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[san francisco] Charles Schwab & Co. and Lowe & Partners/SMS mutually agreed to part so Lowe could pursue the $70 million Merrill Lynch & Co. account. Lowe handled Schwab's $15 million sponsorship business and had discussed doing more work, but Schwab didn't want the agency pitching Merrill Lynch.

NFL talks with Coke reach crucial stage

[new york] The National Football League's negotiations with Coca-Cola Co. for its soft-drink sponsorship will reach a critical point this week when team owners and top league executives meet with Coca-Cola executives. Previous meetings have failed to yield a compromise over the price of the sponsorship. The NFL is asking for a six-year deal that pays an estimated $31 million annually. Coca-Cola is said to be willing to pay only $18 million a year. Pepsi-Cola Co., meanwhile, is said to be offering $15 million a year, the per-year value of the deal that just expired.

Nike sets big brand push for late summer

[beaverton, ore.] Nike agency Wieden & Kennedy, Portland, Ore., is creating a major brand campaign to break in late summer, during the back-to-school selling season. Handling the work at Wieden is Chuck McBride, the creative hotshot lured to the agency last fall from Foote, Cone & Belding, San Francisco. With "I can" now employed only when circumstances deem appropriate, the campaign might be tagged with "Just do it," which is soon returning to the Nike ad mix. "We never said `Just do it' was being retired," said Geoffrey Frost, director of worldwide advertising. "We'd have to be morons to throw that away."

Promus talks to shops about $50 mil acc't

[memphis, tenn.] Promus Hotel Corp. is talking to agencies about its estimated $50 million-plus account, according to people familiar with the situation. This follows the December merger of Promus, parent of Embassy Suites, Hampton Inn and other chains, with Doubletree Corp. Promus works with DDB Needham Worldwide, Dallas; Doubletree is at GSD&M, Austin, Texas.

Wendy's sets intro on `Seinfeld' finale

[dublin, ohio] Wendy's International is using the final episode of "Seinfeld" on NBC May 14 to launch a new product, a Honey Ham & Chicken sandwich. The chain said it will be the only restaurant advertiser on the episode. The 15-second spot on "Seinfeld" comes from Bates USA, New York.

Miramax reviewing $25 mil buying acc't

[new york] Miramax Films is contacting five agencies about its estimated $25 million New York print buying account. Studio executives say they are looking beyond current media buyer Harvest Communications because the studio is expanding and requires larger-scale resources.

BK backs Cini Mini's with $20 mil campaign

[miami] Burger King Corp. launches a $20 million campaign today to introduce a breakfast product, Cini Mini's (AA Fax, April 6), four minature cinnamon buns with icing on the side for dipping at 99 cents. Two 30-second TV spots from Ammirati Puris Lintas, New York, support; one features the Pillsbury Doughboy walking into a Burger King before dawn. Pillsbury Co. created the product for Burger King; both are owned by London-based Diageo.

Toyota Land Cruiser making TV ad debut

[torrance, calif.] Toyota Motor Sales USA breaks the first-ever TV campaign for its Land Cruiser tonight, primarily on cable. A $6 million to $8 million push with TV, print, direct and interactive will occur during the next three weeks, but the sole spot will air through September. The ad from Saatchi & Saatchi touts the redesigned sport-ute's heritage as it appears to orbit the earth. The new tag: "The true measure of a sport-utility vehicle is not where it can go, but where it has been."

Snyder to make public offering of 8.25 mil shares

[bethesda, md.] Snyder Communications filed a registration statement with the Securities & Exchange Commission on an underwritten public offering of 8.25 million shares of its common stock. Of the shares to be offered, 595,608 shares will be by Snyder, and 1 million by the company's executive officers and directors. The remainder will be offered by former shareholders of companies acquired for stock by Snyder.

Gillette readies effort for all women's brands

[boston] Gillette Co. is expected to announce this week an advertising branding campaign putting all of its female brands under the Gillette umbrella much as "Gillette. The best a man can get" applies to its men's products. BBDO Worldwide, New York, will handle.


Pat Sloan, senior editor and New York bureau chief at Advertising Age, will join DDB Needham Worldwide, New York, May 18 as senior VP-corporate director of public affairs. She succeeds Lou Tripodi, who died in January. . . . United Lending Group is conducting a review for its $15 million account. . . . Sony Wonder to Suissa Miller, Los Angeles, from JSM+ Communications, Santa Monica, Calif., for Sony Music's children and family division's estimated $10 million account. . . . Ziff-Davis, tentatively set to go public April 29, is folding monthly ComputerLife into new m0nthly Equip (AA, March 23). . . . Gordon Shank, 50, to chief marketing officer, a new post at Levi Strauss & Co., San Francisco, from president-Americas. . . . British Airways to Miller/Huber Relationship Marketing, San Francisco, for a new business travel assignment. . . . General Dynamics Corp. to Eisner & Associates, Baltimore, as agency of record for its corporate account, as well as for all its subsidiaries. . . . Rick Colby to president, a new post at Colby Effler & Partners, Santa Monica, Calif., from executive creative director. . . . Preview Software, a key player in the electronic software distribution market (AA, March 16), announces a merger today with rival Portland Software. . . . CyberShop International to Hampel/Stefanides, New York, as first agency for the online service's $4 million account.

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