REDMOND, Wash.-Microsoft Corp. on Nov. 14 starts a $100 million-plus worldwide branding campaign, its biggest effort ever and the first step in a long-term strategy to make Microsoft a universally known brand. The TV campaign is Microsoft's first from Wieden & Kennedy, Portland, Ore.
ELK GROVE VILLAGE,Ill.-United Airlines wasted no time in matching American Airlines' new frequent flier marketing program (see story on Page 60). United late Friday unveiled its Mileage Plus Reward Miles, which like American's new AAdvantage Incentive Miles offers frequent flier mileage certificates for other companies to use as incentives for customers or employees. Also, American and its regional carrier American Eagle will resume advertising Nov. 13, two weeks after an American Eagle flight crashed near Gary, Ind., resulting in the deaths of all 68 people aboard. American will begin some limited fare ads today, with national image advertising returning on Nov. 13. Temerlin McClain, Dallas, handles both American and American Eagle.
ATLANTA-Joel Babbit, president of Whittle Communications' Channel One, is rumored to be buying Pringle Dixon Pringle. None of the principals however would confirm the speculation, reported in the Atlanta Constitution.
NEW YORK-Apple Computer, IBM Corp. and Motorola will announce plans today to design a joint PC standard based on their PowerPC chip, paving the way for Apple Macintoshes, certain IBM PCs, and some PCs from Canon and Toshiba Corp. to run Apple's Mac OS and IBM's OS/2 software starting in about two years. The long-anticipated effort still faces tough odds in taking on Microsoft Corp.'s Windows and Windows 95 software and Intel Corp.'s chip standard.
LONDON-Lawyers for former Bates Worldwide Creative Director Andrew Cracknell plan to file a statement of claim this week if ongoing negotiations don't lead to a settlement. Mr. Cracknell, 48, is suing Bates Dorland and Bates Worldwide here for breach of his employment contract. The statement of claim, a more detailed account of allegations, is the next legal step following the writ issued Oct. 28 against Bates Dorland and Bates Worldwide in London's High Court.
NEW YORK-DeWitt Media last week lost an $80 million media buying assignment when Reebok International decided to consolidate its media at Chicago-based Leo Burnett USA, citing the full-service agency's worldwide capabilities. DeWitt, however, received a sweet consolation prize: A nearly $10 million media buying account for Reebok's Rockport shoe unit, which was with Ammirati & Puris/Lintas, New York.
SEATTLE-Highly regarded industry analyst and Internet expert Lisa Thorell has been hired as the new VP-director of marketing at software marketer Spry, reported Crain Communication Inc.'s InfoAge Marketing fax newsletter. "This hire is a coup," said Spry President David Pool, who lured Ms. Thorell from her post as principal analyst at market researcher Dataquest, San Jose, Calif.
PARIS-Mediopolis, the joint European media buying unit of Young & Rubicam and Euro RSCG set to start in January, is facing a major setback. Patrick Becouarn, president of Euro-RSCG's media buying operations and designated CEO of Mediopolis, is expected to announce his departure from both posts this week. Mr. Becouarn, who left Kraft General Foods France as president in 1992 to join Euro RSCG, is said to have had differences with top Euro RSCG executives.
EL SEGUNDO, Calif.-Mattel is talking to shops about handling Cabbage Patch Kids dolls and accessories, recently acquired from Hasbro. Participants are said to include Mattel agencies Foote, Cone & Belding and Ogilvy & Mather, both Los Angeles, and Waring & LaRosa, New York, and other shops.
NEW YORK-Grey Advertising reported third-quarter net income rose 8% to $3.35 million compared with the same quarter last year. Income from commissions and fees rose 11.5% to $149.5 million. For the first nine months of the year, net income was $11.6 million, down 4.1% from the first nine months of 1993. Income from commissions and fees increased 5.3% to $430.4 million.
NEW YORK- Saatchi & Saatchi Co. has merged the troubled New York office of its Saatchi & Saatchi Direct unit into sister Kobs & Draft Worldwide. The office, with 30 staffers and less than $20 million in billings, was rocked by the loss of perhaps $50 million in billings from AT&T earlier this year. Saatchi Direct President-CEO Deborah Newkerk is leaving the agency. Hudson Street Partners, Saatchi's infomercial production agency, also will become part of Kobs & Draft, which will shift its own infomercial projects into the unit. Saatchi retains separate direct marketing offices overseas.
NEW YORK-Athletic footwear marketer Apex One has been quietly conducting a review since Partners & Shevack surrendered the $5 million account in August, citing discomfort with Apex's turbulent financial situation. Finalists for the Apex account: Earle Palmer Brown, Philadelphia; Cole & Weber, Portland, Ore.; and Cole Henderson Drake, Atlanta. In the interim, Moo Advertising, New York, is working on a spot for Apex to hit in December. And Ammirati & Puris/Lintas resigned the $1 million Boks account; Boks is a casual footwear division of Reebok. An agency review is not yet planned.
CHICAGO-Union and management negotiators at the Chicago Sun-Times could enter this week staring across a chasm of differences capable of plunging the daily into a strike, Crain's Chicago Business reported. Should intense weekend negotiations fail to produce an agreement between the Chicago Newspaper Guild and Sun-Times management, a walkout set for noon today by guild members would rob the tabloid of veteran editorial staffers on the eve of Election Day. In San Francisco, newspaper union representatives used a telemarketing-style campaign targeting advertising agency executives to urge them to drop ads in two strikebound newspapers, the morning Chronicle and afternoon Examiner.
CHICAGO-A Foote, Cone & Belding Communications spokesman denied published reports that the company is on the verge of acquiring Eisaman, Johns & Laws, Los Angeles. FCB continues to talk to the $150 million Eisaman, but a decision is "nowhere near imminent," he said.
U.K. breaks $60M lottery campaign
LONDON-"The hand of good fortune" stars in Saatchi & Saatchi Advertising's $60 million campaign for the U.K. National Lottery. The blitz began last week to prepare for ticket sales, which begin next week. The National Lottery estimates that 95% of the U.K.'s adult TV viewers will see 13 lottery ads, themed "It could be you," before the first winners are chosen Nov. 19. The lottery offers a top weekly prize of $3.3 million.
COLOGNE-Sony Europe saw presentations for its $120 million pan-European account last week from BBDO Europe and DDB Needham. Young & Rubicam withdrew from the pitch due to potential conflicts with Kodak and other clients. Local agencies handle currently.
BUDAPEST-Hungarian lawmakers drafted a media bill for submission to Parliament requiring the state to accept bids for the nation's first independent terrestrial TV channel by Dec. 31, 1995. The bill calls for the guarantee of continued state ownership of two TV channels; the state would have to give up one of its stations if the deadline for the independent channel is not met. Pressure mounted against the government to sell its two TV channels, criticized for unwanted political propaganda.
PARIS-Euro Disney SCA last week announced a $353 million loss and a great drop in attendance at Disneyland Paris in fiscal 1993. The loss compares favorably with 1992's $1 billion-plus loss; however, the park's attendance of 8.8 million was down 10.2% from the previous year and fell far short of the anticipated 11 million. Disney forecasts profit for the park in 1996. Separately, Walt Disney Attractions, London, moved the $8.2 million U.K. campaign promoting its U.S. theme park-resorts to Saatchi & Saatchi Advertising from in-house.
LONDON-General Motors awarded the $30 million pan-European campaign for a new network of used-car dealers, marketed under the Opel brand, to Cogent Advertising.
LONDON-Utilities giant British Gas aligned its $32.6 million Public Gas Supply account with BMP DDB Needham following a corporate restructuring. BMP previously handled fuel-benefit and retail business for Public Gas, and Young & Rubicam handled customer service. British Gas also consolidated its $6.2 million direct marketing with WWAV Rapp Collins, previously handled on a project basis.
TOKYO-Dentsu is discussing relocating its Asia/Pacific regional headquarters from Tokyo to Hong Kong or Sydney within the year, said Michiya Matsuoko, Dentsu's Asia/Pacific chief. He said Dentsu may restructure its Australian operations, which center on AIS Media, Sydney, and BAM/SSB, Sydney and Melbourne.
BUENOS AIRES-MTV Latino said last week it will handle Latin American regional ad sales for Spelling Satellite Networks' Tele Uno channel for one year. MTV Latino said it will receive an unspecified percentage of Tele Uno's ad revenues, and that it may use cross-promotions and time swaps with Tele Uno.
NEWCASTLE, England-Procter & Gamble, straight from its pan-European attack campaign against Unilever's Persil and Omo Power detergents, unveiled Ariel Future and Ariel Future Color in the U.K. last week with a $10.5 million campaign by Saatchi & Saatchi Advertising. P&G says the new detergent produces a better wash, with no "accelerator" ingredient capable of damaging fabrics, a charge that dogged Unilever's Persil since its April introduction.
STOCKHOLM-Volvo acknowledged reports that it may introduce a sport utility vehicle resulting from talks with Mitsubishi. The two companies share a factory in Born, Netherlands. However, Volvo did not comment on reports that it is preparing to collaborate with British carmaker Tom Wilkinshaw Racing, which has contributed technological expertise to Jaguar, to attract younger drivers.
MEXICO CITY-Sears, Roebuck de Mexico said it will spend $23.5 million on ads and promotions in Mexico in 1995, up 30% from 1994, a boost coinciding with announcements from U.S. department store chains Dillard Department Stores, J.C. Penney Co. and Saks Fifth Avenue that they will enter Mexico by 1997. Sears also announced plans to double its Mexican presence to 100 stores by the year 2000. A national multimedia image campaign by Young & Rubicam will break early next year.
Avon Products, New York, named seven finalists for its $15 million to $25 million account: the Martin Agency, Richmond, Va.; Kirshenbaum & Bond, Altschiller Reitzfeld, Goldsmith Jeffrey and N W Ayer & Partners, all New York; Leonard/Monahan, Providence, R.I.; and one undisclosed midsize agency. FCB/Leber Katz Partners, New York, previously handled.
Gallaher Tobacco (UK), Weybridge, England, to CDP Media, London, for its entire $47 million cigarette print media buying account, previously shared with Saatchi & Saatchi's Zenith Media.
Foodmaker's Jack in the Box, San Diego, to Chiat/Day, Venice, Calif., from Cohen/Johnson, Los Angeles, for the fast-food chain's $35 million account. Bang & Olufsen, Brussels, to Grey Advertising, Duesseldorf, from Bates, which held the account outside Germany, for its entire $16 million pan-European account.
E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Co., Wilmington, Del., to Young & Rubicam, New York, from N W Ayer & Partners for its estimated $8 million to $10 million Teflon finishes account in North America.
Seiko Corp. of America , Mahwah, N.J., to the Martin Agency, Richmond, Va., from DDB Needham Worldwide, New York, for the estimated $9 million Seiko and Lassale brand watch accounts.
Walt Disney Co.'s Disney Consumer Products division, Los Angeles, to Butler, Shine & Stern, Sausalito, Calif., from Earle Palmer Brown, New York, for the relaunch of its estimated $6 million to $8 million account for five brands of products, ranging from infants toys to sporting goods.
Ringling Bros., Barnum & Bailey Combined Shows, Vienna, Va., to the Seininger Advertising Group, Beverly Hills, Calif., to handle its estimated $2 million to $3 million 125th anniversary campaign.
Federal Communications Commission's Dec. 5 auction for 99 personal communication system licenses could have as many as 74 bidders. Bidders include AT&T, Electronic Data Systems Corp., McCaw Cellular Communications, the seven Baby Bells, and Sprint with Tele-Communications Inc. and Cox Cable Communications.
Cramer-Krasselt, Milwaukee, last week announced a joint venture with the Atrium Group, a Chicago-based producer of interactive, multimedia communications. The partnership says it plans to run the programming on a number of media: cable and network TV, CD-ROM, online services and kiosks.
International Data Group acquired 11 pubications from Europress Publications, Macclesfield, England. They are PC Today, PC Home, CD-ROM Now, CD-ROM Powerplay, Acorn User, Acorn Computing, Amiga Action, Amiga Computing, ST Review, GB Action and Movies, Gamers & Videos.
TeleCompras Shopping Network, a Miami-based Spanish-language shopping network, announced plans for a December launch in the U.S. The company has secured space on Manhattan Cable, and is negotiating with cable systems in Miami, Los Angeles, Houston and Chicago. A Latin American launch is planned for 1995. JGR & Associates, Miami, will handle advertising and public relations.
Marvel Entertainment Group acquired rival comic book publisher Malibu Comics Entertainment, Calabasas, Calif. Malibu will continue to function as a separate entity with no planned reduction in staff. However, Malibu's interactive unit will be scaled back as Marvel is seeking partnerships outside the company. Malibu will continue to handle its marketing in-house.
Games Publishing Group, Boston, in January will launch an every-other-monthly, Zigzag- Games for Kids, targeting children ages 7 and up. A color page is $4,500.
Gordon Bethune, 53, to president-CEO from president-chief operating officer at Continental Airlines, Houston, eight days after Robert Ferguson resigned the position (AA, Oct. 31). The chief operating officer post won't be filled.
Steve Stone to senior VP-creative director on the Saturn Corp. account at Hal Riney & Partners, San Francisco, from founder of the Stone Group.
Pamela Maphis Larrick, 43, to exec VP-managing director, McCann Direct, New York, from senior VP-managing director, Ogilvy & Mather Direct. She succeeds William Morrissey, who left.
Robert Fly, president-chief operating officer, and Loren Chamberlain, vice chairman-chief marketing officer, at Long Haymes Carr Lintas, Winston-Salem, N.C., have opted not to renew their contracts with Interpublic Group of Cos. and will leave at yearend. Their duties will be absorbed by Chairman-CEO Don Adams and other senior managers.
Jon Turner to head of creative services, a new post at the Body Shop, London, from group creative head at design consultancy Imagination. (For more people news, see Page 49.)
RJR Nabisco announced a plan to sell a 19% share in its food company to investors and said it was abandoning plans to acquire a 20% share of Borden as part of a move by Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. to buy all of Borden. Kohlberg, which owns much of RJR, has already made a $2 billion offer for Borden. Also, Japonica Partners, the investment company led by Paul Kazarian, said it planned to present a competing bid for Borden.
Hershey Foods USA will consolidate its U.S., Canadian and Mexican chocolate and confectionery operations into a single unit to be called Hershey Chocolate North America as part of a companywide restructuring that will include the loss of 400 jobs. Advertising and marketing aren't expected to be negatively affected by the restructuring. DDB Needham Worldwide and Ogilvy & Mather, both New York, handle Hershey's advertising.
WPP Group's J. Walter Thompson USA unit filed suit in New York Supreme Court against McCann-Erickson Worldwide Exec VPs James Heekin and Peter Kim, former JWT exec VPs. It's alleged Messrs. Heekin and Kim breached JWT contracts by soliciting employees from that agency. The two men weren't available for comment.
Chevrolet will target first-time car buyers when the estimated $35 million marketing effort for the redesigned Geo Metro subcompact gets into full swing with a national print campaign on Nov. 8 and TV the following day, from Lintas Campbell-Ewald, Warren, Mich. The General Motors Corp. division will also run spot TV, radio and outdoor in 55 key markets.
Coca-Cola Co. rejected a proposal to join with Busch Entertainment Corp. to build a paid admission theme park next to Atlanta's proposed Centennial Olympic Park. Coca-Cola still plans to offer a scaled-down plan for the more than 12 acres it acquired.BMW of North America introduces its redesigned 7-Series today with a $25 million marketing effort that includes four new TV spots and print ads developed by Mullen, Wenham, Mass. The campaign positions BMW's flagship 740i sedan, priced at $57,900, as "The BMW of luxury cars."
Greyhound Lines, the nation's largest bus company, says it will fight an involuntary Chapter 11 bankruptcy petition filed against it by bondholders last week in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Dallas. Temerlin McClain, Dallas, handles Greyhound's estimated $10.6 million ad account.
Estee Lauder USA is targeting a more diverse audience of women and stepping up its ethnic marketing. "The consumer is aging, and that will require new care products. Ethnic markets will continue to have the highest growth," President Robin Burns said at a Harper's Bazaar breakfast last week. Lauder has begun advertising in magazines such as Essence, Face, and Spanish- and Korean-language newspapers. Bates Manhattan is Lauder's agency of record.
D'Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles has consolidated its U.S. Hispanic media buying operations with Sosa, Bromley, Aguilar & Associates, San Antonio. Eight people and an estimated $35 million in media billings, primarily from Procter & Gamble Co., move to San Antonio from sister agency Noble & Asociados, Irvine, Calif.Loews Corp. reported that increased profits of its Lorillard cigarette operations helped fuel a return to company profitability in the third quarter. The company said cigarette profits grew to $93.9 million, up 59% from last year, a time when competitors were cutting cigarette prices.
Loews Corp. reported third-quarter earnings of $134.2 million, compared with a loss of $89.6 million for the same quarter last year, on 4% higher revenues of $3.55 billion.
Spy's latest prank had the satirical magazine conning some of the biggest companies in the U.S. into believing President Clinton would endorse their products, even though the president is barred from giving commercial endorsements. Among those Spy says it duped: Weight Watchers International, Burger King Corp. and Snapple Beverage Corp.
Bausch & Lomb is facing a class-action suit after a U.S. District Court judge in Birmingham, Ala., last week certified the suit, which claims the company misled consumers into paying more for some brands of its disposable contact lenses when all three are identical. The company acknowledged that the brands-SeeQuence 2, Medalist and Optima-are the same but denied misrepresenting that fact to consumers or eyecare professionals.
Avis advertising from Bates USA, New York, escaped being enjoined by a U.S. District Court judge after Hertz Corp. challenged it as misleading. Hertz said this week it will begin offering a Curbside Return, similar to Avis', to its No. 1 Gold Club members. Print ads will support from Wells Rich Greene BDDP.