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P&G, Coke to scale back proposed joint venture

Procter & Gamble Co. said in an 8-K filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission that it and Coca-Cola Co. are scaling back a proposed joint venture. Instead, the two mega-marketers will discuss a distribution deal by which Coca-Cola bottlers would distribute such P&G brands as Pringles and Sunny Delight. In February, the two companies announced a more ambitious deal that would have combined P&G's snack and juice drink brands into a 50-50 joint venture that would also have included such Coca-Cola brands as Minute Maid and Hi-C.

Martin closes office in San Francisco, lays off 5

Succumbing to the prevailing economic climate, Martin Agency announced Aug. 13 it was closing its San Francisco office effective immediately and laying off five of the 11 employees. The Richmond, Va.-based agency, owned by Interpublic Group of Cos., will retain its home office and another in New York. "We assembled a great group of people in San Francisco at the worst possible time," said Dean Jarrett, Martin's senior VP-marketing and communications. "We hate it. But there wasn't even anything on the horizon. It's a dry market." This is Interpublic's second San Francisco shutdown this year, following the closing of Lowe Lintas & Partners' office there. The Lowe Lintas office in San Francisco employed 27 people, and the closing was precipitated by the loss of the $100 million Sun Microsystems account as a result of a conflict with fellow Lowe client Dell Computer Corp. Lowe Lintas, New York, lost the Dell account earlier this year. Martin Agency has retained a firm to help the five terminated employees. The other six were offered positions in either Richmond or New York. Martin's San Francisco office was opened just 13 months ago.

Powerade to launch major advertising push

Coca-Cola Co. this week breaks an estimated $20 million Ripley's-believe-it-or-not-style campaign for Powerade. The sports drink, a distant No. 2 to rival PepsiCo's Gatorade, will run four spots, some of which show people accomplishing seemingly impossible feats. Rohan Oza, brand director, wouldn't say whether events depicted in the "Very Real Power" campaign actually happened. In addition to the hip, sports-oriented ads with pulsating music, an exploding bottle and new package graphics, the ads carry a small printed disclaimer that Powerade doesn't increase strength but does offer carbohydrate fuel, and a warning not to try the stunts at home. The campaign will run through November. Wieden & Kennedy, Portland, Ore., handled. The agency won the $32 million account in May. The ads will run in primetime, on sports and on youth-oriented cable. College football is a big push. Print will continue in magazines such as Maxim and ESPN.

Y&R lays off 10 employees in second-half `alignment'

WPP Group's Young & Rubicam, New York, has laid off 10 employees from its 700-person staff in response to "second-half 2001 alignments and readjustments," a company spokeswoman said. The fired staffers held positions at various levels throughout the agency.

Timberland taps Fallon for $15 million account

Timberland Co., Stratham, N.H., has selected Publicis Groupe's Fallon Wordwide, New York, as agency of record for its estimated $15 million account. Fallon bested Interpublic's Carmichael Lynch, Minneapolis; Havas Advertising's Black Rocket, San Francisco; and WPP Group's J. Walter Thompson Co., New York. The incumbent, Interpublic's Martin Agency, Richmond, Va., did not participate. Select Resources International, West Hollywood, Calif., handled the review. Fallon said the account was presented to all the agencies by Select Resources as a $25 million to $30 million account with the bulk of the effort to focus on the U.S. market.

Coors Brewing appoints chief marketing officer

Coors Brewing Co. has named Ron Askew chief marketing officer, succeeding Bill Weintraub. Mr. Askew is the founder and CEO of the Integer Group, a Lakewood, Colo., marketing services business that has handled Coors' promotional, point-of-sale and field-marketing assignments for eight years. He will leave Integer and join the Golden, Colo., brewer Oct. 1. Mr. Weintraub, who has been with the country's third-largest brewer since 1993, will continue with Coors until early next year, when he will start teaching graduate communications classes at the University of Colorado in Boulder.


Northrop Grumman, Los Angeles, assigned its estimated $7 million advertising account to Interpublic's McCann-Erickson, Los Angeles. Ian McGregor, general manager, said the account, which has been a $3 million to $4 million account, could grow to as much as $10 million to $15 million in billings in the next few years. Omnicom Group's BBDO West, San Francisco and Los Angeles, resigned the account because it is one of the finalists in the Boeing Co. review. ... Software AG Inc., the U.S. subsidiary of German software giant Software AG, named Cordiant Communications Group's DWP/Bates Technology, Atlanta, agency of record on its $10 million to $15 million U.S. account. DWP/Bates will handle its duties from its Dulles, Va., office, which is near Software AG's Reston, Va., headquarters. ... Hyatt Hotels Corp. is expanding its 12-year-old relationship with Omnicom's Rapp Collins Worldwide, New York, by tapping partly owned sibling Critical Mass, Calgary, to develop a unified Web site for the hotel chain's worldwide brands. ... Bcom3 Group's Starcom North America, Chicago, elevated Tim Hanlon and Andrew Swinand to VP. Mr. Hanlon, 35, is director of Starcom IP's Emerging Contacts, and works on clients including Miller Brewing Co., Walt Disney World, Nintendo of America and Allstate. Mr. Swinand, 33, is general manager of Starcom IP, San Francisco and oversees internet buying and planning for numerous accounts.

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