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[Towson, Md.] Black & Decker Corp. is approaching agencies about handling its $10 million to $15 million power tools account, now at Interpublic's McCann-Erickson Worldwide, New York, said people familiar with the situation. Black & Decker did not return calls. McCann is expected to defend. See QwikFIND aap20y

Wyeth contacts agencies for new contraceptive push

[Madison, N.J.] Wyeth Pharmaceuticals is contacting agencies regarding sales support and direct-marketing duties for a new women's contraceptive product, executives close to the situation said. A Wyeth spokeswoman said it is in an "early-stage evaluation of agencies" for a product that has yet to hit the market. Wyeth has a women's contraceptive, NSP-989, but Wyeth would not say if it was the product involved in the review.

U.S. Commerce Dept plans ad, PR tourism campaign

[Denver] The U.S. Commerce Department's Travel and Tourism Promotional Advisory Board meets here Dec. 8 to discuss plans to seek proposals for a $30 million to $40 million ad and public relations campaign aimed at bringing tourists from Japan, Germany, the United Kingdom, Canada and Mexico to the U.S. If it goes forward, the department expects to choose an agency from the General Services Administration's list of pre-qualified bidders.

H&R Block signs up for a return to Super Bowl

[Kansas City] H&R Block is taking both a commercial and a pre-game sponsorship package on the Feb. 1 Super Bowl telecast. Its 30-second first-quarter spot will cost about $2.35 million, executives close to the situation said, adding that spots immediately after the opening kickoff were going for $2.4 million. Interpublic Group of Cos.' Campbell Mithun, Minneapolis, handles. Creative will highlight H&R Block Advantage, a service that helps clients with investments, retirement, children's education and other programs. H&R Block declined to say if singer Willie Nelson, featured in its 2003 Super Bowl commercial, will return in the new spot.

WPP's Red Cell gets more Alfa Romeo work

[Turin, Italy] Fiat chose WPP Group's Red Cell network, Alfa Romeo's international agency, to handle the European launch next year of the Alfa Romeo GT after a shootout with Publicis Groupe's Leo Burnett Worldwide for the assignment. Spending was not disclosed. General Motors Corp.'s minority stake in Alfa Romeo parent Fiat poses potential conflict problems for Red Cell, particularly if GM exercises an option to buy the rest of Fiat. Alfa Romeo is one of Red Cell's biggest clients. Ford Motor Co. is a key client of Red Cell parent WPP.

Bidders for `New York' face Dec. 11 deadline

[New York] Primedia set Dec. 11 as the deadline to bid for its New York magazine. Among the reported suitors is a consortium involving New York columnist Michael Wolff, Deutsch CEO Donny Deutsch, Cablevision CEO James Dolan, Miramax Chairman Harvey Weinstein and financier Nelson Peltz. Jeffrey Epstein, an investment manager, was considering joining the group, said executives involved in talks. Other possible bidders were The Learning Annex, Tribune Co., CurtCo. Media and American Media.

JPMorgan Chase adds Martin for retail work

[New York] JPMorgan Chase assigned Interpublic's Martin Agency, Richmond, Va., creative and media for Chase Consumer Financial Services, its retail businesses unit. Interpublic's Foote Cone & Belding, New York, the incumbent on the retail work, retains Chase's corporate and credit card advertising. The first campaign from Martin will appear in early 2004. Spending was not disclosed but JPMorgan Chase spent $14 million on advertising for its consumer services business in 2002, according to TNS Media Intelligence/CMR. See QwikFIND aap20u

P&G chooses Charmin for Super Bowl spot

[Cincinatti] Procter & Gamble Co. selected an ad for Charmin from Publicis Groupe's Publicis Worldwide, New York, to be P&G's first-ever Super Bowl commercial (to air in the Feb. 1 Super Bowl telecast on Viacom's CBS). The spot will help launch a redesigned Charmin package-from the 50-year-old Gerber-esque baby icon to the cartoon bear that has been a staple of the brand's ads since 2000. P&G held an internal contest to choose the Super Bowl spot, first reported by Ad Age, to encourage creativity among its brands and agencies.

FTC to reveal guide aimed at diet claims

[Washington] The Federal Trade Commission is set to release on Dec. 9 a guide for media ad departments to use in spotting bogus claims in ads for diet and weight-loss products. The FTC last year began pressuring media to toughen their ad clearance standards to cut down on deceptive advertising in the category and warned media might be prosecuted for profiting from a fraud if they did not.

FYI ...

Interpublic Group of Cos. said it will pay $20 million in cash and $95 million in stock to settle a series of class action shareholder suits filed last year after its stock tanked in the wake of earnings restatements. See QwikFIND aap20x ... Controversial advertising for Yum Brands' KFC was criticized by ad industry self-regulators prior to KFC's decision to pull the campaign Nov. 20, the Council of Better Business Bureau's National Advertising Division disclosed last week. NAD's Children's Advertising Review Unit asked KFC to pull the ads from kid-targeted media after they appeared on Time Warner's Cartoon Network. Copy that, among other things, compared the fat in KFC chicken breasts to the fat in Burger King's Whopper sandwich would leave children with the wrong impression about the nutritional quality of KFC fried chicken, CARU said. See QwikFIND aap20z ... McDonald's Corp. on Dec. 16 will unveil global packaging using its "I'm lovin' it" theme, said executives close to the company. Separately last week, it also awarded a global promotional assignment to independent roster shop Cossette Communication Group, Toronto, to break in 2004. ... Healthcare company Kaiser Permanente picked Interpublic agencies Campbell-Ewald, Warren, Mich., and McCann-Erickson Worldwide, New York, as finalists for its $40 million to $50 million account. Final presentations are set for Dec. 15. ... CEO-President Terry McGovern is selling his interest in Liggett-Stashower, Cleveland, and will become chairman on Jan. 1. Mark Nylander, 51, exec VP-general manager of Liggett-Stashower Public Relations, will succeed Mr. McGovern, 64, as CEO of the 95-person agency. David More, 45, exec VP-creative director, will become president. , Marilyn Chase was named exec VP-director of client services, from senior VP-management supervisor and director of operations. ... Natural foods marketer White Wave assigned creative responsibilities for its Silk brand soy milk to WPP Group's Berlin Cameron & Partners/Red Cell, New York, after a review that also involved Crispin Porter & Bogusky, Miami, Publicis Groupe's Fallon, Minneapolis, and independent Wieden & Kennedy, Portland, Ore. The Incumbent, Havas' Arnold, Boston, withdrew from the review earlier. See QwikFIND aap20t

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