A Gateway Reviews Direct Portion of Account
NEW YORK–Gateway is conducting a review for the direct portion of its account, currently handled by FCB Direct, New York. A representative at the San Diego-based client confirmed the company is talking to a handful of agencies and plans to make a selection by the end of the month. “FCB Worldwide won Compaq, and we agreed with them that this was a conflict with us,” said representative Brad Williams. McCann Relationship Marketing, a division of Gateway’s main ad agency McCann-Erickson Worldwide, has been invited to participate, Williams said. Billings were undisclosed.

A BBDO South Introduces Simmons County
ATLANTA–BBDO South this week introduces America to the citizens of “Simmons County,” a dreamy fictional spot where “Things are nicer. The sky is bluer, everybody’s a little friendlier because they sleep on Simmons mattresses,” said the agency’s executive creative director Art Mellor. Two new TV commercials break during prime time for the Atlanta client and its hometown agency, accompanied by a print campaign.

A U.S. Dial Tone Moves to M/C/C
DALLAS–M/C/C has won the $42 million account of U.S. Dial Tone just as the telecom prepares a summer ad campaign to lure customers away from the baby Bells. M/C/C, Dallas, ousted incumbent Makos Advertising, Marketing and Design of Austin, Texas, with an unsolicited pitch to the client. U.S. Dial Tone is among the first companies to take advantage of deregulation; it offers local telephone service as well as long-distance and Internet access.

A Midas: More Than Mufflers
CHICAGO–Midas aims to broaden the perception of its stores as muffler service centers with a new campaign from Euro RSCG Tatham here. The campaign for the Itastca, Ill.-based client is built around the theme, “We’ll keep a good thing going,” playing on people’s passion for and reliance on their cars. The effort retains the “Go Midas” tagline developed by the agency last year. Spending was estimated at $55 million.

A Lender’s Gains Momentum
CHICAGO–Momentum will position Lender’s Bagels as “the bagel expert” in a new campaign breaking this fall, officials said. The St. Louis shop won the $10 million account after a review that included Ogilvy & Mather, Chicago, and Simons Durham and Waylon Ad, both St. Louis. Aurora Foods in Columbus, Ohio, purchased the fresh and frozen bagel line from Kellogg Co. in November.

A Zenith in Discussions With 2 Agencies
CHICAGO–Zenith Electronics is talking to two Chicago shops about a $15-20 million account, sources said. The Glenview, Ill.-based company is coming out of Chapter 11 bankruptcy under new Korean ownership and wants to rejuvenate the brand, which has received minimal support in recent years. Contenders are Cramer-Krasselt and Laughlin/Constable. Executives form the agencies declined comment.

A Nissan Revamps U.S. Marketing Operation
LOS ANGELES–Nissan North America has restructured its marketing organization and tapped Jack Collins to head up a new marketing and product-planning unit for the Nissan and Infiniti divisions. The moves are part of an ongoing global reorganization under Renault, which recently acquired a 37 percent stake in Nissan’s Japanese corporate parent. Collins most recently was director of product strategy at Nissan North America. Previously, he was general manager of marketing communications for Nissan Europe, where he oversaw marketing, advertising, public relations and motor sports.

A Campbell-Ewald Beefs Up L.A. Outpost
LOS ANGELES–Campbell-Ewald Advertising has installed a new executive team in Los Angeles to
revitalize the lagging shop. Debra Samuels Wurzel joins from Grey Advertising, L.A., as evp/managing director, replacing Ian McGregor, who left for McCann-Erickson, L.A., in April. Debbie Karnowski and Jim Klock, veterans from the agency’s Warren, Mich., headquarters, round out the new team as executive creative director and account director on Farmer’s Insurance, respectively. The Farmer’s account also moves to L.A. from Warren.

A Belitsos to Leave Young & Rubicam
SAN FRANCISCO–Michael Belitsos, executive creative director of Young & Rubicam, San Francisco, is leaving the agency to pursue “personal interests outside of advertising.” He will stay on until a replacement is found. Belitsos joined Y&R in 1991; he is best known for his work on Ford Motor Co.’s Lincoln Mercury account.

A Newswire Roundup
Palm Inc., maker of handheld computing devices, hired Citron Haligman Bedecarrƒ, San Francisco, to handle its estimated $70 million national ad account. Print ads are due to break in a matter of weeks; a full campaign is expected in the fall. In a battle of New York roster shops, Young & Rubicam bested Ogilvy & Mather for the estimated $30-40 million Balance Bar ad account, parent
company Kraft Foods confirmed. The assignment covers creative and media duties on Balance Bar, including its Jenny Craig diet nutrition bars. The incumbent agency was Suissa Miller, Los Angeles. Handspring, maker of handheld computers, selected Leo Burnett, Chicago, as agency of record for its $15-20 million account following a review. Contenders for the business were not disclosed. Butler, Shine & Stern in San Francisco, was the incumbent.