Hotlines

Subaru Signs Lance Armstrong to Replace Hogan as Spokesman

Detroit — Subaru of America has enlisted Lance Armstrong, four-time winner of the Tour de France, to be its new spokesman, sources said. He appears in a campaign that breaks later this year; the work features the line, “Subaru. Driven by what’s inside.” The Cherry Hill, N.J.-based client ended its six-year relationship with Australian actor Paul Hogan in October. Temerlin McClain, Irving, Texas, handles creative, media planning and print media buying, and Universal McCann, Dallas, handles broadcast media buying.



Delaware Court: American Legacy Can Be Sued

Washington — A Delaware court has ruled that the American Legacy Foundation can be sued under the terms of the Master Settlement Agreement, which forbids the vilification of tobacco companies. Legacy had argued that it was not a party to the original pact and therefore is not subject to its terms. The ruling clears the way for a suit filed last February by Lorillard Tobacco, which alleges that Legacy’s “Truth” anti-smoking ads violate the agreement.



Layoffs Hit ‘All Disciplines’ at DDB New York

NEW YORK — Last week, DDB here laid off 21 staffers, or 6.5 percent, of its New York staff. The cuts affected “all disciplines” and were prompted by the shop’s efforts to “align costs with revenues, given the poor state of the economy,” an agency representative said.



Cordiant Hires New Chairman

New York — Cordiant Communications Group has tapped Nigel Stapleton to replace chairman Charlie Scott, effective March 1. Scott, who worked for Cordiant for 13 years, announced his resignation in September. Stapleton, 56, was formerly chief financial officer and co-chairman at Reed Elsevier, where he worked for 13 years. Prior to that, he worked at Unilever for 18 years in a number of senior finance, corporate-development and management positions.



Kit Kat Remakes ‘Gimme a Break’ Jingle

NEW YORK — The 1980s are back in DDB New York’s estimated $15 million campaign for Hershey’s Kit Kat. Three spots that break next week feature a techno-inflected jingle pared down to just the phrase, “Gimme a break.” In the spots, employees on a break are shown biting into a Kit Kat and break-dancing to ’80s-style synth-pop music. This is the first time the brand’s “Gimme a Break” jingle, created by DDB in 1987, is not being used.



Suissa Miller Lands StarKist Tuna Creative Account

Suissa Miller has won creative duties on the StarKist Tuna account following a review, the client said. Sources said spending will be about $10 million. Suissa Miller’s “business-oriented approach” and its reputation were factors in the win, said Pam Koren, the client’s senior brand manager. Ad plans call for the continued use of Charlie the Tuna, the venerable ad icon created for the brand by Leo Burnett in 1961, Koren said. The incumbent, Cincinnati agency Northlich, did not defend.



Shop Seeks Airtime for Anti-War Ad Nixed by Comcast

NEW YORK — The media buying agency handling an anti-war ad rejected this week by Comcast is negotiating with other, undisclosed, cable companies to air the commercial. Last week, Philadelphia-based Comcast rejected a spot produced by a Princeton, N.J.-based anti-war group that features people stating why they oppose a war against Iraq. One reason given is, “This is a mercenary action.” Brian Sloman, CEO of Spectrum Marketing, the media buyer hired by the group, said he was told the claim in the ad was “unsubstantiated.” A Comcast representative declined comment on whether that was the issue. The group, the Anti-War Video Fund, wanted the spot to air during President Bush’s State of the Union address. The group paid $5,000 to air the 30-second execution on Comcast stations in the Washington, D.C., area, Sloman said.