– Pillsbury Acquisition May Create Conflict
CHICAGO–The proposed acquisition of Pillsbury by General Mills Inc. could become an issue for Pillsbury’s lead agency, Leo Burnett here. Burnett, which created the Pillsbury doughboy and Green Giant characters, also handles several brands for Battle Creek, Mich., based Kellogg Co., which competes with General Mills in several categories. GMI agencies are Campbell Mithun in Minneapolis, DDB Chicago and Saatchi & Saatchi, New York. FCB Worldwide, San Francisco, handles Pillsbury’s Haagen-Dazs brand. Officials at Burnett and Campbell Mithun said they had not been notified by Pillsbury, Kellogg’s or General Mills about possible ramifications of the acquisition. GMI and Pillsbury parent Diageo confirmed last week they were in talks over Pillsbury.
– Lowe Lintas Columbian Joins DraftWorldwide
CHICAGO–Lowe Lintas Columbian was merged into DraftWorldwide by parent Interpublic Group of Cos. The Chicago direct shop was acquired by Lowe Lintas when it had an office here, but was left alone when the ad agency closed upon losing the Ameritech account. Lowe Lintas Columbian claims billings of $40 million.
– AAA Missouri Chooses Valentine Radford
CHICAGO–AAA Missouri has named Valentine Radford Communications its agency of record. The Kansas City, Mo., shop’s first assignment will focus on the Missouri line of insurance products and launch the organizations e-commerce Web site. The site, which is scheduled to launch by the end of the year, will offer insurance quotes and online sales. Billings were not disclosed, but AAA Missouri spent less than $1 million on advertising last year, according to Competitive Media Reporting.
– Eastham Named CEO at Brann Worldwide
CHICAGO–Dennis Eastham was named chief executive officer of Brann Worldwide, a direct agency headquartered in Deerfield, Ill. He replaces Chris Gater, who continues as chairman. Eastham remains president of the company while his chief operating officer title will go unfilled.
– Burnett Breaks New Spots for Disney
CHICAGO–Leo Burnett this week breaks new spots for the Walt Disney Co., encouraging people to take part in DisneyWorld’s year-long Millennium celebration. The spots feature children struggling to recollect what they did for the Millennium, while on-screen text notes. “time’s running out.”
– Underwriters Launches First TV Effort
CHICAGO–Underwriters Laboratories has launched the first TV commercial in its 106 year history, tagged “Working for a safer world.” The spot was filmed at UL’s testing facility in Northbrook, Ill. It was created by BBDS, Chicago.
– EMachines Awards Branding Account
CHICAGO–eMachines awarded its branding account to Leo Burnett and Starcom USA after a review. The agency will develop an integrated advertising campaign for the Irvine, Calif., PC maker, which sells its computers through retailers such as Best Buy and Circuit City.