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Sun Microsystems taps JWT-Tonic 360 team

Sun Microsystems, as expected, selected the team of J. Walter Thompson USA, New York, and Tonic 360, San Francisco, to handle its $100 million account. Lowe Lintas & Partners Worldwide, San Francisco, was the incumbent, and Tonic 360 was the incumbent on Sun's interactive account; the latter shop partnered with JWT to vie for the entire account. Sun called for an informal review after Lowe's New York office broke print ads from rival Dell Computer Corp. dinging Sun's "We're the dot in .com" campaign. Lowe persuaded Sun to consider Interpublic Group of Cos. sibling shop the Martin Agency, Richmond, Va., as a possible contender for the account. Interestingly, JWT New York President Bob Jeffrey was instrumental in Lowe's win of the Sun account when he was general manager of Lowe's San Francisco office. The loss is a blow to Lowe's San Francisco operation, although the agency late last month picked up the $25 million account of Internet service provider InterNAP Network Services.

Ad spending climbs 14.9% to $47.7 bil in 1st half: CMR

Traditional media expenditures climbed 14.9% in the first half of 2000, vs. a year ago, to $47.7 billion, according to Competitive Media Reporting. Among traditional media outlets, cable networks led the growth with a revenue increase of 31.1%. Online and e-commerce companies upped their traditional media ad spending by 188.8% to $616.5 million. The Internet ad medium saw explosive growth as well. Overall ad spending on the Web increased 65% to $1.3 billion, according to the CMRi Internet ad tracking division.

Kraft shifts execs as it plans for Nabisco merger

Kraft Foods North America realigned its management structure in an effort to streamline decisionmaking at the growing food giant. The move, which includes the development of a 12-person Management Committee chaired by Kraft President-CEO Betsy Holden and the shifting of responsibilities among top business managers, is an effort to prepare for the impending acquisition of Nabisco Holdings, which will create a $34.9 billion food behemoth. Among the changes are the appointment of Irene Rosenfeld, group VP-Kraft Foods and president of Kraft Canada and Operations & Technology, to direct the integration of Kraft and Nabisco; additional responsibility for the beverages and desserts businesses to Ann Fudge's existing oversight of the Maxwell House and Post divisions; and the addition of responsibility for Kraft's operations in Mexico and Puerto Rice to Mary Kay Haben's existing role as president of the Kraft Cheese Division. All these executives, as well as other division heads, will comprise the new Management Committee, which will provide overall direction on the management of Kraft. Following the completion of Kraft's purchase of Nabisco, the "appropriate" executives from the Nabisco team will joint the committee, according to a Kraft statement.

FCB rejiggers managers in San Francisco office

FCB Worldwide realigned management at its San Francisco office, naming Exec VP-Managing Director Simon Bolton to the post of president-CEO. Mr. Bolton succeeds Geoff Thompson, who will remain chairman of the San Francisco office and focus on his duties as worldwide creative director. Also, Alan Kerr comes to FCB as worldwide account director on Avaya; he previously was VP-management director on the Cisco Systems account at GMO/Hill, Holliday. Mr. Kerr succeeds Greg Sieck, who will now run the Taco Bell business. FCB's San Francisco office claims in the past 12 months to have picked up more than $500 million in billings with accounts such as Avaya, Taco Bell and Compaq Computer Corp.

Travel agents, Spain to hike tourism ads

Two travel marketers are ratcheting up their ad plans for next year:

* American Society of Travel Agents plans to produce a second commercial in 2001 to counter arguments that travel agents are losing relevance with the rise of the Internet as a trip planner. ASTA launched a "fight-back" TV and print effort last year with the tagline "Without a travel agent, you're on your own." The TV spot from New York agencies Spring O'Brien and M&C Saatchi continues to run on the Travel Channel. The association also has developed a new group of print ads that can be customized and used locally by travel agents. Separately, ASTA said it signed a deal with Scholastic Parent & Child to sponsor a special travel section in the February/March 2001 issue in a move to reach parents planning spring break vacations.

* The Tourist Office of Spain, New York, plans to boost U.S. ad spending by 35% in 2001. The office has spent more than $2 million in 2000 advertising. Overall spending next year for travel to Spain could go as high as $4 million with joint funds from regional tourist associations in Spain, tour operators, and airlines such as Iberia Air Lines of Spain and Air Europa. The office's U.S. agency is Spring O'Brien.

P&G expands Swiffer with battery-power mop

Procter & Gamble Co. launched Swiffer WetJet, a battery-power floor mop, in Belgium. A pan-European launch will follow, but P&G didn't give a date. D'Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles, Paris and Amsterdam, is handling launch ads. The Swiffer mop rolled out in Canada this summer, handled by D'Arcy's Toronto office. P&G's fabric and homecare unit has tended in recent years to use Canada, the U.K. and the Benelux countries, including Belgium, to test products before U.S. launch.

Bristol-Myers Squibb to shed Clairol unit

Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. said it will divest its Clairol subsidiary to concentrate on the medicines business. In a meeting with investors, BMS Chairman-CEO Charles A. Heimbold Jr. said Clairol will be spun off or sold within six to 12 months as part of the company's effort to grow its core businesses. BMS also will divest Zimmer, an orthopedic implant manufacturer. "Clairol is a great company with a great franchise that, over the years, has made millions of people feel better about themselves. But quite obviously, it's not a healthcare company," said BMS President Peter Dolan. "We need to focus the majority of our attention and our resources on our medicines business." Proceeds from the sales will be reinvested into the medicines business, Mr. Dolan said. BMS plans to accelerate new-product development and increase its marketing activity to encourage patient retention among its prescription drugs. As part of the new focus on medicines, BMS will increase its commitment to direct-to-consumer marketing, the Internet and other vehicles, Mr. Dolan said.

News Corp. increases its stake in Malone's Gemstar

John Malone's Liberty Media Group is cementing a closer association to Rupert Murdoch's News Corp., as expected, by Liberty transferring a 21% stake in Gemstar-TV Guide International to News Corp. The deal gives Liberty an 18% stake in News Corp., making the company the largest shareholder in News Corp. after Mr. Murdoch and his family. News Corp. now has a 43% stake in Gemstar-TV Guide, which puts out interactive programming guides on TV as well as the weekly TV Guide magazine. Some of the Gemstar stake will be folded into News Corp.'s satellite TV subsidiary Sky Global Networks, which is being prepped for an initial public offering. Mr. Murdoch also is believed to be preparing a bid for DirecTV, the U.S.' largest satellite broadcaster.

`Atlantic Monthly' boosts subs; Worth title retracts

The Atlantic Monthly in its February 2001 issue will sport a new look and, thanks to its owner purchasing the subscription list of Worth Media's Civilization, a host of new readers. John Fox Sullivan, president-group publisher at The Atlantic Monthly parent National Journal Co., said last week the move could swell The Atlantic's circulation by as much as 150,000 next year but that the title wouldn't change its current rate base of 450,000. He said the subscription list cost less than $1 million. Regarding the redesign, Mr. Sullivan said it would result in a physically larger magazine printed on higher-grade stock, suggesting that the new Atlantic might resemble the look of Smithsonian: "Something that glows," he said. Earlier in the week, Worth Media announced Civilization would go on a hiatus of sorts following its October-November issue, with the 6-year-old title severing ties with the Library of Congress. Worth said some of Civilization's assets were for sale, but it would retain the trademark to the brand and has unspecified plans to develop it "online, in print and on TV." Through August, Civilization ran 160.87 ad pages, down 9.6% from 1999, according to Publishers Information Bureau.

Leckie to head Heinz operation in Canada

Mark M. Leckie, 47, was named president-CEO of H.J. Heinz Co. of Canada. Mr. Leckie previously was president of the U.S. Grocery Division at Campbell Soup Co., and at Heinz succeeds Brian Falck. Before his stint at Campbell, which ended in June 1999, Mr. Leckie held senior management roles at Kraft Foods, among them a position at Kraft Foods in Canada.

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