NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J.-Food & Drug Administration approval of Johnson & Johnson's Confide HIV home test is expected in the next few weeks. J&J has met with a series of New York agencies in the last two weeks. McCann-Erickson Worldwide and DDB Needham Worldwide are now said to be out of the running; Saatchi & Saatchi Advertising is believed to be the front-runner. Ammirati & Puris/Lintas is also in the review.
NEW YORK-A new round of publisher changes is expected inside Conde Nast Publications this week, triggered by the retirement of longtime Exec VP John Brunelle, said insiders. The sudden cancellation of a party for Details Sept. 21 triggered speculation that Publisher Michael Perlis might move to a bigger post. Messrs. Brunelle and Perlis didn't return calls and a Conde Nast spokesman declined to comment.
NEW YORK-The NBA will break a celebrity-packed $8 million campaign in November, said to contain 15 spots and feature a famous comic actor. The spots could star Bill Murray, with a possible cameo by Jack Nicholson. In a spoof of Michael Jordan's retirement from basketball, the star quits acting to try out for all 26 NBA teams but fails to make any of them. The campaign from Berlin Wright Cameron Doyle is two-tiered, with one execution continuing the "I Love This Game" promotion of the NBA and a second said to be dubbed "I Love This Stuff," the first-ever consumer campaign for NBA licensed products.
WASHINGTON-Legislation aimed at shaping the information superhighway has been pronounced dead for this year by Sen. Ernest Hollings (D., S.C.), architect of the bill to overhaul U.S. communications law. The measure was opposed by larger phone companies and some lawmakers who wanted to make wholesale changes that Sen. Hollings said would gut the bill. The measure would have allowed telephone and cable companies into each others' businesses and let local phone services into long distance.
NEW YORK-Revlon International Chairman-President Paul Block will resign effective March 1. Mr. Block did not disclose his plans and Revlon has not yet chosen a successor.
NEW YORK-In a closed-door meeting Sept. 23, the American Association of Advertising Agencies heard from all sides in the dispute over magazine research methods. At the center of the fight is a Magazine Publishers of America draft report that labeled as "perplexing" some findings about readership from Simmons Market Research Bureau. Next, the Advertising Research Foundation will come up with a specific recommendation.
MONTVALE, N.J.-Mercedes-Benz of North America is quietly reviewing its estimated $5 million to $10 million direct marketing account, now at the Stenrich Group, Glen Allen, Va. Stenrich, a subsidiary of the Martin Agency, Richmond, Va., is not part of the review but sister shop Lowe Direct, New York, is participating. Meanwhile, a Mercedes spokesman denied widespread rumors that the company is talking to agencies for its general advertising account, now at Lowe & Partners/SMS.
NEW YORK-NBC led the Big 3 prime-time ratings race for the first four nights of the Sept. 19-25 premiere week, averaging a 14.4 rating, compared with a 13.7 for ABC, an 11 for CBS and a 7.8 for Fox, according to Nielsen Media Research. On Tuesday, ABC's "Home Improvement" handily won the battle with NBC's "Frasier," with a 22.7 rating compared with "Frasier's" 14.5. The Sept. 18 opening installment of Ken Burns' "Baseball" averaged a 5.1 rating on public TV stations in Nielsen's 32 overnight TV markets, far less than the expected numbers.
TORONTO-Antony Denham, 48, general manager, marketing and communications for Volkswagen Canada, will expand his role to include the U.S., a new post, VW Canada officials confirmed. The company has delayed announcing more details about the restructuring of its North American operations. Mr. Denham will be responsible for making any changes in U.S. and Canadian ad agency assignments (AA, Sept. 5). VW Canada officials suggested no moves are imminent but said they expect a stronger focus on dealer support. Current agencies are Berlin Wright Cameron Doyle, New York, for Volkswagen, and McKinney & Silver, Raleigh, for Audi in the U.S.; DDB Needham, Toronto, for English creative in Canada in association with Bruce & Myers Creative Directions, Toronto, and Palm Publicite Marketing, Montreal, for French creative.
NEW YORK-A federal district court judge last week decided not to issue a preliminary injunction blocking the Associated Press from electronic delivery of advertisements to newspapers. Ad/Sat said AP's new AdSend service, which made its debut last week, violates antitrust laws because it gives away transmission equipment and charges less than Ad/Sat for a competing service.
NEW YORK-Agencies in the $80 million Estee Lauder USA review are speculating the account may be headed in-house. No projects have been awarded to finalists yet, something that was supposed to happen after Labor Day. An Estee Lauder spokeswoman called the rumor "absolutely untrue."
NEW YORK-The National Hockey League said last week's move to delay the 1994-95 season's Oct. 1 start until a collective bargaining agreement is reached with players will have little impact on TV coverage by Fox and ESPN.
DALLAS-Southwest Airlines Chairman Herb Kelleher comes out fighting tonight in a 30-second network TV spot on ABC's "Monday Night Football." "Battle Cry" opens with Mr. Kelleher proclaiming, "Southwest will not lose a fare war." He then says the carrier offers low fares on every seat, every flight, everywhere the airline flies. The spot, from Cramer/Krasselt, Chicago, is part of a new campaign positioning Southwest as the low-fare airline.
TROY, MICH.-Kmart may be talking to potential buyers for its Builders Square unit, according to an analyst who spoke with Crain's Detroit Business. A potential suitor could be North Carolina-based Lowe's Cos., the analyst said. Kmart denied it has made any plans to sell off Builders Square.
GARDENA, Calif.-Honda sells Accord and its made-in-America status in a new spot that broke over the weekend. The commercial explains that the Accord is "America's No. 1 Export Car," in a 1995 model year TV campaign created by Rubin Postaer & Associates, Santa Monica.
NEW YORK-Margeotes Fertitta Donaher & Weiss has given its top creative post to Graham Turner, senior VP-creative director on the American Express account at Ogilvy & Mather. He will be exec VP-creative director. Mr. Turner, 39, succeeds Jeff Weiss, who formed Amster Yard, a unit of McCann-Erickson.
AMSTERDAM-Unilever is trying to fight a plunge in domestic sales of Omo Power detergent, following a consumer association's report that Omo ruins fabric, the latest problem since its introduction (AA, May 2, ). Unilever last week placed inserts in Dutch women's magazines offering one-third off Omo's price and is also breaking a newspaper and TV campaign by J. Walter Thompson Co. stressing the detergent's safety on fabrics. Also, this week Unilever will give away a free box of Omo for each box sold. One news service said Omo Power sales have dropped by half after this month's report.
TOKYO-Shiseido, Japan's largest cosmetics company, is starting a sampling campaign, breaking with a 70-year tradition of offering customers gifts based on the sizes of their purchases on annual "Cosmetic Days." In mid-October, Shiseido will give away 13.5 million samples in a "Nice to Meet You" promotion, designed to counter growing competition from discounters. A campaign created in-house will support the effort. Several agencies, including Dentsu and Hakuhodo, handle media buying and planning.
PARIS-Polaroid Europe invited four agencies to pitch for its $30 million to $40 million pan-European business: CLM/ BBDO and incumbent BDDP here; Bartle Bogle Hegarty, London; and Publicis, Frankfurt. A decision will be made in November.
ROME-Troubled state-owned airline Alitalia is inviting agencies to pitch for its account, drastically reduced this year to an unknown size and moved in-house from J. Walter Thompson Italia and Publicis FCB MAC, both Milan.
LONDON-Compaq Computer and IBM last week introduced lines of home PCs with built-in telephone answering machines, fax modems and CD-ROM drives. Compaq's Presario line, which also has TV reception capabilities, is backed by a print campaign from Bates Europe. IBM is rolling out a competing multimedia PC, Aptiva, with a print campaign by Ogilvy & Mather, the agency's first IBM work since it won the worldwide account in May. The campaign broke in national newspapers last week, with TV spots starting in mid-October. Both will be available in Europe.
BOMBAY-Kellogg Co. this month introduced three cereal brands here-Corn Flakes, Wheat Flakes and Basmati Flakes-and plans to break a campaign by Hindustan Thompson Associates to attract young consumers to cereals. The first year's budget will be $450,000.
COPENHAGEN-Audio systems marketer Bang & Olufsen asked six unnamed ad agencies to pitch its estimated $16 million international ad account. A decision is expected by yearend. Incumbent Ted Bates will not participate.
PARIS-Hachette Filipacchi Presse began publishing Bo l'Evenement Sportif, an upscale sports quarterly, in China last week in a joint venture with Chinese publisher New Sport Magazine. National TV, outdoor and print ads, handled in-house by Hachette and New Sport, support the introduction, consisting of 100,000 copies. J&B whiskey and watchmakers Omega and Baume & Mercier are among its advertisers. Separately, Hachette introduced Polish-language Elle, supported by TV, radio and outdoor ads by JWT Warsaw. The first issue of 250,000 copies includes ads from Estee Lauder Inc., Lancome, Guerlain, LOT Polish airlines, Adidas and Johnson & Johnson.
MEXICO CITY-Gigante, one of Mexico's three biggest retail chains, is creating a section for low-price bulk merchandise, Club de Precios, in its hypermarkets. The new addition, not supported by specific advertising, is designed to compete with U.S. warehouse clubs Wal-Mart and Price-Costco, which entered Mexico in 1991. Earlier this year Gigante also introduced Mexican retailing's first shoppers toll-free number, giving information about special prices and promotions and allowing customers to comment on the store.
WARSAW-General Motors Poland will award the first Opel Astra off the line at a $20 million Warsaw assembly plant, due to open in early November, to the potential buyer best explaining in an essay why he or she deserves to own the car. The month-long essay contest, created by ALCAT Communications here, broke this week. GM plans to produce 10,000 Polish cars a year in a 51%-49% joint venture with the state's Fabryka Samochodow Osobowych factory. Opel is also breaking print and TV ads from McCann-Erickson to reposition the Astra as a family car.
DowBrands, Indianapolis, has four finalists in its estimated $90 million integrated marketing review: BBDO Worldwide, Chicago; Campbell Mithun Esty, Minneapolis; Henderson Advertising, Greenville, S.C.; and Ross Roy Communications, Bloomfield Hills, Mich.
TDK Electronics, Port Washington, N.Y., had its estimated $5 million account resigned by Lord, Dentsu & Partners, New York.
Viacom's Showtime Networks, New York, is looking for an agency to handle the cable network, most recently at Ally & Gargano, New York. Consultant ADvice & ADvisors is handling the review.
AT&T Europe, Brussels, to McCann-Erickson Worldwide from Ogilvy & Mather for its $50 million corporate account for Europe, Africa and the Middle East.
Warner Wellcome Consumer Healthcare, Brussels, to J. Walter Thompson Europe, London, from Bates Europe for its consolidated $35 million centralized European pharmaceutical media buying and planning account.
The French government, Paris, to CLM/BBDO for the new $17 million campaign for the partial privatization of Renault.
Northwest Airlines, Minneapolis, to FCB/Leber Katz Partners, New York, from Fallon McElligott, Minneapolis, for its estimated $15 million U.S. account.
U S West, Englewood, Colo., to Campbell Mithun Esty, Minneapolis, from Grey Advertising, San Francisco, for its $10 million to $12 million corporate account.
Blimpie International, Atlanta, to Kirshenbaum & Bond, New York, from in-house for Blimpie Subs & Salads' estimated $5 million account.
Robert Iger, as expected, to president-chief operating officer, a vacant post at Capital Cities/ABC, New York, from president of the ABC Television Network Group. Also, David Westin was named president of the TV network group from president-production.
Richard Kinsler to exec VP-publisher, Playboy, New York, from publisher, New York Magazine. He succeeds Mike Perlis, now publisher of Details. Associate Publisher Irwin Kornfeld has left Playboy and won't be replaced.
TeleNoticias is a 24-hour TV news channel targeting Spanish-speaking nations and markets being planned for a December launch by Reuters Television; Telemundo; Antena 3 Internacional, a private TV network in Spain; and Artear in Argentina. The channel will be based in Hialeah, Fla.
USA Today expects soon to name an advertising reporter to replace Martha Moore, who took a year's leave to pursue a fellowship at Columbia University. As reported, former Los Angeles Times marketing columnist Bruce Horovitz has joined the paper as marketing reporter, a new position.
Home & Garden Television Network initiates its programming service on Dec. 30.
Jack Smith, 56, announced plans to retire effective Jan. 2, 1995, as group president and deputy chief creative officer for Leo Burnett Co. and Leo Burnett Worldwide, Chicago. His duties on the agency's executive committee will be absorbed by Burnett's five-person creative management team.
Kenneth Watson, 51, to new post of exec VP-marketing and product development for Kmart Corp., Troy, Mich. He was formerly president and CEO of Little Switzerland, a Caribbean retailer.
Loren Smith to chief marketing officer, U.S. Postal Service, Washington, from chairman-CEO, Citibank of Illinois, Chicago. He succeeds William Henderson, now chief operating officer at the postal service.
Robert Gutkowski resigned as president of Madison Square Garden, New York, a Viacom property that is being sold to ITT Corp. and Cablevision Systems Corp. David Checketts was named president of a newly formed MSG Sports Group from president of the New York Knicks.
Steven Goldstein, 39, to chief financial officer, Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide, New York, from North American chief operating officer at O&M parent WPP Group. He replaces Alicja Lesniak, who's joining BBDO Worldwide, Paris. (For more people news, see Page 33.)
Hyde Athletic Industries and New Balance Athletic Shoes were charged by the Federal Trade Commission with making misleading claims their shoes were made in the U.S. Hyde agreed to settle charges concerning claims for its Saucony brand shoes. New Balance said it would fight the charges. The FTC contends New Balance shoes assembled in the U.S. are largely made of foreign components. Both marketers had relied on made-in-America claims for their shoes in ads from Pedone & Partners, New York, for Hyde and from Messner Vetere Berger McNamee Schmetterer/Euro RSCG for New Balance.
First Financial Management Corp. won a bankruptcy court auction of Western Union Financial Services with a $1.9 billion bid. Western Union's agency is Lowe & Partners/SMS, New York.
Coca-Cola Co. said third-quarter unit case volume outside the U.S. is expected to rise about 14% compared with the same period a year ago, pushed by aggressive marketing and advertising programs for the Coca-Cola brand. U.S. growth is expected to hit 5% to 6%, bringing the worldwide increase to about 12%.
General Motors Corp. announced a tentative agreement to sell National Car Rental System to an investment group led by Vestar Equity Partners for an undisclosed price. W.B. Doner & Co., Southfield, Mich., has National's $20 million account. Also on the car rental front, Hertz Corp. will raise car rental prices 8% to 10% effective Oct. 1. The marketer cited higher car costs and interest rates. Hertz's decision was being studied by competitors.
Toyota Motor Sales USA's Lexus agreed to clarify print and radio advertising following a complaint by BMW of North America, the National Advertising Division of the Council of Better Business Bureaus announced. Lexus had run price comparisons between the Lexus ES and BMW 325i that originally did not disclose BMW's higher price included a $900 option for an automatic transmission. Also, New Strategies/Tropical Beaches has agreed to make requested changes to its 30-minute "Money Making Secrets" infomercial, NAD said. Trade group NIMA International brought the matter to NAD's attention, alleging the infomercial failed to disclose that alleged results of the money-making venture should not be considered typical.
Maybelline is forecasting a third-quarter earnings decline of 31%, noting competitive pressures on its Revitalizing cosmetics and skincare line from competitors such as Revlon's Age Defying makeup.
Borden spurned new suitor Paul B. Kazarian last week, according to the financier and former chairman of Sunbeam-Oster Co. Mr. Kazarian offered to pay $16 to $18 a share for as much as 90% of Borden, but observers said Borden was wary of Mr. Karazian's ability to finance the deal. Meanwhile, Borden's board reviewed provisions of its previously announced takeover deal from Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. while shareholder opposition grew.
General Mills unveiled the new crunchier taste of its regular Wheaties brand, to be introduced nationwide under the same "Breakfast of champions" tagline, via DDB Needham Worldwide, Chicago. Spokesman Michael Jordan has signed a new multiyear deal with General Mills, although Mr. Jordan does not appear on the new Wheaties box. The marketer also has reformulated the Cheerios brand to make it crunchier.
Mazda Motor of America will stop selling the two-door Navajo when inventories run out next year, making it the only Japanese auto marketer without a model in the red-hot sport-utility segment, Automotive News reported.
Safe Brands Corp.'s Sierra antifreeze and coolant is running an estimated $8 million campaign, via the Gillespie Organization, Princeton, N.J. The campaign features two 30-second spots as well as some radio and print in trade publications. The theme line remains "It's not just antifreeze. It's safety freeze."
Wisconsin Pharmacal's Female Health Co. this fall will run a professional and consumer print campaign to introduce the Reality female condom via McAdams Consumer Healthcare Advertising, New York. Ads will appear in People, Glamour, Essence and Mademoiselle with the tagline "Make it your reality."
Coca-Cola Foods' Minute Maid Foodservice unit will begin testing its juices and juice drinks in four new theater chains following their introduction in 250 Cineplex Odeon Theaters. By the end of the year, the company expects its products to appear in 1,000 theaters nationwide.
VH-1 Oct. 9 and 10 will host "Fairway to Heaven," an unusual celebrity pro-am tournament teaming rock musicians with renowned PGA golfers for an 18-hole tournament at Walt Disney World's Magnolia golf course in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. Musicians include Alice Cooper, Amy Grant and Jon Bon Jovi. Golfers include U.S. Open champions Payne Stewart and Scott Simpson.
Blockbuster Entertainment Corp. and Sony Music Corp. are conducting a joint promotion of the video "Barbra-The Concert." Blockbuster stores will offer a special version of Barbra Streisand's Aug. 21 concert on HBO, featuring a song not available on copies of the video sold at other outlets.