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Omnicom Group, New York, said first-quarter net income climbed 27% to $50.9 million from the year-ago period. Worldwide revenue increased 24% to $861 million. Domestic revenue growth was 24%, to $475.2 million. International revenue in the quarter climbed 23% to $385.8 million. At Interpublic Group of Cos., first-quarter net income was up 25.4% to $27.6 million, as gross income climbed 22.8% to $733.5 million. Gross income growth from U.S. operations, at 37.2% in the quarter, outpaced international operations, which grew 11.1% (a 21.5% gain before adjusting for the strong U.S. dollar, Interpublic said). Billings from new business gained in the quarter totaled $523 million, an 11% increase over the same period a year ago. Separately at Interpublic, the holding company closed its acquisition of Carmichael Lynch, Minneapolis, on April 16.

Harte-Hanks profits more than double

Harte-Hanks Communications, San Antonio, saw net income rocket by 135% in the first quarter, to $14.1 million, vs. the same period a year ago. Revenue was up 28.4% to $177.7 million. Also at the company, Harte-Hanks Data Technologies, Billerica, Mass., a division of Harte-Hanks Direct Marketing, announced the completion of a customer database for and the beginning of a consulting relationship with Banana Republic and Gap Online Store, two divisions of The Gap. In a separate agreement, Harte-Hanks Data Technologies completed a database of about 3 million names for Stage Stores, a Houston-based retail apparel chain. The database will be used for marketing and customer modeling.

Hill Holliday wins Dunkin' Donuts media

Dunkin' Donuts awarded its $45 million media buying assignment to Hill, Holliday, Connors, Cosmopulos, Boston. Media had previously been handled by VSM Media, New York, which was a finalist for the account. Earlier this month, Hill Holliday won the creative portion of the account in a separate review.

NBC's Chicago station boots `Jerry Springer'

Faced with rising community opposition and limited advertiser interest, NBC owned-and-operated WMAQ-TV, Chicago, last week dropped the controversial "Jerry Springer Show," Electronic Media reported. On the downside, market sources said, the station will likely take a financial hit on the deal, as "Springer" will continue to be produced at WMAQ's NBC Tower studios at a reduced rate. "Springer" distributor Studios USA scored points by gaining a second run of the show when it moves to Fox-owned WFLD-TV. With that move, sources said, the distributor's license fee more than doubles. Despite sky-high ratings, sources said, "Springer" was not that profitable for WMAQ, which at times had trouble attracting local advertisers to it.

Redenbacher picks Euro RSCG Tatham

Con Agra's Hunt-Wesson unit moved its Orville Redenbacher business to Euro RSCG Tatham, Chicago, from TBWA Chiat/Day, San Francisco. The win includes the Swiss Miss puddings and Hunt's Snack Pack account. Total spending is put at $25 million. Tatham pitched against TBWA Chiat/Day; Y&R Advertising, San Francisco; and Team One, El Segundo, Calif.

Chrysler juggles executives' jobs

James Julow has been named general manager of Chrysler Corp.'s Dodge Division. Mr. Julow moves to the Dodge post from executive director-corporate marketing. Succeeding him, with the new title of executive director-marketing and corporate merchandising operations, is Joseph Casola. At Dodge, Mr. Julow succeeds Ray Fisher, who, in turn, succeeds Mr. Casola and Thomas Marinelli. Mr. Fisher takes the title of Chrysler Corp. general manager-sales and service. Mr. Marinelli becomes general manager-fleet operations.

Sara Lee's Champion taps Long Haymes

Sara Lee Corp.'s Champion Products moved its $5 million to $10 million creative account to Long Haymes Carr, Winston-Salem, N.C., from TBWA Chiat/Day, New York. Champion's media buying is handled by Ammirati Puris Lintas, New York, a sister agency of Long Haymes Carr under Interpublic Group of Cos. TBWA Chiat/Day won the account from Merkley Newman Harty in 1996.

Dial to launch bar and body wash

Dial Corp. this spring will launch Spring Water Dial, a bar and body wash. Ad plans were not disclosed. Dial said it also will debut print ads for its Natures Accents line of bath and body products in June issues of Cosmopolitan, Glamour, Mademoiselle and Seventeen. The line is sold mainly through Wal-Mart and Kmart stores. Plans to launch a new, taller, pillar-style Renuzit air freshener candle have been delayed until fall due to a fire at a supplier. DDB Needham Worldwide, New York, handles all three brands.

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