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Pfizer's $50 mil account for Zoloft goes to Deutsch

Pfizer tapped Deutsch, New York, for the estimated $50 million account of antidepressant Zoloft. The win comes after Deutsch captured the account of Pfizer's Zyrtec anti-allergy medication last year. Other contenders in the Zoloft direct-to-consumer review included FCB Worldwide, Merkley Newman Harty Healthworks and Y&R Advertising.

Kraft's Balance Bar gives $25 mil account to Y&R

Kraft Foods awarded its estimated $25 million Balance Bar Co. account to Y&R Advertising, New York. Y&R and its BrandBuzz unit spearheaded the integrated pitch. Young & Rubicam's Media Edge will handle media, while its Landor Associates will work on branding. Suissa Miller, Los Angeles, previously handled.

Denny's taps WestWayne for advertising creative

Denny's named WestWayne, Tampa, Fla., as its creative agency. The restaurant chain, citing a need for "fresh thinking," parted with Lowe Lintas & Partners Worldwide, New York, in January. Spending on the Advantica Restaurant Group unit's account is less than $10 million. WestWayne's first Denny's advertising is expected in the fall. MediaVest, New York, continues to buy media for Denny's.

Havas billings soar 39.5% to $1.98 bil in 1st quarter

Euro RSCG Worldwide parent Havas Advertising, Paris, said first-quarter billings soared 39.5% to $1.98 billion. The growth didn't include Havas' planned $2.2 billion acquisition of Snyder Communications, Bethesda, Md., to be completed later this year. Snyder reported first-quarter billings growth of 18%. Havas attributed the French company's growth to record new business topping $1 billion and an aggressive global acquisition campaign taking place across its four divisions. Havas acquisitions in the past year have included Devon Direct, Berwyn, Pa., and Jordan, McGrath, Case & Partners, New York.

P&G to roll Impress wrap, Bounty in box dispenser

Procter & Gamble Co. in spring 2001 will roll nationally in the U.S. its Impress plastic wrap. Coming this September will be a new version of Bounty paper towels in a Kleenex-style pop-up cube dispenser. Impress is touted as a wrap that sticks to itself or other surfaces when pressed but doesn't tangle like regular plastic wrap when unrolled. It entered test market in Grand Junction, Colo., in January. Bounty in a box is intended to increase use of the paper towels in parts of the house other than the kitchen, a P&G spokeswoman said. Ad plans weren't disclosed. D'Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles, New York, handles Impress, and Jordan McGrath Case & Partners/Euro RSCG has Bounty.

Newspapers to test NAA marketing plan

A year after retaining the Z Group to develop a marketing strategy that could be implemented by individual newspapers, the Newspaper Association of America is ready to start testing some programs. Scott Miller, Z Group president, told attendees at the NAA's annual convention, held last week in New York, that three newspapers would participate in a testing phase of an integrated marketing effort: The Arizona Republic, Sarasota (Fla.) Herald-Tribune and a special project for the Chicago Tribune. The goal is to put in place systems that allow all departments of the newspaper to coordinate marketing efforts. "There is no silver bullet to turn readership around, but there are lots of lead bullets in the marketing revolver that haven't been spent yet," Mr. Miller told attendees. Added NAA CEO John Sturm: "A lot of people have tried a lot of different things, but a totally integrated marketing approach hasn't been attempted. The ultimate result will be, assuming a program is successful at these papers, a template for newspapers to adopt and implement a total marketing concept." The NAA last year initiated an industrywide effort to study and combat declining newspaper readership. A study of Sunday readers, also presented at the conference, attempted to explain what has happened between 1995, when Sunday readership peaked at 75% of all adults, and today's current 66%. The study found the decline came primarily from lower readership levels among those who had been regular or occasional readers. Reasons cited by readers for reducing newspaper reading time included dissatisfaction with delivery service and content, and less interest.

Radio ad revenue rises 21% in 1st quarter: RAB

Led by a huge increase in national ad sales for the first three months of 2000, radio ad revenue jumped 21% over last year's first quarter, according to the Radio Advertising Bureau. Three regional markets saw revenue rise by more than 40% for March. The revenue data are pooled from more than 100 markets. In 1999, radio ad revenue climbed 15%, topping $17 billion.

Former Ogilvy exec sues for age discrimination

A former Ogilvy & Mather creative filed a discrimination suit against the agency, claiming she was fired because of her age. Barbara Lui, formerly senior VP-creative director, is suing in Superior Court for the County of Los Angeles, seeking lost income and punitive damages to be determined by a jury. Attorneys for the 70-year-old Ms. Lui claim she initially was offered a reduced schedule with less pay and then fired as creative director overseeing Mattel's Barbie brand after 16 years with the agency. "The position of Ogilvy & Mather is complete denial. We intend to take this to the jury," said Brian Panish, an attorney for Ms. Lui. An Ogilvy spokesman said the agency would have no comment.

Belitsos to leave Lincoln post at Y&R

Mike Belitsos will leave Y&R Advertising, San Francisco, Sept. 1 as chief creative officer on Ford Motor Co.'s Lincoln Mercury account. Mr. Belitsos also is leaving the ad business. "I'm not retiring. I'm re-energizing," said the former Detroiter, who plans to remain in the Bay area. Mr. Belitsos said he's working with David Murphy, president of Y&R, Irvine, Calif., to find his successor. For now, Mr. Belitsos is concentrating on a new "American luxury" branding campaign for Lincoln, due this summer.

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