media companies supporting Nike before the U.S. Supreme Court. See QwikFIND aao98x

Business clients star in Samsung campaign

[Ridgefield Park, N.J.] Samsung Electronics launches a series of print and Internet ads Sept. 15 showcasing TFT flat-panel displays and computer monitors. The $10 million campaign, targeting business decision makers and chief executives, features eight high-profile Samsung corporate customers, including Bloomberg. Headline: "Bloomberg gets its vision from Samsung." Home Depot is also featured. The ads run in business and technology publications and Web sites through yearend. Interpublic's FCB Worldwide, New York, and Cheil Communications America, Samsung's in-house agency, handle.

U.K.'s Frank Lowe to retire at yearend

[London] Lowe & Partners Worldwide founder Frank Lowe, who has been non-executive chairman at the Interpublic agency network for the last year, will retire at the end of 2003, triggering title changes for two senior Lowe managers. Lowe Worldwide Chief Creative Officer Adrian Holmes adds the chairman title and Worldwide Director of Client Services Terry Rosenquist adds the vice-chairman title. Jerry Judge remains Lowe CEO. Mr. Lowe, 63, who has been working in a consulting capacity to the agency he founded in 1981, assumes the honorary chairman emeritus title.

Consolidation opponents predict Senate victory

[Washington] Opponents of the Federal Communications Commission media ownership rules are predicting victory Sept. 16 when the Senate votes on a "resolution of disapproval" overturning the rules. An aide to Sen. Byron Dorgan, D-N.D., said the senator isn't doing the victory dance, but does expect the Senate to pass the resolution. The resolution would still need House approval and President Bush's approval to take effect, and aides to President Bush last week warned they would recommend he veto the measure.

FYI ...

TNT has tapped Omnicom Group's Spike DDB, New York, to handle a $10 million campaign for the network's upcoming coverage of the National Basketball Association. The campaign tagline: "Let the truth be told." ... Amy Rubenstein, exec VP-director, client services at WPP Group's Wunderman, New York, was named VP-brand at Verizon, reporting to Jerri DeVard, senior VP-brand management and marketing communications. ... Yum Brands' Taco Bell, ordered last week to pay $11.8 million in additional fines to two men who claim ownership of its Chihuahua dog ad character, said it intends to continue to pursue its appeal of the original June federal jury verdict. See QwikFIND aa098y. ... Ford Motor Co. VP-Marketing and Operations Joe Greenwell, 52, to president of Ford's Jaguar and Land Rover, succeeding Bob Dover, 57, who is retiring. Ford said Mr. Greenwell's former post will not be filled. ... The Chicago Creative Club Awards was announced as the name of a revamped local competition sponsored by the Chicago Advertising Federation. It replaces the CAF's former Windy Awards. ... Alan Levitt, director of the White House youth anti-drug media campaign since it started six years ago, said he will resign at yearend.

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