LVL Communications to Go Public
SAN FRANCISCO–After months of looking for a buyer or investor, financially strapped LVL Communications has decided to go public next month. Cal Lai, LVL’s chief executive officer, confirmed the plan. The agency has been working with investment bankers MacKenzie Shea here to reorganize management, negotiate with creditors and raise capital in preparation for the move. Tom Schultz, a principal at MacKenzie Shea, began serving as LVL’s interim chief financial officer about six months ago. The Palo Alto, Calif., shop has about 50 employees and an estimated $8 million in revenues.
Shoney’s Sets Finals for Dec. 18
ATLANTA–Shoney’s Restaurants, Nashville, Tenn., last week said final presentations for its $26 million account had been rescheduled for Dec. 18. In addition, incumbent Bernstein-Rein in Kansas City, Mo., has withdrawn from the review, leaving as finalists McKinney & Silver in Raleigh, N.C.; Partners & Shevack in New York; and Italia/ Gal Advertising’s Los Angeles office.
Jones-Lundin to Oversee Valvoline Review
CHICAGO–Valvoline in Lexington, Ky., said Jones-Lundin Associates in Chicago is conducting the review for its $20-25 million account, resigned by Bozell, New York. The client said it hopes to have a long list of invitees completed this week.
2 Execs Join FCB for Levi’s, AT&T
SAN FRANCISCO–Foote, Cone & Belding here has added two executives from its other offices. The move is part of an internal overhaul to bolster FCB, San Francisco’s defense of the $90 million Levi Strauss & Co. account and service the recently won $100 million AT&T Wireless business. Tim Elliott, executive vice president and worldwide account director at FCB, New York, joined FCB, San Francisco, last week as managing director, a new post. Greg Sieck, senior vice president and group management director at the agency’s Santa Ana, Calif., office, will join FCB, San Francisco, today in the same post to manage the AT&T Wireless business.
New Balance and MVBMS Plot TV Return
NEW YORK–New Balance is preparing the biggest ad campaign in its history. The new effort, from Messner Vetere Berger McNamee Schmetterer/Euro RSCG here, is slated to break during the first quarter of 1998. The company, which has been spending less than $5 million on advertising, is expected to boost its budget to about $13 million. New Balance, which has not advertised on TV in years, will encourage consumers, as it does in its print ads, to “Achieve New Balance.”
American Stock Exchange Postpones Search
BOSTON–The American Stock Exchange has halted the review for its $6 million account, sources said. Contenders are: Mullen, Wenham, Mass.; Hill, Holliday/Altschiller and Brouillard Communications, both New York; Gillespie, Princeton, N.J.; and The Martin Agency, Richmond, Va. A client representative said the exchange was not close to a decision but would not confirm that the process is on hold.
Chubb Puts Out Feelers
NEW YORK–Chubb Corp. is contacting ad agencies, company representative David Duffy said last week. The client, which spent about $4 million on advertising last year, is not conducting a review but has “called a few agencies . . . We wanted to keep in touch with what’s out there,” Duffy said. “We’ve used Siegel & Gale [New York] for a long time, and we will continue to use them.”
JWT Adds Texas Ford Dealers
DETROIT–Three regional Ford dealer groups in Texas have assigned their accounts totaling $30 million to J. Walter Thompson, Detroit, which handles 48 dealer associations and is Ford’s national agency. The Texas dealers’ accounts were resigned by W.B. Doner & Co., Southfield, Mich., after it won the $240 million Mazda North American Operations business.
Bates Unveils First Work for CVS
BOSTON–Bates USA, New York, is launching its first ads for pharmacy chain CVS since winning the account this summer. Three 30-second holiday spots running through year’s end carry the tagline, “One at a time,” and focus on the caring service CVS provides customers. TBS Media Management, New York, is handling media buying chores.
Peter Stranger last week joined J. Walter Thompson’s Los Angeles office as president, a new post. He was a managing partner at Bozell Worldwide’s office in Costa Mesa, Calif. . . . DDB Needham in Los Angeles has hired executive creative director Pat Burnham, formerly at Publicis/Bloom in Dallas, effective Jan. 1. The move comes as the shop’s co-managing director and chief operating officer Candy Deemer plans to retire . . . Media First International, New York, has dropped out of the review for the $20 million media account of Exxon Corp., Houston, said sources. McCann-Erickson, Houston and New York, is defending the business against a number of undisclosed shops . . . Dentsu Young & Rubicam, Singapore, became a Nike roster shop last week by winning ad chores for a new subsidiary, Nike (Thailand) Ltd.
. . . Pro Media, Needham, Mass., has retained media duties for Staples, Framingham, Mass., following a review. Billings are about $35 million. Cliff Freeman and Partners, New York, handles creative chores.
LVL Communications to Go Public