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Interpublic nears deal for Boston's Hill Holliday

[new york] Interpublic Group of Cos. is said to be close to acquiring Hill, Holliday, Connors, Cosmopulos, Boston. Interpublic Chairman-CEO Philip H. Geier Jr. would not comment; Hill Holliday officials denied the acquisition.

Bristol-Myers taps FCB

for $80 mil ad account

[new york] Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. assigned approximately $80 million in European and U.S. billings to Foote, Cone & Belding. European spending is estimated at $30 million, and FCB, London and Moscow, will co-lead the account, which includes the UPSA over-the-counter drug division and several assignments for Clairol hair products. FCB, Chicago, will handle the Mead Johnson Nutritionals division -- including Boost and Sustacal supplements and new-product launches -- while FCB's New York office will handle Clairol's Hydrience hair color. Some U.S. accounts were previously with Wells BDDP, New York.

Hilton Hotels sends $40 mil acc't to Bozell

[beverly hills, calif.] Hilton Hotels this week is expected to award its estimated $40 million account to Bozell Worldwide, Costa Mesa, following a lengthy review conducted by Select Resources International, West Hollywood. Dailey & Associates, Los Angeles, and Zenith Media, New York, were the U.S. incumbents. Other finalists included Y&R Advertising, San Francisco, and Bates USA, Irvine.

GM forms council to improve ads

[detroit] General Motors Corp. will announce today its new Agency Production Council to unify production efforts and improve ad creative via shared resources. The 17-member group of GM agency staffers will work with GM's staff. GM said the idea is consistent with its move to lower costs and, where appropriate, production will be consolidated across vehicle marketing divisions.

CBS Olympics ratings fall short of guarantees

[new york] If ratings shortfalls continue for the Winter Olympics on CBS, the network will be faced with giving advertisers significant make-goods, Electronic Media reports today. For the first five days of prime-time coverage, CBS averaged a 16.3 Nielsen Media Research rating and a 26 share, down 33% from the Nancy Kerrigan/Tonya Harding-fueled 1994 Lillehammer Games. The average is also short of the 19.6 rating CBS promised advertisers.

Intel adds 2nd shop to roster: Messner Vetere

[santa clara, calif.] Intel Corp. last week named Messner Vetere Berger McNamee Schmetterer/Euro RSCG, New York, as second agency on its estimated $100 million U.S. account, joining Euro RSCG DSW Partners, San Francisco and Salt Lake City.

Aamco Transmissions to Partners & Shevack

[bala-cynwyd, pa.] Aamco Transmissions has awarded Partners & Shevack, New York, its estimated $20 million account, following its split with previous agen- cy Publicis/Bloom, New York.

Polo Ralph Lauren in talks for global media buying

[new york] Polo Ralph Lauren has met with DDB Needham Worldwide and J. Walter Thompson Co., both New York, about global media buying and strategic planning, according to executives close to the agencies. Polo didn't return calls for comment by press time; the agencies declined to comment.

Merkley Newman exits $15 mil Pfizer review

[new york] Merkley Newman Harty withdrew from the review for the estimated $15 million Pfizer corporate account to concentrate on spring campaigns for new clients BMW Motorcycles, National Thoroughbred Racing Association and Public Service Gas & Electric, according to insiders. Bozell Worldwide and Hill Holliday/Altschiller will make presentations by month's end. Consultant is Advertising Agency Register.

Clean Shower extensions to get $10 million TV ad campaign

[jacksonville, fla.] Automation Inc. is launching two line extensions for its Clean Shower brand, backed by an estimated $10 million TV and print campaign from in-house agency East Pointe Advertising. The TV supplements existing network and local radio ads. New items include a cleaner that works on plastic and acrylic shower surfaces and a half-gallon size.

Carl's Jr. to increase '98 ad spending by 20%

[anaheim, calif.] CKE Restaurants is boosting media spending for its Carl's Jr. chain by 15% to 20% this year, fueled by unit expansion and a 0.5% increase in franchisee marketing contributions. The chain spent $22 million in measured media in the first 10 months of last year with creative from Mendelsohn/Zien, Los Angeles.

Sprint consolidates $50 million business accounts at Grey

[new york] Grey Advertising has won an additional $5 million to $10 million in local business and business branding ad work from Sprint Corp., which has now consolidated all its business accounts, worth an estimated $50 million, with Grey. NKH&W, Kansas City, Mo., previously handled.

Fruit of the Loom to discontinue review for $4 mil Gitano brand

[bowling green, ky.] Fruit of the Loom has put on hold a review for its Gitano Jeans brand, with spending estimated at $3 million to $4 million. Fruit of the Loom executives informed agencies it is considering reallocating the Gitano marketing budget to other brands. Mullen Advertising, Wenham, Mass., resigned the account.


Chris Jones adds the title chairman to that of CEO at J. Walter Thompson Worldwide, New York. He succeeds Burton Manning, now chairman emeritus . . . . Elizabeth Arden's White Diamonds fragrance from actress Elizabeth Taylor is being relaunched with an estimated $7 million ad campaign created in-house. . . . Gibson Greetings launches its first ever TV push later this year, a $3 million effort backing its hot line of Silly Slammers talking bean bag toys. Rockett, Burkhead, Lewis & Winslow, Raleigh, N.C., handles.

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