The Week

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Print probe yields another guilty plea

Joseph panaccione, a former VP-manager of graphic services at Grey Global Group's Grey Advertising, New York, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York to two counts of conspiracy to commit mail fraud last week . One of the counts stems from Mr. Panaccione's actions, with a group of "co-conspirators" including his superior at Grey, former Exec VP-Director of Graphic Services Mitchell Mosallem, to inflate invoices. The second count relates to Mr. Panaccione's acceptance of kickbacks from a vendor totaling about $46,675. Mr. Mosallem, indicted by a grand jury earlier this year on charges of bid-rigging and mail fraud, has pleaded not guilty. A trial date has not yet been set. QwikFIND aao06j

Timex in review, breaks with Fallon

Timex corp. put its ad account into review last week after ending a 15-year partnership with Publicis Groupe's Fallon Worldwide, Minneapolis. A spokesman for the Middlebury, Conn., watchmaker said it was at a "turning point" and wants a more fashionable image and more credit for innovations. He wouldn't say whether the company would increase its media spending, which dwindled to $6 million last year. Fallon's Minneapolis President Rob White said: "It's conceivable that the high-creativity marketing contributions we can make are no longer as important a part of their budget priorities as they have been in the past." Fallon won a Gold Effie for the Timex Indiglo work. QwikFIND aao03e

Boston Market moves to Arnold

Boston market Corp. likely will end its "slow down" theme in the first quarter of 2003 after shifting its $35 million account to Arnold Worldwide, Boston, following a brief review. The Havas-owned shop beat Wieden & Kennedy, Portland, Ore., and incumbent Interpublic Group of Cos.' Suissa Miller, Los Angeles. Suissa Miller worked on the business for six years. The McDonald's Corp.-owned chain wants to regain its lead-dog image in the sizzling fast-casual market after losing ground recently. QwikFIND aao06r

War over `Rosie' reaches court

The battle over Rosie raged on last week as Gruner & Jahr USA Publishing filed a lawsuit against former publishing partner Rosie O'Donnell and her company Lucky Charms Entertainment in New York State Supreme Court. Ms. O'Donnell's camp responded with a strongly worded press release quoting her lawyers, Mary Jo White and Lorna Schofield, saying, "Rosie tried to take the high road. But since her former publisher, Gruner & Jahr, wants a fight, Rosie will sue them for breach of their joint-venture agreement, breach of their duties to Rosie as their business partner, mismanagement of the magazine, and damage to her reputation and trademarks." The suit against Ms. O'Donnell, with whom G&J will still publish one final issue of Rosie, seeks damages of over $100 million and charges her with breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty and breach of dealing in good faith. G&J charges that a reasonably productive working relationship "changed drastically beginning in July 2002, when O'Donnell, having recently terminated her daytime television show, began to transform her public persona from the warm, fun-loving `Queen of Nice' to a self-proclaimed `uber bitch,' and to behave erratically and in defiance of her contractual commitments to G&J." QwikFIND aao06l

Miller plans for Foster, MGD, Lite

Sab miller's Miller Brewing Co. last week unveiled its latest round of creative work to distributors gathered for the annual National Beer Wholesalers Association meeting in Boston. Distributors were shown two separate advertising strategies for MGD: One effort was from WPP Group's J. Walter Thompson, which suggested that not all men are pure even though their beer is, according to meeting attendees. The other theme, from WPP's Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide, New York, for Miller Lite, compared life to beer when distilled down to the most basic of principles. Miller Brewing also placed the Foster's beer account into review, which was handled for two years by JWT, Chicago. Spending last year on the imported brand, which Miller distributes in the United States, was estimated at almost $14 million. Molly Reilly, a spokeswoman for Miller, said the review is expected conclude before the end of the year. QwikFIND aao06t

FCC sets stage for ownership debate

The review of media ownership regulations by the Federal Communications Commission accelerated last week with the release by the FCC staff of 12 studies examining the "state of the media marketplace," including three that directly address advertising issues related to media ownership trends and competition in local markets. Industry and public groups have until Dec. 2 to file comments. The studies generally support FCC Chairman Michael Powell's view that the ownership rules can safely be modified.


Avaya named Interpublic's McCann-Erickson Worldwide, New York to handle its global $10 million account. The incumbent was Interpublic's Foote, Cone & Belding Worldwide, San Francisco. ... Ailing computer marketer Gateway parted ways with Siltanen/Keehn, El Segundo, Calif. after only 10 months, and will move the bulk of its creative, including TV, to Omnicom's Arnell Group, New York. Arnell was not named agency of record, but has consulted on Gateway's logo and tagline, a spokesman said. Initiative Media North America, Los Angeles, will continue to handle media buying and planning. Spending is in the $100 million range. QwikFIND aao07e

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