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MARTIN TO END L.A. STORY
ATLANTA-The Martin Agency in Richmond, Va., plans to sell or close Martin Creative LA in Los Angeles by mid-March. The office was opened in 1996, in part to give Martin access to creatives Jean Robaire and Sally Hogshead. Some of the accounts they worked on included Wrangler and Remy Martin Cognac. Agency chief executive officer John Adams said he was pleased with the office’s work, but that staffers there had a desire for “their own accounts,” and Martin was unable to fund such an operation. The Los Angeles operation has no accounts of its own.
KIA BREAKS NEW TV SPOTS FROM GMO
SAN FRANCISCO-Two new TV commercials from Goldberg Moser O’Neill for Kia Motors’ Sephia compact sedan are set to break Feb. 19. Media support for the campaign is estimated at $20 million. The spots will run in 180 markets nationwide, up from the 62 targeted by GMO’s 1996 Sephia campaign. Executives at Kia said national distribution of the company’s best-selling vehicle will be reached by year’s end. In one spot, the Sephia is put to the test as part of a fleet of rental cars in Hawaii. Drivers are shown maneuvering several Sephia models in rough road conditions. The other spot features a Kia driver putting the Sephia through a 100,000-mile endurance test.
EL POLLO TAKES ON TACO BELL
LOS ANGELES-Comedian Paul Rodriguez warns a chihuahua of the dangers of eating too many tacos, in a new TV spot from Foote, Cone & Belding’s Los Angeles office for rival fast-food chain El Pollo Loco. The 30-second spot spoofs Taco Bell’s TV ads featuring a chihuahua with an insatiable appetite for Taco Bell food. The spot, which broke last week, was one of the last FCB completed for El Pollo Loco before it resigned the account late last year. The $10 million account is now handled by Dailey & Associates, West Hollywood, Calif.
REVIEWS ROUNDUP. . . BOZELL, LEAGAS VIE FOR OIL
Bozell Worldwide in New York will make a creative presentation to Quaker State next week in the review for the company’s estimated $20 million motor oil account. Bozell, which was a late entrant into the final round of the pitch, is battling Leagas Delaney, San Francisco. The client is currently conducting a three-week on-air test of Leagas’ work and does not plan to test the Bozell work, sources said. The Leagas test will air until the first week of March, with the winning agency expected to be named shortly thereafter, said William Tucker of the Tucker Partnership, who is overseeing the review. . . Freeman Cosmetics, Beverly Hills, Calif., has put its agency search on hold, sources said. Billings are estimated at $4-8 million. . . Hyundai Motor America, Fountain Valley, Calif., has awarded its interactive account to its lead agency, Bates USA West, Irvine, Calif. Billings are undisclosed.