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General Mills is consolidating its $450 million U.S. media buying business, according to executives familiar with the review. In the mix are roster shops Zenith Media (jointly owned by Cordiant Communications Group and Publicis Groupe), the media department at Omnicom Group's DDB in New York, and Interpublic Group of Cos.' Universal McCann, which has a relationship with General Mills outside of the U.S. through a joint venture with Nestle, a client of McCann-Erickson Worldwide. General Mills' media buying is currently divided between shops, not according to brands but by media. Zenith and DDB both handle portions of national broadcast. Requests for proposals were sent out to the agencies earlier this week. Although there is no timetable, it is expected that the food marketer will make a decision soon. General Mills' move to consolidate media is likely part of the marketer's preparations for the acquisition of Pillsbury, which is expected to close by the beginning of 2002. See for more details.

Exec changes rock Coca-Cola, Turner

High-profile marketing executive Steven Heyer moved from AOL Time Warner's Turner Broadcasting Systems to Coca-Cola Co. as a series of executive changes shook up both Atlanta-based companies. Coke President and chief operating officer Jack Stahl resigned as the beverage marketer realigned itself into four business units-the Americas, Asia, Europe/Africa and New Business Ventures. Mr. Heyer, who had been president-chief operating officer of TBS, will head the New Business Ventures operation, which includes Coke's joint venture with Procter & Gamble Co. The departure of Mr. Heyer from TBS came with the announcement that AOL Time Warner would create a TV networks group that will combine its WB broadcast network with its cable properties ranging from CNN to TNT to Cartoon Network. AOL Time Warner said WB CEO and founder Jamie Kellner would serve as chairman-CEO of the new TBS. The company also said current Chairman-CEO Terence McGuirk would no longer have a hands-on role in operations, but would remain as vice chairman. The expanded TBS division allows for joint ad sales, marketing and programming decisions among the broadcast/cable outlets. Separately, AOL Time Warner named Bob Friedman to the new post of president of its interactive AOLTV business; he was co-chairman of worldwide theatrical marketing for New Line Cinema and president of New Line TV. See for more details.

AT&T throws $400 mil account into review

AT&T Wireless is reviewing its estimated $400 million advertising account, currently handled by True North Communications' FCB Worldwide, San Francisco. The move was reported first by March 8 and announced by AT&T later that day. The consultant on the review is Michael Keeshan of MagiKbox, Cos Cob, Conn. Up to 10 agencies have been invited to participate. FCB will defend. Just last month, AT&T broke a new FCB execution for the company's Customer Advantage program using the wandering shepherd first introduced last May. At the time, Phil Jacobus, VP-national advertising for AT&T Wireless, told that no decisions had been made whether to continue the shepherd imagery. AT&T Wireless is preparing to break from AT&T Corp. by midyear, when the parent splinters into four units. Such spinoffs commonly result in new brand advertising to establish the new company. FCB's New York office handles other portions of the AT&T account. WPP Group's Y&R Advertising, New York, handles consumer long-distance and corporate image work, an account estimated at $300 million, and on March 8 broke a corporate print branding campaign for AT&T (, March 8). Jordan McGrath Case & Partners, New York, a division of the Arnold Worldwide network of Havas Advertising, also handles a small portion of the AT&T account.

Microsoft picks Rodgers over FCB for Ultimate TV

The TV campaign that broke on March 7 for Microsoft's new UltimateTV product was created by Rodgers Townsend, St. Louis, not True North's FCB, San Francisco, the agency of record on the estimated $50 million campaign. An UltimateTV ad exec said the independent shop's creative concept integrated retail demonstration concepts better than FCB's concept. Rodgers Townsend was originally tapped for brand identity work on UltimateTV, which allows consumers to digitally record two TV shows at a time. FCB continues to handle print, online, media planning and sports marketing. Media buying is handled by Interpublic's Universal McCann, whose McCann-Erickson Worldwide, San Francisco, is Microsoft Corp.'s agency of record.The campaign was reported first by

Two shops split

BBC America account

BBC America, hoping to boost its viewership, has awarded two shops split duties for its $10 million account following a review. Kirshenbaum Bond & Partners West, San Francisco, will handle media, and Havas Advertising's Arnold Worldwide/Washington, McLean, Va., will handle creative. The BBC, available through satellite and digital cable, has an upscale and educated audience. The network hopes to double in viewership from 15 million homes to 30 million by 2003. Nigel Carr, managing partner-general manager of Kirshenbaum's San Francisco office, said the shop will focus on a media plan that includes targeted marketing and "guerrilla" marketing efforts.

OneMediaPlace merges with Media Passage

OneMediaPlace, a business-to-business site for buying and selling media, announced a merger with Media Passage, following the layoffs of about 50 employess March 5. Jerry Machovina, president-CEO of OneMediaPlace, said that the New York- and San Fransisco-based company began downsizing in January, letting go staff including all senior executives, excluding himself and Peter Effringer, VP-engineering. The name of the company may be changed to OneMediaPassage, Mr. Machovina said. The newly merged entity retains OneMediaPlace's Internet technology, which allows users to make media transactions over the Internet, and the company's assets.

August Busch IV to be honored at Cannes

Cannes International Advertising Festival will award the "Advertiser of the Year" title to August A. Busch IV, group VP-marketing and wholesale operations at Anheuser-Busch Cos. The honor, to be bestowed on June 23, is in recognition of Mr. Busch's contribution to the company's domination of the U.S. brewing industry, in particular the outstanding and consistent quality of recent advertising campaigns through Omnicom's DDB Worldwide, Chicago.

Wella gives global biz to Select Communications

German haircare giant Wella has placed its estimated $100 million global advertising business with Koblenz-based Select Communications. Others competing for the business included two Hamburg-based agencies, Bcom3 Group's D'Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles and Springer & Jacoby, part-owned by True North Communications, and two Frankfurt agencies, Bcom3's Michael Conrad & Leo Burnett and Cordiant's Bates Worldwide.

Sprint hands account

to StrawberryFrog

Sprint Corp. has awarded its advertising account outside the U.S. to a young virtual ad agency called StrawberryFrog. The Amsterdam-based agency will work on a global branding campaign alongside its guerrilla and interactive marketing agency, BlueberryFrog.


The Ad Council, in the wake of more school shootings, has won commitments from TV networks to run a public service announcement urging students to tell school officials about suspicious gun talk. ... Ford Motor Co. named Francisco Codina general marketing manager of Ford Division from president, Ford Argentina. He succeeds George Murphy, who left to join DaimlerChrysler's Chrysler Group.

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