Newswire

DDB Taps Bassett for Top Creative Post
ATLANTA – Steve Bassett, former senior vice president and associate creative director at The Martin Agency, Richmond, Va., has been named chief creative officer at DDB Dallas. Bassett, 50, replaces Jim Ferguson, who left in April to become president and chief executive officer at Young & Rubicam in New York. Bassett had been with Martin for 10 years and worked on such accounts as the Yellow Pages Publishers Association, Kellogg and the recently departed Wrangler.
Starwood Taps DDB for $65 Mil. Account
NEW YORK – Starwood Hotels & Resorts has awarded its $65-80 million ad account to DDB Worldwide’s New York office after a two-month review. DDB will handle creative on the $35 million Sheraton brand as well as media duties for the entire Starwood account. DDB was the victor over fellow New York shops Young & Rubicam, Bates Worldwide, Weiss Stagliano Partners, Partners & Shevack/Wolf and Grey Advertising, the company said. Keith Ferrazzi, Starwood’s chief marketing officer, said DDB may also inherit creative duties for its Preferred Guest customer loyalty program.
Doner Gets Progressive
DETROIT – Doner bested Hill, Holliday, Connors, Cosmopulos, Boston, and Foote, Cone Belding, Chicago, last week for the $70 million Progressive Insurance account following a three-month review. The Southfield, Mich., shop succeeds Arnell Group Brand Consulting, New York, which was hired in August 1998. Doner will handle creative and media planning while Progressive continues to handle its own media buying.
Havas Buys Spanish Agency
PARIS – Havas Advertising said it acquired a majority interest in Spanish agency La Banda de Agustin Medina in Madrid. At the same time time, Havas said it would move French subsidiary agency devarrieuxvillaret into its Campus network. Havas said it also intends to change Campus’ name “to emphasize its international ambition.” The French holding company, which also owns the Euro RSCG network, plans to develop Campus into a creative network of independent agencies. Veteran adman Marvin Sloves is assisting Havas in the U.S. [Adweek, May 24].
Air France Taps Paris Euro RSCG Unit
NEW YORK – Air France has picked Euro RSCG Babinet Erra Tong Cuong in Paris for its $40 million account, besting the other finalist, Louis XIV, for the business. The decision came after a review of three other undisclosed agencies. Ammirati Puris Lintas, Paris, was the incumbent.
Deutsch Lands Britannica.com
NEW YORK – Deutsch will handle creative and media duties for the fall launch of Encyclopedia Britannica’s Web site, Britannica.com. Billings are estimated at $25-35 million. An integrated campaign – with TV, print, radio and Web ads – is expected. The account will be managed by senior vice president and account director Kelly Donovan. Other finalists: J. Walter Thompson, Chicago, and Agency.com, New York. The business was last at Foote, Cone & Belding, Chicago.
Budget Picks Cliff Freeman, Not Fallon
NEW YORK – Budget Rent A Car awarded the creative portion of its $40 million account to Cliff Freeman & Partners here after a review that was narrowed to that agency and Fallon McElligott, Minneapolis. Fallon, however, said it withdrew after negotiations with the Lisle, Ill.-based client failed to produce an acceptable compensation plan. “We couldn’t come together on financial issues and that was why we didn’t get the account,” said shop chairman Pat Fallon. A client representative said Fallon apparently withdrew after learning it lost the business, a charge Fallon denied.
Applebee’s Down to 3
CHICAGO – Late entry Campbell Mithun Esty is among three finalists in the review for Applebee’s International’s $35 million advertising account. CME was not among the six contenders named by the company at the outset of the review last month. Officials at the Minneapolis agency said they were invited to the pitch by Karen Eadon, senior vice president of marketing at the Overland Park, Kan., company. Foote, Cone & Belding, Chicago, and The Richards Group in Dallas are the other two finalists. Among the shops cut was incumbent Wyse Advertising, Cleveland.
Newswire Roundup
J. Walter Thompson tapped Rick Bonsall as management director of integrated communications, with an eye to facilitating interplay between JWT’s above and below-the-line units. “It’s taking off the blinkers and a move toward total communications,” said Bonsall, 43, who spent the past 15 years at sister shop Hill & Knowlton, most recently as senior managing director . . . Wieden & Kennedy, New York, has added Web broker Suretrade’s $15 million online account. The business was previously at CKS/Site Specific. Wieden has handled Suretrade’s traditional ads since 1997 . . . Lowe McAdams Healthcare, New York, has landed ad duties for Asmanex, a Schering-Plough drug for asthma under review by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Billings were not disclosed. Bozell Worldwide, New York, has produced a new print campaign for MidAmerican Energy Holdings subsidiary CalEnergy featuring a flooded rice paddy in the Philippines to highlight an irrigation and hydroelectric project in Central Luzon. The campaign, supported by some $10 million, will break in July in in-flight magazines on Continental, Gulf Air, Air Canada and Singapore Air lines . . . BBDO South, Atlanta, was tapped as first lead agency for RealEstate.com, with billings expected to reach $13 million, according to the Atlanta-based client. BBDO bested nine other undisclosed Atlanta agencies.