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Travelers Taps Merkley for $15 Mil. Account
NEW YORK–Merkley Newman Harty here won the $15 million corporate and insurance accounts of Travelers Group. A company representative confirmed the selection. McCann-Erickson was the other finalist.
Burnett Chairman: “Agency Was Slow to Change”
CHICAGO–Leo Burnett must now restructure because it “was slow to change” in the past, agency chairman and CEO Rick Fizdale told a Chicago Ad Federation luncheon audience last week. “We believed we were inoculated against change,” he said. The agency might acquire a stake in an undisclosed “urban agency” to broaden resources. It has also brought in British account planning consultants Red Spider and consultant Larry Light to counteract its past “insularity,” Fizdale said.
Weight Watchers Hires ADvice & ADvisors
NEW YORK–Weight Watchers International has retained ADvice & ADvisors here to analyze future ad assignments, following Lowe & Partners/SMS’ decision last week to resign the estimated $25 million account. The one-year relationship ended due to creative and strategic differences. The Seiden Group here has been hired by the client on a project basis.
Y&R and Sony Discuss Expanding Ties
NEW YORK–Young & Rubicam Advertising is in talks with Sony Corp. in Tokyo, which is considering expanding its relationship with the agency’s New York-based parent, Y&R Inc. It is not clear whether the agency is being considered for an existing account or a new assignment. Y&R Inc. has a relationship with Sony via its Dentsu Young & Rubicam network in Asia. Y&R and Lowe & Partners/SMS, Sony’s U. S. agency, declined comment.
Kaiser Narrows List of Contenders
LOS ANGELES–Kaiser Permanente, Oakland, Calif., has narrowed its list of contenders for a $30 million corporate image assignment to Grey Advertising and Saatchi & Saatchi Advertising, both in New York, and Temerlin McClain, Irving, Texas.
Interpublic to Acquire Atlanta’s Fitzgerald & Co.
ATLANTA–The Interpublic Group has signed a letter of intent to acquire Fitzgerald & Co. and merge it with McCann-Erickson here. The combined entity, with $150 million in billings, will operate under the Fitzgerald name. McCann executive vice president and general manager Clisby Clarke will become chairman and remain through 1998. Dave Fitzgerald becomes president and CEO.
Kaplan Thaler Group Wins New Clairol Account
NEW YORK–The Kaplan Thaler Group here has been awarded creative duties for Daily Defense, a new haircare line from Clairol. Kaplan Thaler won the account after a competition with Bozell Worldwide here. Media chores will be handled in-house.