Chrysler Merger Could Affect Agencies
DETROIT–The merger last week of Chrysler Corp. and Mercedes’ parent Daimler-Benz could affect agency relationships if the automakers believe the assignments to be conflicting. One source said General Motors could have issues with potential conflicts. Mercedes agency Lowe & Partners/SMS is owned by the Interpublic Group, and IPG’s largest worldwide client is GM. Three IPG agencies handle GM divisions: Campbell-Ewald Advertising in Warren, Mich., is Chevrolet’s longtime agency; McCann-Erickson, Troy, Mich., services the Buick division; and Ammirati Puris Lintas, New York, recently was awarded the GMC portion of the Pontiac-GMC business. A GM representative said the automaker’s advertising officials “would be watching the situation. But at this point it’s too early to make any type of call.”

Citgo Awards Account to Barkley Evergreen
DALLAS–Citgo Petroleum, Tulsa, Okla., awarded its $12-15 million creative and media account to Barkley Evergreen & Partners, Kansas City, Mo. The other finalists were Rives Carlberg, Houston; Hal Riney & Partners/Heartland, Chicago; and Campbell-Ewald Advertising, Warren, Mich. Creative and media planning was previously handled on a project basis by 911, Chicago. Media First International, New York, handled buying.

Minnesota Lottery Picks 5 Finalists
CHICAGO–Minnesota Lottery officials included two out-of-state agencies among finalists for its advertising account. Kansas City, Mo.-based Bernstein-Rein Advertising and Cleveland’s Marcus Advertising are joined by Minneapolis agencies Colle & McVoy, Foley Sackett and Valentine-McCormick-Ligibel in the hunt for the $9 million account. The agencies will make presentations in mid-June. Incumbent Carmichael Lynch, Minneapolis, declined to participate in the review.

Ethanol Group Considering 2 Agencies
CHICAGO–The National Ethanol Vehicle Coalition will hear presentations this week from Cevette & Co. and Meyocks & Priebe Outpost, both in Minneapolis, for marketing and advertising duties on a Twin Cities-based alternative fuel program. The coalition, working with Ford Motor Co. and Chrysler Corp., will work to increase sales of “E85 vehicles,” which can operate on a fuel blend that is up to 85 percent ethanol. Billings are estimated at $2-5 million.

Cutler Joins Fallon McElligott’s Board
CHICAGO–Laurel Cutler has joined Fallon McElligott, Minneapolis, as the first member of its board of directors from outside the agency. Cutler, who retired as global director of marketing planning for Foote, Cone & Belding, previously served on the board of FCB parent True North Communications in Chicago.