Hotlines

Morningstar Plans Ad Push
CHICAGO–Morningstar Inc. here will use part of a $91 million investment from Tokyo-based Softbank Corp. to launch a major ad campaign. The mutual fund research firm is holding reviews for online marketing, branding and public relations responsibilities in an effort to promote Morningstar.com, a merger of the company’s two investment information Web sites. Morningstar representative Nick Bothfeld said spending will likely reach $20 million. Rubin Postaer and Associates, Chicago, is expected to handle the branding portion, sources said. Quantum Leap and Four Points Digital, both Chicago, and Agency.com, New York, made pitches last week for the online component. Four public relations agencies present to the client this week.
Sitley to Join Fallon
CHICAGO–Fallon McElligott, Minneapolis, is expected to name Mark Sitley head of production, sources said. Sitley, most recently with J. Walter Thompson, New York, referred calls to Fallon officials, who declined comment.
Mobium Wins NEC
CHICAGO–NEC Technologies awarded its estimated $11 million account to Mobium Creative Group here. The agency bested finalist The Richards Group, Dallas, for the primarily business-to-business account. The Itasca, Ill.-based unit of NEC U.S.A. markets desktop monitors, printers and biometric products.
JWT Bags Ford Brazil
DETROIT–Ford South America has announced that it will move its Brazilian ad account to J. Walter Thompson, S-o Paulo and Detroit, from Young & Rubicam, S-o Paulo, on January 1, 2000. Y&R will retain the database management account for Brazil and Argentina.
CME Signs On With Fanball
CHICAGO–Internet and multimedia company Fanball Inc. has named Campbell Mithun Esty in Minneapolis agency of record for its fantasy sports division, Fanball.com. The agency is expected to launch a multimedia brand-building campaign for the Minnetonka, Minn.-based company this August. Billings were not disclosed.
Levitz Loves It at HDC
ATLANTA–Levitz Furniture has placed the broadcast and print creative portion of its ad account with Harris Drury Cohen, Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. The other finalists were Firewerks, Minneapolis, and Yaffe & Co., Detroit. Bozell Retail, New York, did not defend. The Boca Raton, Fla.-based company spent $52 million on ads last year, according to Competitive Media Reporting.
Empower Hires Jones to Head L.A. Office
LOS ANGELES–De Verges “Dee” Jones has joined Empower MediaMarketing (formerly Media That Works) as senior vice president/general manager in Los Angeles, a new post. Jones brings to the Cincinnati-based company more than 20 years of marketing experience.