Rodman spots bow Thursday

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Comfort Inns & Suites will break its new TV ads featuring Chicago Bulls star Dennis Rodman on Thursday. Mr. Rodman will join Ivana Trump Mazzuchelli and Ricardo Montalban in popping out of suitcases for Comfort this summer in the hotel chain's "Put your money where your mouth is" campaign. As a tie-in promotion, Comfort Inns, a Choice Hotels budget product, will distribute Comfort Inn Satisfaction Guaranteed temporary tattoos during the first week in June. The tattoos are the ones Mr. Rodman displays in the spot. Gray Kirk/Van Sant, Baltimore, is the agency.

Doner Direct independent
W.B. Doner & Co., has launched Doner Direct as a free-standing direct marketing agency with offices in both Detroit and Baltimore. Doner Direct previously had been the direct marketing division the agency, but will now be operated as an independent business unit with $48 million in billings and 30 employees.

Former Exec VP Tony Everett was named president of Doner Direct. Kathy Schofield, senior VP-account director, was promoted to exec VP-director of account services. Scott Rasmussen, formerly senior VP-creative director, is now exec VP-creative director. Doner Direct also announced a new client, Independent Insurance Agents of America, which did not have a previous agency.

Cox plans convention channel
Cox Communications said it will operate a special TV channel devoted exclusively to the 1996 Republican National Convention in San Diego. For two weeks beginning Aug. 5, a Cox Cable channel, the ``Cox Convention Connexion,'' will cover activities related to the GOP gathering. Sig Mickelson, former president of CBS News and producer of the Republican's 1964 convention, will direct development of the content. The channel will be seen over the Cox system in the San Diego area, including hotel rooms, and content will be available to other cable systems.

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