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News Wire

FCB TORONTO MERGES WITH HARROD & MIRLIN
NEW YORK-Foote, Cone & Belding here said FCB Toronto would merge with Harrod & Mirlin, also in Toronto. The combined organization, Harrod & Mirlin/FCB, will have billings of about $100 million. True North Communications, FCB’s parent company, bought Harrod & Mirlin in 1996.
LEONARD/MONAHAN CALLS IT QUITS
BOSTON-After 20 years in the business, Leonard/Monahan in Providence, R.I., is closing its doors. Led by chairman Bruce Leonard, the shop attempted to steer a new course in the aftermath of a series of setbacks, which proved too much to overcome. Recently, Leonard/Monahan saw the defection of its showcase client, Polaroid Corp.’s business imaging unit, as well as the loss of partners Pam Hamlin and Kathleen Hall and creative director Kara Goodrich. At its peak, Leonard/Monahan was lead agency for Keds and Lotus Development Corp. Clients remaining as the shop closes include Foster Grant, Dallas; Garelick Farms, Franklin, Mass.; and Women & Infants Hospital, Providence.
MCMANUS MOVES MEDIA BUYING TO N.Y.
NEW YORK-The MacManus Group’s local media buying operation in Los Angeles is being transferred to the New York office of TeleVest, a subsidiary, as part of a consolidation triggered by Procter & Gamble. The transfer marks the final phase of the group’s consolidation of local broadcast operations, said Maribeth Papuga, senior vice president and director of broadcast operations at TeleVest.
DMB&B NAMES PLANNER ON COKE ACCOUNT
NEW YORK-Mark Buttita, formerly a partner at New York-based Media First, has been named media director on the Coca-Cola media planning account at D’Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles here, reporting to worldwide media director Kevin Malloy. Buttita replaces Charlie Rutman, who left the agency in January to join Carat MBS. Separately, Lisa Guhanick has been named group media director at DMB&B, overseeing Procter & Gamble brands. She formerly served as media group head at Wells BDDP, overseeing P&G and Tag Heuer.
TEAM ONE REORGANIZES MANAGEMENT
LOS ANGELES-Team One Advertising, El Segundo, Calif., is revamping its management team, looking to hire a new executive to lead its business development efforts. The shop also has tapped Paul Ratzky to head its interactive unit. “My plan is to take a well-deserved vacation,” said director of business development Shirley Dion, who is leaving the shop this month. Creative director Tom Cordner and co-chairman and chief executive Leonard Pearlstein will head up new business efforts in the interim.
HARDEE’S SELECTS ANGOTTI, THOMAS, HEDGE
NEW YORK-Hardee’s Food Systems has tapped Angotti, Thomas, Hedge here to handle the national creative portion of its estimated $80 million account. The selection follows a review that began in October. Angotti beat out more than 50 agencies, including the final two competitors: Publicis/Bloom, New York, and The Leap Partnership, Chicago. Incumbent Team One Advertising in El Segundo, Calif., withdrew from the review in January. New work from Angotti for the fast-food chain will break in late April. Media chores are handled by Western International Media in Los Angeles.
IPG BUYS BOSTON’S HILL, HOLLIDAY
BOSTON-Securing both his exit strategy and family finances, Hill, Holliday, Connors, Cosmopulos chairman and chief executive Jack Connors last week sold his 30-year-old shop to the Interpublic Group of Cos. in New York in a straight stock deal valued by analysts at between $70-100 million. Terms of the sale call for the 55-year-old Connors to remain at the helm for five years. Within the next two years, Connors said he expects to choose a successor. Analysts said revenue growth for IPG was the primary reason behind its interest in New England’s second-largest agency. Hill, Holliday claimed revenues in 1997 of $93 million, working for such clients as Fidelity Investments, John Hancock Financial Services, Bay Networks and Advanced Micro Devices.
KRAFT DROPS GREY FROM ROSTER
CHICAGO-Grey Advertising, New York, has lost its assignments from Kraft Foods, Northfield, Ill., but will continue as agency of record for spot TV and children’s media buying. Kraft moved brands-including Kool-Aid and Post adult cereals-with billings of approximately $120 million from Grey to global roster shops Ogilvy & Mather, Young & Rubicam and Foote, Cone & Belding. J. Walter Thompson and Leo Burnett each gained one brand and lost another in the realignment. The increased brand work for its five core agencies comes at a price, however. Kraft no longer will pay agencies commissions on “non-working media” such as advertising production.
NEWSWIRE ROUNDUP
CMG Communications, New York, will take on about $2 million worth of worldwide integrated advertising and communications projects for Purchase, N.Y.-based Transamerica Leasing . . . Levenson & Hill, Dallas, has been awarded the $15 million account of Renters Choice, a Dallas-based chain of rent-to-own stores. Other contenders were Publicis/Bloom, TLPartnership, LM&S/Marc and Hadeler Sullivan & Law, all in Dallas . . . Mad Dogs & Englishmen, New York, has won the $3 million account of the NHL’s New York Islanders following a review, confirmed Judy Seldin, senior vice president of startup operations for team owners New York Sports Ventures.