News Wire

National Guard Stays With Laughlin
ATLANTA–The National Guard Bureau is keeping its advertising account at Laughlin, Marinaccio & Owens in Arlington, Va. The account gets close to $70 million in ad support during a five-year period. The client has a one-year contract with the agency and four one-year renewal options. Other agencies that competed for the assignment include HMS Partners in Columbus, Ohio, and the combination of Seiter & Miller Advertising and Grey Direct in New York.
Michelin Assigns DMB&B a Project
CHICAGO–Michelin North America, Akron, Ohio, has given D’Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles, St. Louis, an assignment [Adweek, Dec. 22]. A company representative said the project involves “refining the brand image” for the B.F. Goodrich tire brand. Billings were not disclosed. W.B. Doner & Co., Southfield, Mich., continues to handle the $10 million Goodrich national account. Sources said Doner and Rubin Postaer & Associates, Santa Monica, Calif., also competed for the assignment.
Chicken Chain Selects New Agency
ATLANTA–Churchs Chicken here moved its national ad account to Atlanta’s Austin Kelley Advertising from Dallas-based Levenson & Hill, which held the account for about eight years. The client said its 1998 ad budget will be in the $12-15 million range. Austin Kelley will handle TV and radio creative duties as well as media buying chores for Churchs, while Atlanta-based Ender Partners will handle all print assignments, the client said.
DeWitt Retains BMW Media
NEW YORK–BMW of North America, Woodcliff Lake, N.J., has decided to keep its estimated $70 million media account at DeWitt Media here following a review. Other shops competing for the business were BMW national agency Fallon McElligott in Minneapolis and Publicis/Bloom here.
TN Consummates Merger With Bozell
CHICAGO–True North Communications shareholders approved the merger with Bozell, Jacobs, Kenyon & Eckhardt at a meeting on Dec. 30. Publicis, unsuccessful last week in attempts to overturn two court injunctions blocking its tender offer for TN stock (intended to derail the merger), voted its 18.5 percent stake against the BJK&E union. However, TN said 95 percent of other shares voted were in support of the deal. The Bozell media buying unit will be merged with TN Media, but media planning will continue to be controlled separately by Foote, Cone & Belding, Bozell, Temerlin McClain and the holding company’s other agency brands. TN chief executive officer Bruce Mason said there are no immediate plans to proceed with the long-contemplated initial public offering for TN Technologies, into which BJK&E’s Poppe Tyson interactive agency is being folded.
Nike Debuts ‘I Can’ in the U.S.
LOS ANGELES–Nike has launched a new campaign introducing the theme “I can.” Longtime Nike agency Wieden & Kennedy in Portland, Ore., developed the theme, which has been in the works for months [Adweek, Nov. 17]. “We will be somewhat selective about its use,” said Chris Zimmerman, U.S. ad director at the Beaverton, Ore.-based company. “I can” will be used in the U.S. in conjunction with the well-known tag “Just do it.”
Taco Bell Unveils New Talking Dog Ads
LOS ANGELES–TBWA Chiat/Day last week broke the first of four or five national TV spots that make a talking Chihuahua the centerpiece of the agency’s “Want some?” campaign for Taco Bell. In one commercial supporting the Irvine, Calif.-based chain’s 99 cent Mexican Pizza promotion, the taco-crazy dog ignores a female Chihuahua to tell a surprised customer, “Yo quiero Taco Bell.” Chuck Bennett, co-creative director at the agency’s office in Venice, Calif., said he wants the Chihuahua to be “perceived as a 19-year-old guy in a dog’s body who thinks about food and girls.”
Newswire Roundup
Rubbermaid,Wooster, Ohio, assigned its $10 million account to Martin/Williams, Minneapolis. The Martin Agency, Richmond, Va., was the other contender after incumbent Meldrum & Fewsmith Communications, Cleveland, and finalist J. Walter Thompson, Chicago, withdrew before final presentations Gary Moss, Saatchi & Saatchi’s worldwide account director on the Procter & Gamble business, has left the agency to pursue other interests. Kevin Roberts, the agency’s worldwide chief executive, assumes Moss’ duties Outback Steakhouse in Tampa, Fla., and McCann Erickson in New York, which handled the client’s estimated $20 million account, have parted ways Mullen, Wenham, Mass., has won the $5-7 million ad account of Software AG in Reston, Va. The shop bested Ingalls Advertising, Boston, and The Martin Agency, Richmond, Va., for the business. There was no incumbent Asher/Gould Advertising, Los Angeles, has dropped the name of former principal Morley Gould and is now known as Asher & Partners Kovel Kresser & Partners, Los Angeles, won the creative portion of DiTech Funding’s estimated $15 million account, the client confirmed. Carat ICG, Los Angeles, handles media buying duties for the Irvine, Calif.-based home loan company, which previously handled creative chores in-house.