Agency News

WPP Group, New York, will acquire IntelliQuest Information Group, an Austin, Texas-based provider of information services for technology companies. Intelli-Quest will merge with WPP subsidiary Millward Brown in Chicago (a member of the London-based Kantar Group, WPP’s information and consultancy division). Intelli-Quest had revenues of $26.4 million in 1998.
Avrett, Free & Ginsberg, New York, was tapped to launch, a Web site that will offer luxury goods and services beginning at the end of September. The account, worth an estimated $7-10 million, was awarded after a two-month review of undisclosed shops. will offer such goods as Daniel caviar, jewelry from Seaman Schepps, Calvin Klein men’s accessories and leather goods from Ghurka.
KBE’s first work for the Children’s Television Workshop mixes live elementary-school children and animated dragons. Shot at a park in Rye, N.Y., three TV spots that began airing last week show kids playing Whiffle ball, flying a kite and riding a see-saw with blue and pink dragons named “Ord” and “Cassie.” The campaign also includes print ads in such magazines as TV Guide, Parenting, People and Essence and bus-wraps in New York, Chicago and Los Angeles. The entertainment marketing unit of New York’s Kirshenbaum Bond & Partners also handles below-the-line tasks, such as public relations and the development of collateral materials. Billings on the account are $3-5 million.
J. Walter Thompson, New York, created a series of TV spots for Children Now and the Kaiser Family Foundation, co-sponsors of a national initiative encouraging parents to talk to children about tough issues.
President Clinton contributes a closing message on the first spot, which broke last week In the documentary-style ad, boys and girls talk about violent acts they witnessed in school. “There was this kid that was like 17,” one boy says matter-of-factly, while seated on a playground swing, “He came to the school with a gun. We didn’t know if it was fake or real.” At the close, Clinton appears on screen and says, “Our children need our help to deal with tough issues, like violence. Please talk with your kids.”
FCB HealthCare, New York, won three new accounts from clients Glaxo Wellcome and Merck. Glaxo hired the agency to promote its as-yet-unnamed investigational compound for the treatment of stroke; Merck tapped FCB to advertise its chickenpox vaccine, Varivax, and MMR, a vaccine for measles, mumps and rubella.
The MacManus Group, New York, moved its six-member corporate communications group from its 1675 Broadway location, which houses D’Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles, to MacManus headquarters at 825 Eighth Avenue, home of the holding company’s N.W. Ayer & Partners. The Aug. 4 move was necessary to make room for the Avon team. MacManus recently consolidated the Avon account from Ayer to D’Arcy. The two shops had shared the work, and the Ayer people moved with it.
Healthworld Corp., New York, acquired Falk Communications, a New York-based healthcare communications agency. Falk’s clients include Pfizer, Ortho McNeil and Novartis. The shop brings approximately $18 million in billings to Healthworld., an online claim settlement company, has selected Moss/Dragoti Advertising, New York, as the agency for its $8-10 million account after a review. There was no incumbent. The agency will launch a multi-media campaign this fall.
Mad Dogs & Englishmen, New York, created a national print campaign for The Daily Deal, a newspaper and Web site launching Sept. 15. Ads emphasize the publication’s role as a source for news about mergers and acquisitions. One execution contrasts an image of a dozen business publications, paired with the headline, “How to reach someone who might buy art on eBay,” with a picture of The Daily Deal with the headline, “How to reach someone who might buy eBay.”
Thompson’s Co., the makers of outdoor waterproofing products, has teamed with Major League Baseball for the “On deck with Thompson’s” promotion. The effort, which began Aug. 15 and will run through Oct. 31, includes an offer for a free World Series hat with the purchase of two gallons of Thompson’s products and a sweepstakes featuring a grand prize trip to the 2000 World Series. The promotion is handled by PSP Sports Marketing in New York; Thompson’s advertising agency, Hanft Byrne Raboy & Partners, also in New York, will develop TV spots for the company’s Wood Protector, to run during Major League Baseball games.
Black Ink Marketing, New York, won two branding and marketing accounts: Virtually There, a new series of city guides developed as a joint venture between Travel & Leisure custom publishing and Sabre, an electronic airline reservations system; and Americans for Financial Independence, an organization that provides financial and health benefits to small businesses. Combined billings are estimated at $2 million.
Lee Hunt Associates, New York, developed a three-phase broadcast campaign for Lifetime’s fall programming schedule. Spots feature interviews with women who work on camera and behind the scenes for the cable network’s shows, including Annie Potts, Melissa Etheridge, Cynthia Stevenson and Ruby Wax. Each woman speaks about the campaign’s theme, “Television for women.” In the effort’s teaser phase, three umbrella spots and four show-specific ads feature actors offering short sound bites about the new season. The second phase includes comments from the shows’ creators. The final phase offers actor comments, series footage and tune-in information.
Ads will run on Lifetime, other cable networks and ABC.
Birkenstock USA has hired Select Communications in New York to help reposition its brand domestically. The client is the exclusive U.S. distributor for Birkenstock, a German shoe manufacturer., Ardsley, has named Greco Etheridge Group, New York, its advertising agency, following a review of undisclosed agencies. The account is expected to bill an estimated $10 million over 18 months. The client is an online marketplace for businesses seeking to buy and sell excess inventory. Greco Etheridge will launch the site with a campaign that will include print and online advertising.
Rainbow Media, New York, was hired by Danskin to publicize the company’s rebound after financial losses last year. Danskin has hired a new president and chief executive officer, Liz Claiborne veteran Carol Hochman, and is planning to introduce clothing lines that will expand the brand. The company is also preparing for its e-commerce debut.
The San Francisco Newspaper Agency tapped CooperDirect Advertising, New York, to help increase and retain subscribers.
The SFNA handles marketing for San Francisco’s Chronicle and Examiner.
Living Language, a Random House-owned company that produces self-study language programs, will introduce English for new Americans, a tutorial combining video, audio and print media to help recent arrivals to the United States learn English. To introduce the product, Living Language developed a 30-second, Spanish language TV spot, to begin airing Oct. 4 in 59 U.S. markets. Advertising consultant Juanin Reid, president of Hispanic Communications in New York, produced the ad and bought media. The spot will appear on the Galavisi-n cable network, on Univisi-n in selected cities and on KWHY-TV in Los Angeles.
Travelodge Hotels has named SKC Advertising, Harrison, its advertising agency following a five-week review with undisclosed shops. Of the 13 original participants in the review, four were cut in the first round and six more in the second. The account includes national cable TV, national and regional print in consumer and trade publications and Internet banner ads. Billings for the Parsippany-based franchise are estimated at $3 million. Media planning will be handled by Wilson Media Group in New York.
WXXI Public Broadcasting Council in Rochester named Catalyst Direct, also in Rochester, its direct marketing agency. Catalyst will develop membership acquisition and retention programs to support WXXI’s television and radio services.
A 60-second “milk” ad for client Upstate Farms Cooperative from Ice, Rochester, was named best overall radio ad at the International Dairy Foods Association Achieving Excellence Marketing Awards. The ad also took first place in the radio category at the National Council of Farmer Cooperatives Award of Excellence competition. The spot, titled “Lucy,” promotes Upstate Farms’ Milk on the Go single-serve bottle product line.
Consulting company Creative Healthcare Solutions, Saratoga Springs, has formed the full-service advertising agency Palio Communications. Palio will offer direct-to-consumer and business-to-business advertising and healthcare marketing.
Cohn & Wolfe, New York, added three Internet clients. offers Web site building and hosting tools to Web masters; The-teleport provides free telecommunications services through the Internet; and Pacific Internet is an Asian Internet service provider.
Rhinoceros, New York, created special effects for two advertising campaigns. For Grey Advertising’s ads for Aquafresh, the firm developed an effect that interweaves the toothpaste’s three colors. Rhinoceros also wrapped eight spots created by Tarlow Advertising for Almay’s Retinal Line Eraser; compositing effects achieved the appearance of moving typeface.
Blue Sky Studios’ “Echinacea” spot for client Natural Resources won a Monitor award from the International Teleproduction Society. The Harrison-based digital animation studio’s 30-second ad took the prize for best 3-D animation in the national commercials category.
The media, entertainment and communications division of TASA/Johnson, Smith & Knisely, New York, has established The Cheyenne Group, a recruitment and consulting firm specializing in the television, publishing, media, advertising and communications industries. The company’s placements include executives at Colgate, Comedy Central, Newsweek, The Washington Post, and Carat.
Headcount, Healthworld Corporation’s New York-based contract sales organization, has renewed its contract with Warner Lambert Consumer Healthcare in Morris Plains, N.J. Headcount will sell Warner Lambert’s Quanterra brand of herbal supplements through 2000.
The MWW Group, East Rutherford, was retained by Sterling Commerce, a company that helps businesses run e-commerce transactions. MWW will provide corporate communications support and financial community outreach on behalf of Sterling.
Princeton Partners, Princeton, was named one of the top business-to-business agencies for 1999 in Business Marketing based on its 1998 billings of $13 million. The shop ranked 32 of an estimated 25,000 agencies nationwide.
Wright Creative, Maplewood, has been awarded the advertising account for California Burrito without a review. Wright will handle print and outdoor work for the New Jersey Mexican food franchise. Teaser ads and posters will begin this month, with additional print media appearing into 2000. Billings are estimated at $1 million.
Hollyrock/Miller, Princeton, earned a Pinnacle award for best radio advertising from the National Association of Professional Employer Organization’s competition. The agency’s spot, “Pep rally,” for client Epix, took the honor. Epix offers benefits packages to businesses with 500 employees or fewer.
Wenzel & Co., Pennington, was tapped by The Outsourcing Partnership, with offices in New York, Philadelphia, Langhorne and Lancaster, Pa. The client is an internal auditing firm specializing in the finance, healthcare, manufacturing, information technology and hospitality industries.
Wenzel has also created marketing materials for Total Video Products, Mickleton. TVP installs video systems for the educational and business communities.