– No MediaVest/Starcom Merger in U.S. for Now
CHICAGO–The four-person board of merged holding company BDM did not take action on a proposal to create a combined media subsidiary for Leo Burnett’s Starcom Worldwide and the MacManus Group’s MediaVest Worldwide, sources said. While BDM officials have previously said that operations of the two media units will be combined in some international markets, there are no current plans to merge in the U.S. or the United Kingdom, even if a BDM media subsidiary is approved, sources said.
– Zyman’s Good Word Helps Fallon Win $20 Mil. Biz
NEW YORK–Fallon McElligott here won a $20 million ad account from Ariba, a Mountain View, Calif., maker of business management software, sources said. Fallon landed the account on the strength of a recommendation from former Coca-Cola marketing executive Sergio Zyman, who now a consultants for, among others, Fallon client eTour, sources said.
– TBWA Worldwide, Hakuhodo Form G1 Unit for Nissan
LOS ANGELES–TBWA Worldwide and Hakuhodo have named a joint venture to handle the $600 million global
Nissan business G1, sources said. Short for “global one,” the operation will be owned equally by Hakuhodo and Omnicom’s TBWA Worldwide. The agency will establish regional units in Japan, the U.S. and Europe. Nissan has used Hakuhodo and Nippo, now known as TBWA/Nippo, since 1992; TBWA/Chiat/Day for U.S. ads; and a joint venture of Hakuhodo and TBWA in Europe. Nissan USA had no comment. The company has not yet decided to consolidate advertising at one agency, but observers consider this move to be a preemptive measure to keep the client from exploring other options.
– IPG Stock Dips After Reporting 1999 Earnings
NEW YORK–Interpublic Group of Cos.’ stock dropped 9 percent Friday after the holding company posted strong 1999 earnings. On Wednesday, IPG reported revenue was up 15 percent over 1998 to $4.6 billion and net income up 21 percent to $373.4 million. Chairman Phil Geier said, “We had a very good fiscal year in 1999, and the company is in an excellent position as we begin 2000.” Geier attributed the volatility in part to “Mis-information erroneously reported in some financial media concerning the size of a restructuring charge.” On Thursday, IPG said in a statement that “the total charges related to its merger of the Lowe Group and Ammirati Puris Lintas to form Lowe Lintas & Partners Worldwide will remain in line with the original estimates, which were $170-190 million pre-tax.” Geier also cited the Friday release of 4 million shares from a London acquisition as a contributing factor. “Many institutions in London have an internal rule that they cannot hold non-U.K. stock,” he said, “which affected a major portion of those shares that were sold immediately.” Meanwhile, Young & Rubicam Inc. reported 1999 revenue up 13 percent to $1.7 billion and net income up 23 percent to $116.1 million, and Omnicom Group reported revenue gained 20 percent to $5.13 billion and net income rose 30 percent to $362.9 million.