Verus Cut, Omnicom Name Search Goes On

CHICAGO—Trademark issues have led Omnicom to scrap Verus as a name for the new agency being set up to handle PepsiCo business, sources said. Verus was the leading candidate among several names that were considered, but it was discarded because of legal problems. Several other companies share the name. The unit’s name and structure, originally set to be unveiled in early November, is now not expected until sometime after Jan. 1.

GNC to Work With 2 Pittsburgh Shops

CHICAGO—General Nutrition Centers will break off its relationship with Deutsch at the end of the year and work with two shops in its hometown of Pittsburgh on a project basis, a company executive said. Marc USA is handling campaigns for GNC’s Scan Diet and Herbal Plus lines, as well as a tie-in with the March of Dimes. Ten United is handling GNC’s multivitamin line. GNC spent about $30 million last year, according to CMR. The move was made in part because GNC wanted local shops and has changed its marketing structure, said Jennifer Brinker, vice president of advertising. Deutsch, New York, has worked with GNC since 1996.

CEA Lays Off Staffers, Restructures

DETROIT—Campbell-Ewald Advertising went through a round of layoffs earlier this month, but Tony Hopp, chief executive of the Warren, Mich., agency, declined to give exact numbers. The agency has been hit by client cutbacks across the board, Hopp said, including Chevrolet’s decision to end publication of Chevy Outdoors magazine, which was mailed to 500,000 prospects quarterly. CEA’s C-E Publishing unit handled the magazine. Hopp said the agency has been restructured, with digital, direct, publishing and co-op units grouped together.

PepsiCo, FCB Settlement Still Unsigned

CHICAGO—The settlement agreement reached late last month between PepsiCo and Foote, Cone & Belding has not yet been signed; a court hearing on Pepsi’s federal lawsuit remains set for this week. Sources said “language” issues are holding things up. The settlement agreement, which also covers a Cook County Circuit Court lawsuit, would prevent about 16 FCB employees from working on Coca-Cola brands picked up by FCB until June 1. Those workers were veterans of the Quaker business, which was moved to Omnicom in September. A PepsiCo representative said the agreement was still being worked on and there were no indications it would not be completed. Attorneys and agency executives declined comment.

Enlighten to Build Pulte Interactive Strategy

DETROIT—Enlighten has been hired by Pulte Homes to develop a new interactive strategy for the Bloomfield Hills, Mich.-based homebuilder. Pulte’s national agency remains D’Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles, Troy, Mich. The Ann Arbor, Mich., shop’s project will include a redesign of to include a more “interactive and engaging brand experience for the homebuyer,” said Steve Glauberman, Enlighten president and CEO. The redesign is set to launch next summer.