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[Auburn Hills, Mich.] Chrysler Group is reorganizing in the first major change since the June 1 arrival of Joe Eberhardt as exec VP-sales and marketing. The Chrysler and Jeep units will be reunited under the leadership of Jeff Bell, currently VP-marketing of Jeep, executives close to the carmaker said. He will succeed Tom Marinelli as VP-marketing of Chrysler brand. Jeep's share of total industry trucks was 4.8% through October vs. 5.2% a year ago, according to Automotive News' Data Center. Julie Roehm, currently marketing communications director of Dodge, adds that role for the Chrysler and Jeep brands, reprising a role held by Mr. Bell until a reorganization in June 2002 to his Jeep assignment. She declined comment. It is unclear what Mr. Marinelli's new role will be. Mr. Marinelli declined to comment. A call to Mr. Bell wasn't returned by press time. A Chrysler spokesman refused to confirm the moves, saying "we have nothing to announce at this time." Chrysler is battling its way back to profitability after a $1 billion-plus operating loss in the second quarter. Chrysler Group returned to positive operating results in the third quarter. QwikFIND aap14l

BMW rolls out kiosks to pre-launch X3 SUV

[Woodcliff Lake, N.J.] Kiosks in the shape of surfboards are popping up in 200 high-traffic areas around the nation, including JFK International Airport and Wyndam Hotels. They are part of BMW of North America's pre-launch of its all-new X3 sport utility. Consumers can learn about the X3 at the kiosks. Reality Pictures produced the content. Later this month, X3 launch ads and an X3 video game arrives on Publicis Groupe's Fallon, Minneapolis, handles.

Merkley Newman lands Novartis' Elidel

[East Hanover, N.J.] Novartis has awarded its $60 million creative account for direct-to-consumer drug Elidel to Omnicom Group's Merkley Newman Harty Partners, New York, executives close to the review said. Elidel is a prescription cream for the treatment of the skin condition eczema. Merkley Newman declined to comment. Novartis could not be reached at press time. QwikFIND aap14h

Bids entered for `New York Magazine'

[New York] Initial bids for Primedia's New York Magazine were due Nov. 7. American Media, CurtCo Robb Media and the team of Michael Wolff and adman Donny Deutsch all submitted bids. Miramax's Harvey Weinstein, Tribune Co., Village Voice Media and Mort Zuckerman, owner of New York City's Daily News, were all said to be interested in bidding for the title, and those close to the process said the price was likely to be between $30 million and $60 million. At press time, it was uncertain if Mr. Zuckerman or Mr. Weinstein would bid, according to those close to the process. Representatives for Tribune and Village Voice could not be reached for comment.

Kirshenbaum forms new management team

[New York] The Kirshenbaum Bond Creative Network has formed a new executive management team, following the departure last week of President Rosemary Ryan to WPP Group's J. Walter Thompson, New York. Rob Feakins becomes vice chairman and continues as co-executive creative director. Aaron Reitkopf steps up to become president of Kirshenbaum Bond & Partners, New York, while Stephen Fick moves from chief financial officer to chief operating officer.

T-Mobile integrated into awards show

[Burbank, Calif.] Deutsche Telekom's T-Mobile will integrate its Samsung picture phone into the Nov. 16 airing of the American Music Awards on Walt Disney Co.'s ABC. An enlarged phone faceplate will pop up on screen during the live three-hour telecast, showing snaps of artists getting awards in "Winning Moments Sponsored by T-Mobile." A supporting online sweeps sends consumers to the awards show. ABC plans co-branded tune-in spots and print ads in Time Inc.'s People and Wenner Media's Us Weekly. Music-themed T-Mobile ads will appear around the show, via Publicis Groupe's Publicis in the West, Seattle.

Adidas set to break U.S. branding campaign

[New York] German sneaker and apparel giant Adidas-Salomon, facing a 13% drop in North American sales in the last quarter, will break its first branding campaign in the U.S. in five years in early 2004, the company said. Omnicom's TBWA/Chiat/Day, New York, and 180, Amsterdam, handle the business. Spending for the new campaign is unknown. Adidas spent $71 million in measured media in 2002 according to TNS Media Intelligence/CMR.

Hill Holliday, San Francisco down to 10 employees

[San Francisco] Interpublic Group of Cos.' Hill, Holliday, Connors, Cosmopulos has scaled back its San Francisco office to a media-only operation, cutting staff from 40 employees to 10, a spokesman said. "This reflects the reality of the regional advertising market," said Will Keyser, the spokesman. The shop's remaining media clients are 24-Hour Fitness, State Farm Insurance and Tilia FoodSaver. The shop has resigned the Beringer Winery and Motorola SPC business-to-business accounts.

Time Inc., AOL launch AOL Food

[Dulles, Va.] Time Warner's America Online and Time Inc. have launched AOL Food. Showcased content is drawn from Time Inc. magazine titles including Real Simple, Cooking Light and Southern Living. Content from Food & Wine, Parenting, Essence and other titles will be added to AOL Food in coming months. AOL Food will be promoted via $1.6 million in media across 16 Time Inc. titles, according to a Time Inc. spokeswoman. AOL said advertising deals are in the pipeline, though none were signed for the launch.

FYI ...

Time Warner's America Online today breaks a TV, radio, online, print and outdoor advertising campaign targeting U.S. Hispanics. The campaign for AOL Latino 9.0 Optimizado was created by Casanova Pendrill, Irvine, Calif., (49% owned by Interpublic). ... Cingular Wireless has launched a review of its Hispanic advertising account, a company spokeswoman said. Since February, Cingular has worked on a project basis with Omnicom's Dieste Harmel & Partners, Dallas, sibling shop for Cingular's general market agency, BBDO, New York. Dieste will participate in the review along with unnamed agencies. ... As expected, Southern Progress Corp. said it will launch Cottage Living , a new national magazine in September 2004 (AA, Oct. 27). The Birmingham, Ala.-based Time Inc. subsidiary named Eleanor Griffin, VP-editor and Stephen Bohlinger, VP-publisher of the new bi-annual title. The title will have an initial rate base of 500,000, with a cover price of $3.95 and a subscription rate of $18. ... A federal court jury acquitted John Steinmetz, a former VP of Grey Global Group's Grey Worldwide, of a charge of conspiracy relating to bid rigging at printing supplier Color Wheel, even as it convicted Birj Deckmejian, a Color Wheel salesman. Mr. Steinmetz had been associate director of graphic services at Grey and was one of several Grey employees to be charged as part of a long-running government probe of kickbacks in the point-of-sale industry.

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