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Sony buys TAI, links with JSkyB; DMB&B splits

Sony Corp. has taken a 94% stake in Tokyu Agency International, Tokyo, as part of the entertainment empire's growing role as media owner, content provider and advertiser (AA, March 10). Also, Sony revealed its plans to invest in JSkyB, the digital satellite venture due to launch in April 1998 with 150 channels. The ad agency, in which Sony already held 12.5% equity, changed its name on May 1 to Intervision and now has new management. Tokyu Corp. has reduced its holding in Intervision from 63.5% to 6%. Intervision will involve itself in advertising in new media such as digital TV, the Internet and software game-based formats. New management installed at Intervision includes Sony's adviser Koshiro Ando as president. D'Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles, New York, which had held a 24% stake in TAI, is establishing an independent agency in Japan, called D'Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles/TAI, and will take over all DMB&B-linked clients formerly handled by TAI.

Inter-Act Systems putting kiosks in Vons

Inter-Act Systems, a marketer of in-store couponing kiosks, signed California supermarket chain Vons to place the kiosks in 330 stores. The company said that, with the addition of Vons and others, Inter-Act will be on track to have its system in place in 1,000 stores by midyear. The company also signed PepsiCo, H.J. Heinz Co., Kimberly-Clark Corp. and McNeil Laboratories to use its promotional system.

U S West unit takes MediaOne name

Continental Cablevision, purchased last year by regional Baby Bell U S West, changed its name to MediaOne. The new name reflects the company's plans to be a "broad-band" provider by delivering telephone service and high-speed Internet access as well as cable TV.

Caruso steps in as `Details' editor

Michael Caruso, former editor in chief of Los Angeles, was named editor in chief of Conde Nast Publications' Details, effective immediately. He succeeds Joe Dolce, who resigned last month. Mr. Caruso's first issue will be September. The June issue will be a special themed issue on careers that will likely become an annual, like Details' annual sex-themed issue, said Conde Nast Editorial Director James Truman. But "The thrust of the magazine is still going to be fashion, lifestyle and service for young men," said Mr. Truman.

Fair Riley healthcare added to Bozell net

Bozell, Jacobs, Kenyon & Eckhardt acquired Fair Riley Communications, Laguna Beach, Calif. Fair Riley will merge with Bozell Healthcare West to form Fair Riley Call/Bozell, a healthcare agency based in Costa Mesa. Jackie Reed, senior partner and director of Bozell Healthcare West, is president-CEO.

FDA opens hearings on Xenical weight drug

Roche Laboratories' Xenical, its much-anticipated prescription weight-reducing drug, underwent its first hearing before a Food & Drug Administration advisory committee May 14. The session was the first step toward full approval for marketing, which could come as soon as this fall. Lowe & Partners/SMS, New York, won the estimated $50 million to $60 million account.

Y&R/S.F. boosts Bracker in Clorox work shift

Y&R Advertising, San Francisco, shifting the management team on its Clorox Co. account, named Will Bracker VP-management supervisor for Clorox, from account supervisor on Colgate-Palmolive Co. in the agency's New York office; he succeeds Jim Nichols, now marketing manager, Segasoft.

Airlines form int'l Star Alliance

Star Alliance, a new international airline partnership, was formed by United Airlines, its existing partners Lufthansa and Scandinavian Airlines System, and new additions Air Canada and Thai Airlines. Star is backed by a $25 million print marketing campaign from Y&R Advertising, New York, with worldwide ads in business publications. Star Alliance will be symbolized by a single logo of five pyramids in a circle that will appear on all planes of the member airlines, in airports and ticket offices. Frequent fliers on Star Alliance flights will be able to accumulate and redeem miles through each airline's program, among other benefits. American Airlines immediately called for government approval of its alliance with British Airways, noting it was created largely in response to that of United.

New print ads built for Skil tools

Skil Power Tools breaks a new print advertising campaign introducing its MVP line of tools for do-it-yourselfers in the May 19 homeowner's issue of Newsweek, followed by Sports Illustrated, Field & Stream, Outdoor Life and other consumer magazines. The campaign by Cramer-Krasselt, Chicago, also introduces a new logo, consisting of the Skil Power Tools mark on a Skilsaw blade, and a new tagline, "The legend that keeps building."

Massachusetts tries toll ticket ads

The Massachusetts Turnpike and Massachusetts Port Authority are selling ads on toll tickets. Two Massachusetts-based retailers, Staples and Legal Seafoods, are the first advertisers, attempting to reach motorists traveling on the Massachusetts Turnpike and in the Boston Harbor Tunnels.

Paxson buys Dow Jones' WBIS

Paxson Communications Corp. will acquire WBIS-TV, the New York UHF TV station owned by Dow Jones & Co. and ITT Corp., as the flagship station of Paxson's proposed new nationwide broadcast TV network. Purchase price was estimated at $258 million. Paxson plans to change the call letters to WPXN and carry a variety of sports, ethnic, foreign-language, religious and infomercial programming. Dow Jones will halt its business news telecasts June 29.

CKS expected to add SiteSpecific shop

CKS Group, Cupertino, Calif., is expected to acquire SiteSpecific. The New York-based shop's founder and President Seth Goldstein, 26, declined to comment on the status of conversations between his agency and CKS. Harte-Hanks Communications, which in 1996 took a minority stake in SiteSpecific that included options to acquire up to 49% of the agency, could not be reached for comment.

Northwestern med center lands at Burnett

Northwestern Memorial Hospital has named Leo Burnett USA, Chicago, as its first agency of record after a three-month review. The Chicago-based medical center is currently constructing a $580 million state-ofthe-art facility in downtown Chicago, the biggest privately funded construction project in Illinois. It is due to open in 1999. "We sought an agency that is both strategic in its thinking and exceptionally strong in creative development and execution," said William Hensley, VP-public relations and marketing at Northwestern. Spending has not yet been set.

Kodak pushes premium film processing

Eastman Kodak Co. on May 21 launches a national campaign for Kodak Premium Processing (Qualex) with two 30-second TV spots followed by prin. Ads by Ogilvy & Mather, Atlanta, stress Kodak's print quality and film reordering and storing features.

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