IPG, Kassan Settle Litigation
LOS ANGELES–The Interpublic Group of Cos. and Michael Kassan announced a settlement of the litigation between them regarding Kassan’s employment agreements with its Western Initiative Media Worldwide subsidiary. Terms were not disclosed. As part of the same announcement, IPG said that “separately” it had “completed its regularly scheduled audit of the financial operations of Western and is satisfied with the results.” Kassan cited the audit in a lawsuit and related arbitration claim that alleged defamation of character and breach of contract. Collectively, he had sought $63.5 million in damages [Adweek, Aug. 16]. “I enjoyed the nearly six years I worked at Western,” Kassan, its former vice chairman and president, said Friday. “I’m glad to have had the opportunity to work with people I admired, particularly [Western CEO] Dennis Holt and [IPG chairman] Phil Geier.” He declined to discuss the lawsuit or arbitration proceeding, which was also part of the settlement. Geier declined comment.
Goodby Resigns Unilever, Mattel/Intel Projects
SAN FRANCISCO–Goodby, Silverstein & Partners has resigned two assignments it won last year that never got off the ground creatively, according to sources. The first, for Unilever, was expected to be a $20 million new-product launch for a line of personal care products. Sources said Goodby executives became frustrated with Unilever’s foot dragging on the project, which may never launch. The second, for Mattel and Intel, was an estimated $10-20 million project for a PC-based “Intel Play” line of toys that are due to launch this fall. It is not known if any of Goodby’s work will be used during the holiday season, or if any of the companies’ roster shops are handling the assignment instead. Goodby executives could not be reached for comment. Separately, Goodby this week launches its first work for Discover Card. It won the $80 million account last spring.
Merged Utah Bank Starts $10-15 Mil. Review
LOS ANGELES–A newly merged bank in Utah has put its estimated $10-15 million account in review. Zions Bank, which announced a merger this summer with First Security Bank, both Salt Lake City, sent requests for proposals last week to an undisclosed number of shops. The selected shop must have a West Coast office, according to sources. FJCandN currently handles Zions; Publicis handles First Security. A decision is expected this fall.
Publicis to Air Latest Spot for Petsmart
LOS ANGELES–Publicis kicked off a campaign for Petsmart’s Web site, www.petsmart.com, with a 30-second spot during Sunday’s telecast of the Emmy Awards. Part of a $50 million effort for the Phoenix company, the ad touts the convenience of shopping online for pet supplies. National TV is supported by print, radio, outdoor and online ads. Separately, the Seattle agency has won the estimated $5-10 million Sleep Country USA business. The Seattle-based mattress retailer chose the shop after a review of undisclosed area agencies.
IPG, Kassan Settle Litigation