News Wire

FCB N.Y. Breaks First Alamo Work
NEW YORK–Foote, Cone & Belding here breaks its first work today on Alamo Rent A Car’s $26 million account with a new tag, “Drive happy.” A TV spot featuring a montage of happy drivers carries the tune, “Don’t Worry, Be Happy.” FCB won the business in December after a review. Hal Riney & Partners, San Francisco, had resigned the account. Riney’s tag was: “Where all the miles are free.”

8 Shops Reach Scudder Semifinals
BOSTON–Eight agencies are semifinalists in the review for Scudder Kemper Investments’ estimated $15 million corporate ad account. Incumbents advancing are: Heater Advertising in Boston; Impact Communications, a unit of Foote, Cone & Belding in Chicago; Saatchi & Saatchi, Toronto; and W.B. Doner & Co. in Southfield, Mich. Four New York shops also being considered are: Angotti, Thomas, Hedge; Gotham; Grace & Rothschild; and Grey Advertising. Finalists will be determined within the next week. Some incumbents may be retained for assignments, even if they do not win the corporate account.

McDonald’s Marketing Shifts Expected
CHICAGO–McDonald’s Corp. this week will make changes in its marketing department, sources said. Bill Lamar, a corporate vice president, is expected to gain responsibilities, working more closely with Brad Ball, senior vice president for U.S. marketing. McDonald’s on March 23 will reprise its Monopoly promotion, with tie-in partners including Gateway 2000, Sony, Chevrolet’s Corvette and Westin Hotels. Additionally, McDonald’s said it will conduct another Teenie Beanie Babies Happy Meal promotion this year, but has not set a date. DDB Needham and Leo Burnett, both Chicago, handle McDonald’s ads.

Phillips Heads Sprint Account at JWT West
SAN FRANCISCO–J. Walter Thompson West has named Carol Phillips of Mullen, Wenham, Mass., senior partner, worldwide creative director on the Sprint account. Phillips succeeds JWT West president David Riemer, who previously managed the Sprint business as worldwide account director. Sources said Riemer will focus on managing the shop with Larry Tolpin, the new worldwide creative director and JWT West chief executive officer. JWT West also has picked up Sprint’s approximately $25 million local telecom division’s consumer and small business markets account, from NKH&W, Kansas City, Mo., without a review.

Hallmark Again Talking to Agencies
CHICAGO–Eugene O’Sullivan, a consultant and former agency executive who has contacted shops on behalf of Hallmark Cards in the past [Adweek, Nov. 11, 1996], has held meetings with at least two agencies about projects for the Kansas City, Mo., company, according to sources. The work would be supplemental to what Leo Burnett, Chicago, handles. A Hallmark representative said the client regularly talks “to a lot of people in the industry. We’re interested in how advertising is being conducted by other brands.” The representative added that Hallmark is “extremely satisfied with Burnett.”

Patty Gives Up TPG to Focus on Nissan
LOS ANGELES–Tom Patty, founder and chairman of TBWA Chiat/Day’s retail spinoff, The Persuasion Group, is relinquishing his TPG duties to concentrate on his job as president, worldwide Nissan account director at TBWA C/D. Tony Stern, creative director, will be promoted to president of TPG and assume some of Patty’s duties, said sources. TPG has roughly $60 million in billings.

Omnicom Revenues, Income Up
NEW YORK–Omnicom Group, parent of BBDO Worldwide, DDB Needham Worldwide and TBWA Chiat/Day, reported worldwide revenues of $3.1 billion last year, up 18 percent from 1996. Net income also grew 26 percent, to $222 million, Omnicom said. Net revenue for the fourth quarter of 1997 was up 24 percent from the same period in 1996.

NAR Goes With Two Shops
ATLANTA–The National Association of Realtors has tapped Townsend & O’Leary in Laguna Hills, Calif., to handle creative and Richardson, Myers & Donofrio in Baltimore to handle media planning and placement on its $32 million, three-year ad account. There was no incumbent. The two shops will share strategic planning tasks.

Newswire Roundup
Despite denials from Hill, Holliday, Connors, Cosmopulos chief executive and sole owner Jack Connors that his Boston shop is for sale, sources said Interpublic Group is in “serious negotiations” to acquire the Boston agency. Though IPG chief executive Phil Geier declined comment, sources said a deal could be announced as soon as this week Dick’s Clothing & Sporting Goods, Coraopolis, Pa., moved creative duties for its estimated $10 million account to Marc Advertising, Pittsburgh, succeeding Publicis/Bloom, New York Coors Brewing Co., Golden, Colo., awarded its estimated $5-7 million African American account to Oakland, Calif.-based Carol H. Williams Advertising, following a review. Incumbent was Uniworld Group, New York Heather Higgins was promoted to executive creative director at Foote, Cone & Belding Direct, New York The Romann Group will launch a $4 million print campaign in July for Waterdance Aqua Spray, a new scent from New York’s Coty U.S. The shop won the account in October Ex-Saatchi & Saatchi executive Michael Jeary has joined Jerry & Ketchum, New York, as president and COO. The shop will be renamed Della Femina/Jeary and Partners.