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Unilever assigns three

to global creative duties

Unilever, following its acquisition last year of Bestfoods, assigned three agencies global creative duties on its sauces and dressings brands after a review, executives close to the decision confirmed. WPP Group's J. Walter Thompson and Omnicom Group's DDB Worldwide will split savory brands, including Knorrs, on a regional basis, with JWT leading the $100 million business in Northern Europe, Latin America and Asia-Pacific, and DDB carrying the $80 million portion in North America, U.K., France, the Middle East, southern Europe and Africa. Lowe Lintas & Partners Worldwide, a division of the Interpublic Group of Cos., will handle the $70 million dressings business, including the Hellmann's brand worldwide. Other contenders that did not win assignments were Omnicom's BBDO Worldwide and WPP's Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide.

Intel breaks campaign

for Pentium 4 processor

As first reported on on Feb. 14, Intel Corp. on Feb. 19 unleashes a $300 million global ad campaign supporting its Pentium 4 microprocessor, initially with three 30-second TV spots breaking on network broadcasts. The campaign, created by Intel agency Messner Vetere Berger McNamee Schmetterer/Euro RSCG, New York, features performance artists Blue Man Group in TV and online ads with the new tagline: "The Pentium 4 processor. The center of your digital world." Print ads are expected later this year, and outdoor is under consideration. Online advertising was created by Modem Media, San Francisco.

Downturn provokes

more layoffs at agencies

Hill Holliday Connors Cosmopulos laid off staff at its Boston headquarters, a result of the slowing economy and what agency officials called part of an annual assessment of expenses and costs. It's believed 20 to 30 people across all lines of business were affected. That would amount to about a 5% layoff at the shop, owned by Interpublic. Last year, the agency laid off about 18 people.

Another Boston agency, Holland Mark Advertising, is considering layoffs after the loss of its biggest client, Citizens Bank. The independent is expected to have an answer by the beginning of March, although it has indicated new accounts may forestall layoffs. Citizens spent about $6 million on measured media in the first 10 months of last year, according to Competitive Media Reporting. Staff reductions would come on top of a layoff of about 18 after Holland Mark lost TJX Companies' T.J. Maxx in the fall. The discount retailer had been Holland Mark's biggest account.

Separately, Frankel, the promotional unit of Publicis Groupe, is eliminating 45 jobs, or 6% of its 730 employees in Chicago and San Francisco. The cuts are wide-ranging across departments, with ranks from administrative staff to senior VPs being let go, confirmed Dan Rose, Frankel president-chief operating officer.

GM appoints Vanzura as

ad director for Hummer

General Motors Corp. announced that Liz Vanzura, 36, will join March 1 as advertising director of its Hummer brand, acquired last year. She was advertising director at Volkswagen of America since 1997, before departing suddenly over the holidays late last year. In mid-January, GM told Ad Age plans weren't in the works to hire her for that position (AA Jan. 15). Ms. Vanzura returns to GM after a four-year absence and will again be working with two former VW creatives who founded Modernista!, Boston. Modernista! won Hummer's review last summer.

Ad exec Shepard Kurnit

passes away at 76

Shepard Kurnit, 76, advertising executive, died on Feb. 10 of a brain tumor. Mr. Kurnit is best known for his innovative efforts-particularly in the 1960s-in uniting art direction and copywriting in quirky advertising campaigns, and for founding agency Kurnit Communications in 1986, which focused primarily on pro bono creative work. Mr. Kurnit is survived by his wife, Jean; three brothers, Harold, Victor and Norman; three sons, Paul, Rick and Scott; and three grandchildren.

Retailers don't plan

on big marketing cuts

Some of the nation's leading retailers acknowledge they faced a tough holiday season last year, but don't plan to make big cuts in marketing budgets or changes in media mix at this time. "Retailers don't cut back in hard times-we're scrappy," said Paul Higham, senior VP-marketing, Wal-Mart Stores. Other attendees at the Retail Advertising Conference in Chicago agreed. Walgreens Co. VP-Advertising Craig Sinclair said he is looking at spending "month to month," but in the long term Walgreen's ad budget will be up to support planned store openings. Target Stores' new Senior VP-Marketing, Michael R. Francis, said he too plans no spending cuts, although his marketing mix will be impacted by events planned for this year, among them the rollout of SuperTarget stores, entrance into new markets, and addition of new lines, such as Eddie Bauer.

Havas sees billings grow to just under $12 billion

Havas Advertising's billings grew by 48.6% to just under $12 billion, according to preliminary financial results announced for 2000. Chairman Alain de Pouzilhac attributed the leap to winning $3.5 billion in new business and 34 acquisitions, 90% of them marketing services companies. The figures include fourth-quarter results for Snyder Communications, acquired

by Havas last September for $2.2 billion.

Ford consolidates

multicultural media

Ford Motor Co. consolidated its multicultural media buying for all its brands after a review. Independent Zubi Advertising, Coral Gables, Fla., was awarded media buying for Lincoln, Mercury, Jaguar, Volvo, Land Rover, Ford Motor Credit and Customer Service. The wins are added to the agency's Ford corporate and Ford Division's Hispanic creative and media account it has handled since 1996. UniWorld, New York, won Ford's consolidated African-American media buying account. UniWorld handles Ford Division.

Top marketers leave

Eddie Bauer, Home Depot

Jack Sansolo, exec VP-global brand direction for Spiegel Group's Eddie Bauer, has left the troubled retailer, an executive familiar with the situation said. Mr. Sansolo, a Harvard Ph.D. whose professional credits include the launch of the Infiniti car with a Zen-like campaign, is not expected to be replaced immediately.

In other retailer marketing news, Richard Hammill, senior VP-advertising for The Home Depot, is retiring at the end of the month after 13 years with the company. He will be succeeded by Dick Sullivan, who formerly served as senior VP-advertising and most recently has been working in merchandising in Seattle for the retailer.


PepsiCo.'s Pepsi-Cola Co. this year will launch a diet version of its new lemon-lime Sierra Mist carbonated soft drink. ... Microsoft Corp. named Rick Belluzzo, 47, president-chief operating officer, replacing Bob Herbold, 58, who is retiring. ... Mike Belitsos joined Doner, Southfield, Mich., as exec VP on Mazda North American Operations' account, a new position. ... After 17 years with DDB Worldwide, New York, Michelin North America is putting its estimated $35 million account up for


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