Grey sues Blamer, FCB, Interpublic

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WPP Group's Grey Global Group last week sued former North American CEO Steve Blamer, Interpublic Group of Cos. and one of its networks, Foote Cone & Belding, in an effort to block all three from hiring Grey executives and pursuing any Grey clients for one year from the time Mr. Blamer departed Grey to become FCB chairman-CEO in January. The suit, filed Sept. 21 in New York , claims Mr. Blamer breached stock-option agreements, terms of his employment agreement with Grey and fiduciary duties owed the agency, and claims Interpublic and FCB wrongfully interfered with those agreements and with aiding and abetting Mr. Blamer's alleged "wrongful conduct." An FCB spokeswoman said the agency intends to defend its position. QwikFIND aaq95g

BMW $70 million review narrowed to four finalists

BMW of North America tapped four finalists last week from eight in competition for its $70 million national creative account. Two New York agencies-independent Anomaly Communications and Kirshenbaum Bond & Partners are joined by Omnicom Group's GSD&M, Austin, Texas, and Interpublic Group of Cos.' Martin Agency, Richmond, Va. The automaker plans to name a winner by year's end. QwikFIND aaq94s

Topolewski resigns from BBDO Detroit

BBDO Detroit, Troy, Mich. said Gary Topolewski, chief creative officer and an auto industry veteran, resigned last week and will not be replaced. The news came as the Omnicom Group agency announced a new structure in which all creative directors now report directly to David Lubars, chairman-chief creative officer of BBDO North America, New York. The BBDO office handles the creative and media accounts for DaimlerChrysler's Chrysler Group. Mr. Topolewski told Ad Age, "There's no need for me if there's a direct line" of reporting into New York. QwikFIND aaq93x

NYT Co., Knight Ridder to cut even more jobs

The New York Times Co. and Knight Ridder announced further job cuts as they continued to struggle with weaker-than-expected ad revenue. Times Co. plans to eliminate about 500 jobs, some 4% of its work force, including 45 posts in The Times newsroom and 35 jobs in The Boston Globe newsroom. Times Co. also said ad revenue in August increased 1.7% vs. August 2004. Knight Ridder's Philadelphia Newspapers division plans to eliminate 75 jobs, or 15%, from the newsroom at The Philadelphia Inquirer and 25 newsroom jobs, or 20%, from The Philadelphia Daily News. QwikFIND aaq94q

Masterfoods seeks Hispanic agency

Masterfood will start a review and pick a new U.S. Hispanic shop for its confectionery brands as soon as possible, following the resignation of longtime Hispanic agency Zubi Advertising last week, according to Masterfoods' VP-marketing, Michele Kessler. Zubi cited Masterfoods' dwindling interest and investment in the U.S. Hispanic market, but Ms. Kessler said the snack-food brands remain committed to the Hispanic market. QwikFIND aaq93z

Wendy's burger chain president-COO quits

Wendy's International stunned analysts last week when Tom Mueller resigned as president-chief operating officer of its flagship burger chain. As a result, Chairman-CEO Jack Schuessler said he would absorb the president's function until the chain finds a replacement. While the company didn't provide a reason for the announcement, analysts pointed to the marketer's still-weak sales. QwikFIND aaq94a


Crispin Porter & Bogusky, Miami, bought a 20% stake in the San Francisco-based design and branding shop Fuseproject, run by Yves Behar. Fuseproject has worked for marketers such as Toshiba, Birkenstock and Swarovski. QwikFIND aaq94e ... H.J. Heinz Co. pledged to analysts last week it would strengthen innovation and consumer marketing support for several brands, but Wall Street is skeptical."In the past, such plans have been abandoned when market share suffered or price points got too high ," said Credit Suisse First Boston analyst Dave Nelson in a note.

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