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[New York] Managing Partner Elizabeth Talerman, chief of WPP Group's Soho Square, formed this summer to handle the Yahoo! account, left Oct. 31 and a successor was being sought, said an executive close to the situation. Ms. Talerman could not be reached for comment. A WPP spokesman did not return calls. Yahoo! executives could not be reached. Ms. Talerman, a consultant when she rejoined WPP last summer to head Soho Square, was to have provided Yahoo! a mix of integrated marketing services. At WPP's Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide, Ms. Talerman had been a senior planner and account director on IBM Corp. Yahoo! hired Soho Square in August after splitting with Havas' Black Rocket, San Francisco, after a nine-year partnership. QwikFIND aap12j

Ford, film studio partner for product placement

[Dearborn, Mich.] Ford Motor Co. and Revolution Studios have partnered for a product-placement deal that will put the automaker's brands in touch with filmmakers during the early stages of movie projects. First up is a comedy called "Are We There Yet?" starring Ice Cube, set for 2004 release. The pact, to be announced Nov. 4, includes Ford and sibling brands Aston Martin, Jaguar, Land Rover, Lincoln, Mazda, Mercury and Volvo. While having access to movie development, Ford will make its design and research centers available to Revolution Studios, making way for customized cars and film-specific vehicles.

Fidelity Investments opens creative review

[Boston] Mutual funds marketer Fidelity Investments said it is reviewing agencies for its creative assignment, now at Arnold Worldwide, Boston, a Havas unit.

Arnold has been invited to participate. Arnold referred calls for comment to Fidelity. Spending was not disclosed but Fidelity spent $91.4 million in measured media last year, reported TNS Media Intelligence/CMR. Joanne Davis Consulting, New York, is handling the review.

Suzuki dealer accounts shift to Dentsu's Colby

[Brea, Calif.] American Suzuki Motor Corp. said it will consolidate regional dealer ad spending at its national agency, Dentsu's Colby & Partners, Santa Monica, Calif. More than a dozen small agencies now handle the business. Colby confirmed the win. The dealer groups spent an estimated $94 million in measured media last year and $54 million this year through August, said TNS Media Intelligence/CMR. Separately, Ben Hilverda joined Suzuki as advertising manager from his own consultancy.

GOP chief raps CBS, readies Reagan ads

[Washington] Republican National Committee Chairman Ed Gillespie, joining other critics of CBS's two-part mini-series "The Reagans" (to air Nov. 16 and 18), said the RNC is readying TV and print ads to defend President Reagan's legacy. Some Republicans have urged advertisers to boycott the show. Mr. Gillespie said he wrote CBS President-CEO Leslie Moonves asking the network to let a team of historians and family friends correct errors in the script or agree to run a video crawl every 10 minutes explaining the program isn't historically accurate. CBS declined to comment.

Audi in Internet, e-mail push to get test drives

[Auburn Hills, Mich.] Audi of America hopes to generate 1,000 test drives this quarter for its certified used cars via an online ad push through December. IQ Television Group, Atlanta, created rich-media Internet ads to encourage online sign-ups. The agency said 2.5 million e-mails with three ads are going out to prospects. Ads appear on auto shopping and general interest sites. Spending wasn't disclosed. Audi said it was on track to sell 24,000 certified used cars this year vs. 17,819 in 2002.

Coke delays media pick, seeks more information

[Atlanta] Coca-Cola Co. delayed a decision on its $350 million domestic media buying and planning review after hearing presentations last week, a spokesman said. Coca-Cola asked Interpublic of Cos.' Universal McCann (incumbent for national media buying), Publicis Groupe's Starcom MediaVest Group, Aegis Group's Carat and WPP Group's MindShare to come back with additional information. QwikFIND aap11s

PepsiCo cans plans for `Queer Eye' ads

[Purchase, N.Y.] PepsiCo said it canceled plans for a TV campaign featuring the stars of cable TV hit "Queer Eye for the Straight Guy" (AA, Oct. 20). The deal collapsed after Pepsi-Cola North America couldn't get the concept cleared by the other networks. "It too closely mirrored the show," said a Pepsi spokesman.

FYI ...

Critics complained at a Federal Trade Commission workshop in Washington that voluntary industry ratings for the marketing of movies and video games are creeping downwards and two congressmen warned legislation or lawsuits were possible. Separately, Motion Picture Association of America President Jack Valenti said he will coordinate a film industry meeting with state attorneys general on the issue of tobacco use in movies. State officials want tobacco use to be a factor in movie ratings. ... Ford Motor Co.'s Lincoln features former NBA star Magic Johnson and his son Andre in a new general-market spot on national TV this week for the 2004 Navigator. The ad is the first product of a multiyear marketing deal between Mr. Johnson and Lincoln Mercury. WPP's Y&R Group, Dearborn, handles. ... Retailer Ikea, earlier said to be considering a media consolidation in Europe, (AA, Oct. 20), said it is conducting an audit of its entire $100 million global media account to decide whether to centralize buying, but that it will not necessarily lead to a review. Ikea uses local agencies around the world, including independent Crispin Porter & Bogusky, Miami, for U.S. creative and media. ... Time Warner cable TV network TBS said it is reviewing agencies to handle its brand relaunch in June 2004. Contenders include Omnicom Group's Spike DDB, New York, and Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, San Francisco; Cliff Freeman and Partners, New York; and Crispin Porter & Bogusky, Miami, executives close to the review said. A decision is expected in December. Spending was not disclosed. ... With a $98.4 million tender offer by Gingko Acquisition Corp. set to expire Oct. 31, Information Resources Inc. last week said an unsolicited second bidder, software marketer Open Ratings, offered $111.8 million but had not shown evidence it has the resources to complete the deal. ... New York City Comptroller William Thompson asked the city's general counsel to cancel a high-profile sponsorship deal with Cadbury-Schweppes' Snapple due to conflicts of interest in the bidding process. In a statement, the city's law department termed the charges "off-base." ... The NFL Network has added four more advertisers to its list of four original charter advertisers. Dairy Management, Sony Playstation, EA Sports and AT&T Wireless join IBM, Levitra, Fed Ex and America Online. The digital cable network launches Nov.4. ... Online marketing company Gator changed its name to Claria Corp. Gator software allows marketers to deliver intrusive pop-up ads while consumers surf the Web. AdAge QwikFIND aap11q

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