Biggest ad shift ever

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Colgate consolidates at Y&R Colgate-Palmolive Co. Thursday awarded nearly all of its estimated $650 million in worldwide advertising billings to Young & Rubicam in the largest agency consolidation in history.

Colgate Chairman-CEO Reuben Mark cited Y&R's vast international network--it has offices in more than 90 countries--in making the announcement. "To continue our market-share growth, we must execute our best advertising strategies and ideas simultaneously around the world," he said. "This can best be accomplished by having one truly global and highly motivated partner to serve us everywhere. Y&R is unique in having their own operations in virtually every country."

Y&R, which already handled approximately $350 million in Colgate billings, gains at the expense of True North Communications, parent of Foote, Cone & Belding. Colgate had consolidated its global advertising at True North and Y&R in early 1994. Since then, Y&R has worked for Colgate in 50 countries, and True North in 30, some of them overlapping.

Siboney USA, a True North subsidiary, will retain responsibility for Colgate's U.S. Hispanic advertising. McCann-Erickson Worldwide will continue to handle Colgate's recently acquired Kolynos line of oral-care products in Latin America.

The consolidation tops IBM Corp.'s $500 million consolidation at Ogilvy & Mather in 1994 and is unprecedented among packaged-goods companies with many different brands.

Two chat services
Both CompuServe, Columbus, Ohio and Microsoft Network, plan to unveil virtual chat services within their online communities featuring "avatars" or virtual characters which members can customize and inhabit for interactive use. CompuServe uses this technology in WorldsAway, where it debuts Dec. 12 a virtual Christmas house. MSN announced its V-Chat technology today to members and marketers who can use it to create both brand and personal avatars for use in both 2-D and 3-D arenas.

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