News Wire

Y&R Taking Stake in Web Company
NEW YORK – Young & Rubicam Inc. is selling its Brand Dialogue interactive unit to Clarant Worldwide of Dallas, a new Web services firm that plans to go public during the third quarter of this year. In exchange, Y&R here will receive a 13 percent stake in Clarant, which owns interactive shops Free Range Media and Icon Interactive. It is “necessary to participate in this business on more than one [interactive] front – not only by building in-house capabilities, but also by linking with leading-edge firms,” said Y&R chief operating officer Ed Vick.
Starwood Adds to Marketing Ranks
NEW YORK – Amid a $65 million review, Starwood Hotels & Resorts named Bob Moore, a former sales executive at Hilton Hotels, svp of sales and marketing for North America. Most recently, he served as executive vp of the Los Angeles Convention and Visitors Bureau. The review is being headed by chairman Barry Sternlicht. Starwood is considering Bates Worldwide, DDB, Partners & Shevack/Wolf, Weiss Stagliano Partners, Young & Rubicam, Grey Advertising and Arnell Group Brand Consulting, all in New York, for business previously handled by Ogilvy & Mather in New York.
Dyson Joins WPP Board
NEW YORK – WPP Group said it will appoint Esther Dyson to its board June 28 as a non-executive director. Dyson, 47, is chairman of EDventure Holdings, an information technology and new media company founded in 1980. EDventure also manages a venture capital fund that has financed software and information startups in Eastern and Central Europe.
TN Sells Publicis Stake
CHICAGO – True North Communications has sold its 8.8 percent stake in Publicis SA, valued in the company’s annual report at $134 million. Publicis still has about a 10 percent stake in TN, valued at about $125 million. Publicis worldwide CEO Maurice Levy said there were no plans to sell, as TN’s “share price is not satisfactory enough.” The sale furthers TN CEO David Bell’s stated goal of ending the company’s ties with Publicis. Both sides said the stock sale would have no impact on TN’s $60 million lawsuit against Publicis, which argues TN received an inadequate stake in Publicis SA as a result of that entity’s merger with Publicis Communications.
Grey, Burnett Vie for Oracle
LOS ANGELES – Oracle Corp., Redwood Shores, Calif., has narrowed its review for its estimated $90 million account to two agencies: Grey Advertising’s New York and San Francisco offices and Leo Burnett, Chicago, with its media buying arm, Starcom in San Francisco. Cut from the list were Young & Rubicam, San Francisco; global incumbent DDB, London and Los Angeles; and Bozell Worldwide, San Mateo, Calif.
Wenner Cuts List to 3 Shops
BOSTON – Wenner Media, publisher of Us and Rolling Stone, has cut Hill, Holliday, Connors, Cosmopulos and Arnold Communications, both in Boston, and advanced Mullen in Wenham, Mass., Carmichael Lynch in Minneapolis and GSD&M in Austin, Texas, as finalists for the New York client’s $5 million account.
Churchs Considers Quartet
ATLANTA – Four agencies have been selected to make final presentations to Churchs Chicken, Atlanta, for the chain’s $10 million account: incumbent Austin Kelley Advertising also in Atlanta and New York agencies Cliff Freeman and Partners, Lowe & Partners/SMS and Merkley Newman Harty.
Sabre Consolidates With Richards
DALLAS – Online travel and airline reservations firm Sabre in Fort Worth, Texas, has consolidated its $37 million ad account with The Richards Group, Dallas. Richards handles Sabre’s Travelocity Web site. The lead shop had been Temerlin McClain in Irving, Texas.
News Roundup
Marc USA in Pittsburgh has acquired Ryan Drossman & Partners, New York, which will now be known as Ryan Drossman/Marc USA. Terms of the cash deal were not disclosed … Leapnet, Chicago, is negotiating to buy Nine Dots Corp. of Tustin, Calif., a privately held interactive marketing firm. AdMedia Partners in New York is representing Nine Dots in the deal … Kirshenbaum Bond & Partners in New York last week became Opus360’s first ad agency for its new Web site, FreeAgent.com, following a review of undisclosed shops. Billings are estimated at $20 million … Vlasic Foods International is consolidating all its advertising for two businesses, Vlasic pickles and condiments and Swanson frozen foods, at Foote, Cone & Belding, New York. The shop will take on $8-10 million in Swanson duties from Young & Rubicam. TN Media handles all media chores. … The Roland Co., New York, has promoted executive vice president Laura Sturtz to chief operating officer … New York-based DeVito/Verdi has scooped up the estimated $3 million American Civil Liberties Union account … Barkley Evergreen & Partners, Kansas City, Mo., has won creative duties on Paramount Parks’ $10-15 million account. The Charlotte, N.C., client reviewed Austin Kelley Advertising, Atlanta, and Charlotte neighbor Price/McNabb. McConnaughy Stein Schmidt Brown in Chicago and the Dublin, Ohio, office of Fahlgren were the other two finalists. Temerlin McClain in Dallas resigned the account in March.