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[Chicago] Dell Computer Corp. and United Airlines awarded online-media buying and planning to Omnicom Group's OMD Digital, Chicago. Dell declined to disclose spending, but it was estimated to be a $60 million assignment and consolidated Dell media at OMD. Omnicom's DDB Worldwide, Chicago, handles Dell creative. Interpublic Group of Cos.' Lowe Worldwide, New York, was the incumbent. United's estimated $10 million online assignment came after a review that involved roster shop Fallon, Minneapolis, a Publicis Groupe agency. United did not return calls.

Emmis, Primedia said to meet on `New York'

[New York] Emmis Communications had recent talks with Primedia about a possible purchase of Primedia's New York magazine, executives familiar with the matter said. Primedia and Emmis, publisher of Texas Monthly and Los Angeles, declined to comment. A partial list of other interested parties includes New York media columnist Michael Wolff, New York Daily News owner Mort Zuckerman and Wenner Media. All declined to comment or did not return calls.

$40 mil BMW 5 push to break this month

[Woodcliff Lake, N.J.] BMW of North America launches its fifth-generation 5 Series Sept. 14 on ESPN's Sunday Football, part of a $40 million campaign said to be its biggest ever. Publicis Groupe's Fallon, Minneapolis, handles. Publicis' Sanchez & Levitan, Los Angeles, and Matlock Advertising, Atlanta, handle multicultural ads.

Cotton Inc. in review; incumbent O&M defends

[New York] Industry promotion organization Cotton Inc., a 30-year client at WPP Group's Ogilvy & Mather, put its $20 million ad account into review. Ogilvy will pitch to keep the business. Select Resources International, West Hollywood, Calif., handles. See QwikFIND aao96o.

Hotwire's media acc't to Universal McCann

[San Francisco] Discount travel marketer Hotwire awarded media buying and planning to Interpublic's Universal McCann, San Francisco. A Hotwire spokeswoman said it will spend $40 million this year on all forms of advertising, including online. The previous buying agency was Initiative Media, San Francisco. Planning was at DeVito/Verdi, New York.

Chrysler considers color ad for Pacifica

[Auburn Hills, Mich.] After a disappointing launch several months ago, Chrysler Group is considering a second color national TV spot for its Chrysler Pacifica in the fourth quarter, a spokesman said. The current :30 replaces black-and-white launch spots with Celine Dion and the subsequent black-and-white spots sans Ms. Dion. It also shows off product features and ends with the super "Well beyond the SUV." Omnicom Group's BBDO, Troy, handles.

Diageo's Smirnoff gets $400 mil brand restaging

[London] Diageo said it is giving its Smirnoff vodka brand a $400 million global facelift, from packaging to advertising, with a 50% bigger ad budget and a heavy push in on-premise marketing in trendy bars and restaurants. U.S, ad spending was not disclosed but Diageo will break five 15-second TV spots Oct. 20 via WPP Group's J. Walter Thompson, New York, that play up drinking the vodka "neat" and showcase its new bottle design. Diageo spent $57.8 million in U.S. measured media to support Smirnoff, including Smirnoff-branded malt beverages, in 2002, according to TNS Media Intelligence/CMR.

FYI . . .

Grey Worldwide President Steve Blamer said he will remain with the Grey Global Group network, ending speculation he would jump to Interpublic's Foote, Cone & Belding Worldwide. See QwikFIND aao96s ... Racetrack operator Magna Entertainment Corp., with 15 tracks in North America, including Maryland's Pimlico, consolidated media planning and buying at independent agency The Richards Group, Dallas, after a review. Spending was estimated at $9 million. ... Mazda North American Operations, launching the 2004 RX8, its first rotary-engine car for the U.S. market since 1995, broke ads on cable TV Sept. 7 via independent Doner, Southfield, Mich., themed "Start the revolution." Spending was not disclosed. ... A&E Television said its Biography magazine will cease newsstand sales after its December issue and become a quarterly "marketing publication." See QwikFIND aao96p. ... Bates Worldwide client T. Rowe Price agreed to move its account to WPP Group's J. Walter Thompson, New York. WPP earlier acquired Bates and Bates parent Cordiant Communications Group. T. Rowe Price, an investment management company, spent $34 million in measured media in 2002, according to TNS Media Intelligence/CMR. ... Yahoo! assigned independent Bouchez Kent & Partners, New York, a project for its HotJobs online job service. Yahoo! declined to disclose spending. ... The Senate Appropriations Committee Sept. 4 voted to bar the Federal Communications Commission from acting on new TV station ownership limits that would allow a single company to control TV stations reaching 45% of U.S TV households. The current limit is 35%. See QwikFIND aao96t

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