The Week

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Optimedia absorbs Bates' operation

The engagement is over and the wedding bells are ringing. What was at first called an alliance is now recognized as a marriage between Bates North America's media business and Optimedia, following the surprise resignation last week of Bates' top media executive, Kevin Coyne. Earlier this year, Bates, owned by Cordiant Communications Group, lost the $500 million Hyundai Motor America media account, leaving the unit without much muscle in the marketplace. The merger with Optimedia, which is part of the larger Zenith Optimedia Group, 75% owned by Publicis Groupe and 25% by Cordiant, will put Bates' clients such as Wendy's International and T. Rowe Price within a stronger agency group, billing almost $3 billion. John Lazarus, former senior VP-executive director of national broadcast at TN Media, who was hired by Optimedia's CEO Mike Drexler as a liaison between the two agencies, is overseeing the merger. According to a release issued by Bates, Mr. Coyne is leaving to "open his own business outside the communications field." Mr. Coyne did not return a call. Mr. Coyne, who was also a member of the Bates North America board, spent 12 years at Bates USA West before joining the New York office in 1998. QwikFIND aan71m

World Cup ad fete in Brazil

Nike and its brazilian agency, Havas-backed agency Age, Sao Paulo, broke a 60-second spot last week celebrating Brazilian soccer as the best in the world, but had another version ready if Brazil hadn't become the first country to win the World Cup five times June 30. The TV and cinema commercial cuts between young teens all over Brazil, emphasizing the mix of races and styles that makes the country a unique soccer power. Other marketers rushed out Cup spots. AmBev's Brahma beer spot by Publicis Group's F/Nazca Saatchi & Saatchi featured its World Cup mascot, a turtle, kissing the team's trophy. Guarana Antarctica, an AmBev soft drink, launched a World Cup collectible can. In supporting ads by Havas' Carillo Pastore Euro RSCG, a fifth player joins four others who represent each of Brazil's previous World Cup victories.

Leo Burnett nabs Amazon

Asan francisco agency working on international projects with Procter & Gamble Co. has sold a 35% stake to Bcom3 Group's Leo Burnett. Amazon Advertising, founded in 1996 by two former Ketchum Advertising executives, Millie Olson, president, and Lynda Pearson, creative director, has 20 employees and $25 million in billings. Accounts include a TV test in Mexico City for a new feminine-hygiene product, Naturella, which contains chamomile and other natural components, and is expected to roll out throughout Latin America. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. However, Ms. Olson said the shop is expected to remain independent. Publicis Groupe is in the process of acquiring Bcom3. QwikFIND aan72m

Del Taco launches summer promo

Del taco, the No. 2 taco chain, launched a Macho Summer Sweepstakes and ad campaign for the summer last week. The 400-unit chain broke three TV spots starring a 7-foot-tall ruffian-an actor in a kangaroo suit-who steals and vandalizes people's gear. Hence the need for the sweepstakes and the tagline, "Need new stuff?" The kangaroo's story is continued on a dedicated Web page at In addition to partner links, commercial outtakes and game information, the site's main feature is a series of 90-second "webumentories" that update the Kangaroo's miscreant adventures, complete with man-on-the-street videos. Most of Del Taco's $2 million marketing budget allotted to the promo supports spot TV across 11 Western markets as all the premiums were bartered. G&M Plumbing, El Segundo, Calif., created the advertising, Big Man Creative, Laguna Beach, Calif., designed the Web site and Ainsworth Design, Laguna Hills, Calif. produced the in-store displays.

Dow Jones' Kann steps back a bit

Peter kann, chairman-CEO of Dow Jones, last week implemented a raft of senior management changes, which were approved by the board last month. Richard F. Zannino, 43, exec VP, was named chief operating officer. His duties as chief financial officer will be assumed by Christopher Vleth, 37, who had been VP-finance and controller. In addition, Mr. Kann's wife, Karen Elliot House, 54, was named publisher of all Wall Street Journal print editions. Richard Tofel, 45,formerly assistant to the publisher at the Journal, will be its assistant publisher. Mr. Kann, 60, said in an e-mail to staffers he'd been "filling five essentially discrete roles" including chief operating officer and Journal publisher , and that "it made sense to share more of this responsibility." QwikFIND aan72z


Jack in the box last week said its president-chief operating officer, longtime company veteran Kenneth R. Williams, will retire. Mr. Williams, 59, who joined the No. 5 burger chain in 1966, will leave the company at the end of the year and resign his seat on the board. Chairman-CEO Robert J. Nugent, 60, will add the president's title Jan. 1. QwikFIND aan72l ... Federated Department Stores' Rich's/Lazarus/Goldsmith's division is in the final round of a review for a branding assignment. Among those participating are WestWayne, Atlanta; Grey Global Group's Grey Worldwide, Atlanta and New York; Interpublic Group of Cos.' Temerlin McClain, Irving, Texas; SFI, New York; and Emergence, Atlanta. A Rich's spokesman said the five shops have made presentations and a decision is pending. QwikFIND aan72o

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