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Revlon to Move $120 Mil. In Media to IPG’S Initiative

NEW YORK Revlon is moving its media planning and buying duties from Aegis’ Carat to IPG’s Initiative without a review, sources said. Revlon spent $120 million in U.S. media in 2006, up 22 percent over the previous year, per Nielsen Monitor-Plus. Carat retains Revlon’s digital buying and planning through Carat Fusion, sources said. Also, Carat Canada retains buying and planning for Revlon in that country. A Carat rep referred questions to the client. A Revlon representative declined to comment. Publicis’ The Kaplan Thaler Group is also on the Revlon roster, handling Almay, Mitchum and cosmetics assignments.



ABC to Develop TV Pilot Starring Geico’s Cavemen

NEW YORK ABC is developing a program featuring the cavemen from Geico’s ads, the network confirmed last week. Produced by ABC TV Studio, the half-hour comedy project, based on the Geico ads, revolves around three thirtysomething “cavemen” who battle bigotry in modern-day Atlanta. The pilot was written by Joe Lawson, the copywriter who came up with the cavemen ads at the Richmond, Va.-based Martin Agency. Recent ads feature the caveman, who is insulted by Geico.com’s “So easy a caveman can do it”campaign line, in current situations. He has complained to his therapist in one spot, complained on the news in another, and most recently admonished his caveman buddy at a party for signing up for insurance at Geico.com.



Nokia Briefs Contenders As WPP Enters Agency Team

NEW YORK WPP formed a team to participate in the $120 million-plus global Nokia mobile phones review that consists of Grey (the incumbent in Europe, U.S.), Bates Asia (the incumbent in that region) and Rainey Kelly Campbell Roalfe/Y&R in London, sources said. The client briefed shops on Friday at its Espoo, Finland, headquarters. Other agencies pursuing are Omnicom’s DDB (Latin America incumbent), independents Mother and Wieden + Kennedy, Publicis-backed Bartle Bogle Hegarty and WPP’s JWT, sources said. The shops are all pitching from multiple offices. Agency executives either could not be reached or referred calls to the client, which did not return calls. WPP was unavailable for comment at press time.



Weight Watchers Reduces Review Field to 4 Finalists

NEW YORK Weight Watchers cut to four finalists on Friday from eight semifinalists in the creative review of its estimated $70 million account, sources said. IPG’s McCann Erickson and Deutsch, and Omnicom’s BBDO and DDB, all New York, will be briefed in mid-month, sources said. The incumbent is WPP’s Young & Rubicam here. Executives at the agencies either could not be reached or referred calls to the client, which was unavailable at press time. Boston-based Pile and Co. is managing the review and did not return calls.



FCC Seeks to Expand Powers In Bid to Regulate TV Content

WASHINGTON The Federal Communications Commission is preparing to ask Congress for a broad expansion of its authority to regulate the content of television programming, but it hopes to leave the thorny issue of defining the parameters of how much violence is too much to legislators, an FCC commissioner said last week. Commissioner Robert McDowell told a broadcasters’ convention that the commission is struggling with developing recommendations for lawmakers that help protect children without running afoul of the First Amendment. “An effort to minimize children’s exposure to violence is a noble effort, but getting there in a reasonable, legal and constitutional way is difficult,” he said.



Former Seneca Executive Sues Omnicom for Breach of Contract

NEW YORK Michael Tierney, a former executive at Seneca Investments, is suing Omnicom for nearly $1 million claiming the holding company owes him stock options. In a complaint filed in federal court in Manhattan on Feb. 16, Tierney alleges that Seneca was under Omnicom’s financial control. He left Seneca in March 2004, according to his complaint, and claims Omnicom owes him the value of his stock options in the company. Omnicom has maintained that it never had a controlling interest in Seneca. An Omnicom rep declined to comment on the complaint, as did Tierney’s attorney, William C. Rand.



WPP Considers Combining United, Grey in London

NEW YORK WPP Group is considering folding the London office of its United network into Grey’s London operation, agency officials confirmed. United London, with about 40 staffers, has been faltering for some time, and suffered a further setback in December when its largest client, BSkyB, left the shop. If WPP puts the two agencies together, some United staffers will join Grey, sources said. The remaining eight offices in the United network would be unaffected. Grey in London is still searching for a new CEO as Tamara Ingram last month assumed responsibility on the network’s global Procter & Gamble business.