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[Chicago] The leaders of Leo Burnett sub-agency LB Works are leaving the agency amid its absorption into its parent. The Publicis Groupe agency last week confirmed LB Works Chief Creative Officer Steffan Postaer would leave immediately and President Jeff Jones would leave by Feb. 28. Mr. Postaer has been spotted interviewing in New York and is said to have been in contact with WPP Group's J. Walter Thompson, among others. Mr. Postaer has not returned calls for comment and JWT declined to comment.

Meanwhile, LB Works client Lexmark has been contacting shops for a pending review, according to executives close to the marketer. Lexmark last week denied it was shopping for a new agency and didn't immediately returned calls.

Separately, Leo Burnett last week named Bob Maloney chief financial officer from VP-director of client finance. He replaces Eric Martinez, who left to pursue other interests, according to the agency. See QwikFIND aap24o

Dunn departs Coke, Heyer leads No. America

[Atlanta] Coca-Cola Co. said Dec. 18 that Jeff Dunn, president of Coca-Cola North America, would leave the beverage giant to "pursue his own entrepreneurial goals." Coca-Cola President-Chief Operating Officer Steve Heyer assumes leadership of the North American unit that accounts for 30% of the global company's total sales volume. Mr. Dunn, a 22-year veteran had been leading the merging of the marketer's domestic foodservice, bottle and can and Minute Maid units into a single group. During that time, the company cut 1,000 jobs. It is unclear whether the company will seek a replacement for the post. In his first year as the No. 2 executive leader at Coca-Cola, Mr. Heyer has tapped management from outside the company, including Dan Palumbo as global chief marketing officer and shifted agency assignments, including consolidating media with Publicis' Starcom MediaVest Group. He has frequently talked about changing the status quo and demanded better collaboration among agencies and media partners. Mr. Heyer last week told analysts and investors that Coca-Cola needs to pursue profitable growth rather than just volume growth. He said the company would widen its packaging options beyond two-liter bottles and multi-packs that are frequently subject to price wars. Through the first nine months of 2003, Coca-Cola volume rose 2% after earlier declines.

Wientzen to retire as DMA pres-CEO

[New York] The Direct Marketing Association President-Chief Executive Officer H. Robert Wientzen, 64, will retire July 1, 2004, the trade association announced Dec. 16. During his nearly eight-year tenure, membership of the DMA increased almost 50%. A six-person search committee headed by former DMA chairman Michael Sherman has been formed to find a successor. Mr. Sherman said the group expects to hire an executive recruitment firm to handle the search.

G&J and Rosie decrease demands

[New York] In the latest procedural round in their nasty and not-quite-finished court clash, Gruner & Jahr USA and Rosie O'Donnell lowered the amount of money each seeks from the other in their final filings to Judge Ira Gammerman on Dec. 17. G&J now wants at least $27.2 million, plus interest and attorneys' fees, and about $2 million in costs related to the shutdown of Rosie magazine. Ms. O'Donnell now wants $26.8 million in damages, although she still seeks some unspecified damages on some of her claims. G&J initially sought $100 million and Ms. O'Donnell originally sought $125 million. See QwikFIND aap24e

Deromedi named sole CEO at Kraft

[Northfield, Ill.] Altria Group's Kraft Foods last week removed Betsy Holden from her co-CEO position and named Roger Deromedi-former co-CEO and Kraft Foods International head-sole CEO. Mr. Deromedi is expected to announce a new "more global" organizational structure for the ailing food company by mid-January, according to a Kraft spokesman, and Ms. Holden's new role with the company will be defined then.

Kia breaks $30M blitz for full-size Amanti

[Irvine, Calif.] Kia Motors America moves further upmarket with a $30-million ad blitz breaking Dec. 26 for its new Amanti large sedan with a base of $24,995. Independent David and Goliath, Los Angeles, created two :30 national TV spots (with a more serious tone than spots for other models) airing through February on broadcast and cable nets. Wally Anderson, VP-marketing, said his key target is 40-to-60 year old men moving up from a Honda or Toyota. Kia, best known for its small, affordable cars and wacky ads, plans to sell 15,000 of the sedans annually.

Bayer gets extension for Cipro exclusivity

[Leverkusen, Germany] Bayer Healthcare AG has received permission from the Food and Drug Administration for an additional six months of market exclusivity for its antibiotic Cipro, the pharmaceutical company said. No unauthorized versions of Cipro (ciprofloxacin) can be approved to enter the U.S. market prior to June 9, 2004. The FDA granted the additional six months because Bayer conducted pediatric clinical trials on Cipro at the FDA's request. See QwikFIND aap24q

Ebersol's NBC Sports contract good through `12

[New York] General Electric Corp.'s NBC has signed Dick Ebersol to a nine-year contract extension to continue as chairman of NBC Sports & Olympics through 2012. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. If Mr. Ebersol completes the extension, he will end with 23 consecutive years at head of NBC Sports, breaking the late Roone Arledge's mark as ABC Sports President for 19 years.

Wasserstein scoops up `New York Mag' for $55M

[New York] New York Media Holdings, an entity controlled by family trusts associated with investment heavy Bruce Wasserstein, chairman of investment bank Lazard, acquired Primedia's New York Magazine Dec. 16. The deal was for $55 million in cash plus the assumption of circulation-related liabilities. Mr. Wasserstein, who effectively faked out his competitors by failing to meet the Dec. 11 bidding deadline, beat out bids from American Media, Curtco Robb Media, and a consortium led by Daily News owner Mort Zuckerman which was considered even by the competition as the favorite. See QwikFIND aap23r

Interpublic to shed stake in Modem Media

[New York] Interpublic Group of Cos. announced it plans to sell most of its remaining stake in interactive agency Modem Media as part of a public offering. In filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Interpublic announced it will sell 9.5 million shares of Modem and may sell an additional 1.46 million, which will leave it holding about 148,000 shares, or 6.1% of Modem's stock. Modem's founders, G.M. O'Connell and Robert Allen, are also selling 150,000 shares and 50,000 shares, respectively, in the same public offering. Interpublic became Modem's largest shareholder when it bought True North Communications in June 2001, and in recent months has moved to sell various assets to pay down debt.

Chevy `Revolution' retreads Dodge path

[Detroit] Chevrolet's new "American Revolution" umbrella ad tag, announced last week,was used by a competitor in the 1980s. Chrysler Group's Dodge brand umbrella ad theme was "We are Dodge. An American Revolution" from 1984 to 1986, Ad Age's archives show. Kim Kosak, general director of advertising at the General Motors Corp. brand was unaware of Dodge's use of the line, a spokesman said. But he added Chevrolet has cleared the line for a trademark. The Web site for the U.S. Patent Office shows Chevrolet applied for the trademark in July.

M&M's lose color for latest promotion

[Hackettstown, N.J.] Masterfoods U.S.A.'s M&M's brand will go black-and-white during a large-scale consumer promotion dubbed "The Great Color Quest" that kicks off New Year's Eve. The effort, which runs through at least March, will be backed by print and broadcast from Omnicom Group's BBDO, New York, featuring M&M's spokescharacters looking for bigger, bolder colors for the brand's "relaunch." Consumers who find bags of colored M&M's during the promotion win a trip to Los Angeles for the launch of the reinvention. Masterfoods spent $49 million on M&M's from January through August of 2003, according to TNS Media Intelligence/CMR.

FYI ...

Verizon Wireless has signed on as the primary sponsor of the 2004 tour of Latin star and seven-time Grammy winner Alejandro Sanz. Verizon Wireless also will offer ring tones, concert-information alerts, and other applications to its cellphone users for an additional charge. ... Rowland Communications Worldwide CEO Mark Weiss is departing the Publicis Groupe PR agency along with senior staff members Tony Katz and Laura Sturz. Ann Moravick, formerly managing partner at sibling agency Manning, Selvage & Lee, will take over as president-CEO. ... McDonald's Corp. awarded its global french fry campaign to Omnicom Group's DDB Worldwide, Chicago, besting finalist Publicis' Leo Burnett Worldwide, Chicago.

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