Isuzu Shifts $40-60 Mil. in Media Duties

LOS ANGELES—American Isuzu Motors has moved its media buying business to Interpublic Group’s GM Mediaworks in New York and its media planning to Bcom3’s GM Planworks in Troy, Mich., without a review. The incumbent was Media Planning Group in New York. The Japanese auto maker spent about $40 million in 2000 and $60 million in the first 10 months of 2001, according to CMR.

Sega to Consolidate $25 Mil. Account

SAN FRANCISCO—Sega of America, which oversees the Sega Sports and Entertainment brands, is looking to consolidate its ad business with one agency, according to sources. The San Francisco video game maker spends about $25 million annually on its combined accounts, according to CMR. It is expected that the consolidated account will settle with one of the incumbents, Foote, Cone & Belding and Leagas Delaney, both in San Francisco, unless a review is launched in coming weeks.

New Kmart Chairman Huddles With Lead Agency

NEW YORK—James Adamson, a Kmart board member who assumed the role of nonexecutive chairman in January, met twice last week with lead agency TBWA\Chiat\Day in what sources described as “briefings” and “strategy sessions.” The meetings, which took place at Kmart in Troy, Mich., and TBWA\C\D in New York, came a week after the shop shot new TV work and as the chain begins to reorganize under Chapter 11. The work, said to target “shopping moms” [Adweek, Jan. 28], employs the tag, “Kmart. For real life,” said sources. The shop declined comment.

JWT’s Capra Taking COO Post

NEW YORK—J. Walter Thompson has tapped Marc Capra, chairman and CEO of southeast Asia and Thailand, to become COO of the New York office, the agency confirmed. Capra, 44, who will report to agency president Bob Jeffrey, starts March 1. In his new role, Capra succeeds Mike Gross, 42, who is pursuing other job opportunities within parent company WPP Group.

Optimedia’s DeWitt to Join SNTA

NEW YORK—Gene DeWitt, chairman/CEO of Publicis and Cordiant Communications’ Optimedia USA, was named president of the Syndicated Network Television Association, a trade group that promotes advertising in syndicated programming. DeWitt set up his own buying service, DeWitt Media, a decade ago. He sold his shop to Publicis’ Optimedia in 2000. At SNTA, DeWitt succeeds Allison Bodenmann, who joined Court TV last year.

Account Activity

TBWA\Chiat\Day in New York and McCarthy Mambro Bertino in Boston have final pitches for AXA Financial’s $15 million account this Friday, sources said. The agencies declined comment. … Orbitz has split with TBWA\Chiat\Day and is expected to shift its media account to Carat USA and creative to Fusion Idea Lab, sources said. TBWA\C\D in New York confirmed the split, while a Chicago-based Orbitz rep said the client continued to work with that agency. Fusion and Carat declined comment. Spending was estimated at about $30-40 million, though last year Orbitz spent about $15 million, according to CMR.