News Wire

Account Activity
Former Nike ad executive Joe McCarthy will head the team handling the $15-20 million Fila account awarded to Leo Burnett last week. Fila cited Burnett’s creative recommendation that it leverage its Italian heritage in ads as a reason for its choice. Arnell Group Brand Consulting, New York, resigned the account in March The Focus Agency, Dallas, has resigned the consumer advertising account of Qwest Communications, Denver Dreyfus Corp., New York, has narrowed its search for a new agency to three New York shops:
Angotti, Thomas, Hedge; Ammirati Puris Lintas; and Partners & Shevack, sources said. Each will get an assignment that will be due early next month Thrifty Car Rental, Tulsa, Okla., will make a cut this week to an unspecified number of shops for its $10 million account, with three finalists expected to present in August. Not defending is incumbent Ackerman McQueen, Oklahoma City J. Walter Thompson Worldwide has been awarded the global $70 million ad account for Merrill Lynch, New York, after a lengthy review, edging out D’Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles, New York. A new global campaign is slated for late September.

Lowe S.F. Names Sawyer Managing Director
SAN FRANCISCO–Lowe & Partners/SMS has filled the vacant managing director post in its San Francisco office by hiring William “Buz” Sawyer from Wieden & Kennedy/Amsterdam. Sawyer had served as managing director there for six years, working on accounts such as Microsoft, Coca-Cola and Nike Europe. Sawyer said his first objectives will be hiring a creative director and finding new office space for the 65-person, estimated $120-150 million shop.

Managerial Shuffle May Derail Sony Review
NEW YORK–Sony Electronics has announced changes in its U.S.-based sales and marketing organization that could derail the current agency review for its $35 million ad account, formerly handled by Lowe & Partners/SMS here. The Consumer Audio Video marketing division will now be led by Fujio Nishida, who will assume similar responsibilities to those held by John Briesch. Briesch now heads the Business Systems Group, which includes the Broadcast and Professional unit.

CBS Gets Hip to Lure Baby Boomers
LOS ANGELES–CBS attempts to cultivate a hip image to attract baby boomers in a new TV campaign. Five 30-second spots, created by Air Creative Group, Los Angeles, for the New York-based network, follow ABC’s recent unveiling of its fall branding effort, “We love TV,” as well as NBC’s continuing “Must see TV” work. The CBS campaign rolls out on the network this month. All the spots use the theme, “Finally, TV so good people actually make up excuses to stay home.”

Canadian Club Placed in Review
CHICAGO–Canadian Club, a division of Allied Domecq’s Hiram Walker division, is conducting a review for creative duties on its ad account. Sources said four or five agencies have already sent creative samples to the company, based in Southfield, Mich., for the $5-6 million account. Incumbent DDB Needham, New York, has declined to participate, sources said.

Y&R Adopts New Structure
DETROIT–Young & Rubicam here is reorganizing its operations to deliver global, integrated marketing services to its clients, said John Vanderzee, chairman of Young & Rubicam in Detroit. Under the new structure, each client will be served by a group account director responsible for melding the resources of both Y&R Advertising and below-the-line unit Wunderman Cato Johnson.

Aramark Eyes Mullen, Tierney
BOSTON–Mullen in Wenham, Mass., and Tierney & Partners in Philadelphia are among the finalists for the estimated $5-8 million account of Aramark Uniform and Apparel Group, sources said. Select Resources International in West Hollywood, Calif., is conducting the review for the Schaumburg, Ill.-based client.

Shops Vie for Knoll’s Meridia
NEW YORK–Knoll Pharmaceutical in Mount Olive, N.J., is talking to several New York shops about handling its new prescription diet drug Meridia. Sources identified Foote, Cone & Belding and Young & Rubicam as two shops vying to handle creative and media chores on the $15 million account. TBWA Chiat/Day, New York, talked to the client but is not pursuing the business, sources said. A Knoll representative declined comment and would not identify an incumbent.

Newswire Roundup
Bruce Benson has joined Young & Rubicam in New York to serve as executive vice president for corporate strategy and technology, a new position Richard Pels has joined Saatchi & Saatchi, New York, as an executive creative director Despite reporting a quarterly net loss of $67.6 million, Nike executives vowed to avoid further cuts in the company’s advertising and marketing budgets, chairman Phil Knight said at a press conference last week The Media Edge, the branded media unit of Young & Rubicam, has struck a four-year deal with ESPN and ABC Sports, estimated at about $120 million, on behalf of AT&T GSD&M, Austin, Texas, has finished shooting a 30-second television spot for Wal-Mart, Bentonville, Ark., promoting Kathie Lee Gifford’s clothing line.