Ogilvy’s $60 Mil. Global Effort Touts IBM’s ‘Middleware’

NEW YORK IBM Software Group launches an estimated $60 million global print and out-of-home campaign this week that aims to define the “middleware” category—software that connects personal computers to a company network. This is the first time IBM is focusing on a general category rather than a specific brand or service, said Ann Rubin, director of integrated marketing communications for the software group. IBM sees middleware as a crucial tool for networks, Rubin explained, and wants IT decision makers to consider the Armonk, N.Y.-based company as synonymous with the category. The campaign, by Ogilvy & Mather in New York, bears the tagline “Middleware is everywhere,” and shows how the software is responsible for a successful business moment, said senior partner and acd Tom Bagot.

Agencies Mull RFP for $30 Mil. SUV Safety Campaign

Atlanta Agencies responding to the RFP for a national $30 million SUV safety campaign coordinated by the Florida attorney general’s office include Havas’ Euro RSCG Tatham and independent Cramer-Krasselt, both in Chicago; Eisner Communications in Baltimore; Publicis & Hal Riney in San Francisco; and The Wolf Group in New York. Agencies that fit the qualifications (billings of $200 million-plus and no car account) but are still undecided include the New York offices of Grey, WPP’s Berlin Cameron/Red Cell and Wieden + Kennedy. Pile & Co. in Boston is handling the search. Forms are due Nov. 14, and the client will cull a shortlist by Dec. 15. Finalists will present Jan. 21-23, with a decision set for Jan. 30. The funding comes from a settlement in which Ford Motor Co. agreed to pay $51.5 million to a 50-state coalition in response to charges that the company misled consumers about the safety of SUVs.

Color Wheel Sentencing Set For Ex-Grey Print Exec Mosallem

NEW YORK Mitch Mosallem, the former head of Grey Worldwide’s print production department, will be sentenced in U.S. District Court in Manhattan on Oct. 28 for his central role in The Color Wheel fraud case. In April, he pleaded guilty to conspiring with The Color Wheel to rig bids and overbill Grey’s clients. Mosallem, who received $1.2 million in kickbacks from third-party print suppliers between 1999 and 2001, faces 63 to 78 months in prison for 11 counts of anti-trust violations, fraud, bid rigging and tax evasion. Two co-defendants, Birj Deckmejian, a former Color Wheel salesman, and John Steinmetz, an ex-Grey employee who worked for Mosallem, are scheduled for an Oct. 20 trial. While The Color Wheel is under new management and has been renamed 291 Digital, the investigation into the case is ongoing.

2 Shops Await Decision on $50 Mil. Drug Account

NEW YORK A decision could come this week in the review for Sepracor Inc.’s new insomnia drug, Estorra, sources said. IPG’s McCann-Erickson and Omnicom’s Merkley Newman Harty & Partners, both New York, completed final presentations for the $50 million account last week. WPP’s Berlin Cameron/Red Cell pulled out in an earlier round. The Marlborough, Mass., client was unavailable for comment.

Newspapers Take On Magazines, TV in Ads

NEW YORK The Newspaper National Network, a marketing partnership of top newspaper companies, bows a $1 million ad campaign today that touts the medium as cost effective and far-reaching. The campaign, created by Della Femina Rothschild Jeary and Partners in New York, targets magazines and TV with lines like, “Nobody wakes up and says, ‘I gotta have some coffee and a magazine.’ ” Print and online ads will run through December.

AOL Promotes 9.0 Optimized In $10 Mil. Online Campaign

NEW YORK America Online breaks an online effort Wednesday from AtmosphereBBDO to promote AOL 9.0 Optimized. The initial rollout, slated to run through the end of the year on properties like, MarketWatch and MapQuest, reinforces the “Life needs” offline campaign from Omnicom’s BBDO in New York. In one execution, the running man icon runs across a red carpet to demonstrate that “Life needs a big entrance.” Other ads proclaim, “Life needs less aggravation” to promote spam filters and, “Life needs a personality” to plug SuperBuddy icons. Spending is expected to be close to $10 million, sources said.