Hotlines: Late-Breaking Industry News

Hyatt Shuffles Finalist List After JWT Withdraws From Review

LOS ANGELES JWT, New York, withdrew from Global Hyatt’s $40 million review, and at least two other shops cut during earlier rounds have been invited to rejoin the process, said Tom O’Toole, Hyatt’s svp, marketing and systems. WPP’s JWT and Havas’ Euro RSCG had emerged as finalists for the business. Now, Euro RSCG, pitching from its New York office, remains the lone confirmed contender. Final presentations are scheduled for the end of the month, though it is unclear whether the invited agencies will accept. JWT declined comment. Select Resources International in Santa Monica, Calif., is guiding the search. first reported the review last week. Domestic incumbent independent Cramer-Krasselt in Chicago will retain creative duties on the Hyatt Place and Hyatt Summerfield Suites businesses. The winner of the review will also handle Hyatt’s 50th anniversary. The company spent $40 million in global measured media on Hyatt-branded hotels in 2006, per TNS Media Intelligence.

TBWA Mac Ads Win Grand Effie, Burnett Takes Home 11 Overall

NEW YORK TBWA\Media Arts Lab won the Grand Effie for Apple’s “Get a Mac” campaign at the 39th annual Effie Awards held here on Thursday. The Effies honor the effectiveness of campaigns and individual spots. “Get a Mac” (pictured) generated market-share growth of 42 percent, record sales and cultural influence for Apple, according to the Effie organization. Leo Burnett took home the most Effies with 11, followed by JWT with nine and DDB with six. TBWA had the most gold Effies with three: “Pedigree Adoption Drive” for Mars Pet Care, “Giantology” for Sony, both from Chiat\Day, and “Get a Mac.”

NAB Head Accuses Karmazin Of Misleading Public on Merger

WASHINGTON The head of the National Association of Broadcasters is urging Sirius Satellite Radio CEO Mel Karmazin to end his attempt to merge the nation’s two satellite radio companies and accusing the executive of misleading the public about the deal’s benefits. In a letter to Karmazin last week, NAB president and CEO David Rehr asked the radio titan to scrap the deal. Karmazin has told Congress and investors that merging Sirius and XM Satellite Radio will bring customers more programming choices without a large cost increase. Rehr accused Karmazin of attempting to win the merger so he can cover up poor business choices. The combined value of the company would be about $13 billion, which includes net debt of about $1.6 billion. XM did not immediately reply to the statement.

Starcom Chief Consumer Officer And Macy’s Lead Resigns

New York Steven Feuling, president, chief consumer officer at Publicis’ Starcom USA, Chicago, resigned effective June 1, the agency has confirmed. Sources said Feuling told Starcom CEO John Muszynski several months ago of his desire to return to the West Coast. He is currently mulling several job opportunities there, per sources. Among his duties at Starcom was oversight of the $200 million Macy’s account, which he helped bring to the shop in late 2005 after a review. But the client moved to WPP’s Mediaedge:cia at the end of last year without a review. According to sources, the departure was not tied to the account loss, and Muszynski tried to convince Feuling to stay. Sources said Feuling’s replacement will come from an internal pool of candidates, probably within the next several weeks.

TIme Warner’s Parsons Signals Title Shift, Decision on AOL

NEW YORK Time Warner chairman and CEO Richard Parsons last week signaled that he might drop his CEO title in the next year or two and again backed president and COO Jeffrey Bewkes as his heir apparent. Speaking at a Merrill Lynch media investor conference in London, he also said TW expects to be in a position to make a decision on the future of its AOL unit by year’s end, and Parsons said the world’s largest media conglomerate could completely sever its ties to majority-owned Time Warner Cable in about five years or so, even though no such decision has been made.

National City Places $40 Mil. Creative, Media Account in Play

CHICAGO IPG’s Campbell-Ewald is expected to defend creative and media duties on National City Corp.’s $40 million account, according to an agency representative. The Cleveland-based client last week contracted search consultant Select Resources International in Santa Monica, Calif., to handle the search, which is expected to be completed by September. C-E, based in Warren, Mich., has handled the account since 2003.

‘Grey’s Anatomy’ Actor Dropped Following Gay-Slur Imbroglio

NEW YORK Following his alleged offstage use of an anti-gay slur earlier this year, actor Isaiah Washington will not be returning to Grey’s Anatomy next season. ABC Studios, which produces the series for sister network ABC, said last week it would not pick up the option on Washington’s contract. Washington made headlines last October for reportedly using a slur against colleague T.R. Knight, who later publicly declared himself gay. But it was Washington’s repeat use of that slur backstage at the Golden Globes ceremony in January—denying he had ever used the word in the first place—that set off a public firestorm.

Digitas Names Unilever Exec Global CEO to Spur Int’l Growth

NEW YORK Digitas has hired Unilever marketing executive Alan Rutherford as global CEO, a new role. Rutherford, who starts in September, is tasked with leading the agency’s expansion into new markets. While holding the role of global CEO, he will continue to be based in London, not Digitas’ Boston headquarters, and will not supervise the Digitas agency in the U.S., which is run by Laura Lang. Digitas chairman David Kenny retains oversight for global operations. Rutherford reports to Kenny, who has taken a broader role helping Publicis define its digital strategy. Rutherford in 1998 joined Unilever, where he was most recently vp of global media. Prior to that, he was a media director at Ogilvy & Mather, part of WPP.