Newswire

Fallon’s New Plea: ‘Read Your Fortune’
NEW YORK–Fallon McElligott this week launches print-and-outdoor ads for Fortune, which marry black-and-white images of executives with headlines in question form. The tagline: “Read your Fortune.” One ad, pegged to its “50 Most Powerful Women in American Business” issue, features a woman’s face under the headline, “Many have climbed to the top of the corporate ladder. But how many have done it in heels?”
Fallon’s last work was copy-driven and carried the tagline, “Make your brain bigger.” Fortune spent $1.4 million on ads last year, according to Competitive Media Reporting.
Weber Adds PR Chores for e-GM
BOSTON–General Motors has formalized a relationship with Weber Public Relations Worldwide. The Detroit automaker tapped the public relations firm in August to help launch e-GM, a unit that will serve as the umbrella for all General Motors’ online initiatives. Weber reports to parent company Interpublic Group through McCann-Erickson in New York, whose Detroit office handles Buick, among other GM assignments.
4A’s Reports Drop in Spot Costs
NEW YORK–The average cost to produce a national TV commercial fell last year by 4 percent for 30-second spots and 7 percent for commercials overall, according to a new survey from the American Association of Advertising Agencies. Only once before in the 12-year history of the 4A’s annual survey did the cost of producing a 30-second spot decrease; in 1995, a 2 percent dip was reported. In actual dollars, the 4 percent decrease represents $13,000–the difference between the national 30-second spot average cost of $295,000, reported in 1998, and the $308,000 revealed in 1997. For national commercials of all lengths, the 7 percent production cost drop equals a $20,000 difference from the previous year.
Euro Continues Agency Buying Spree
NEW YORK–Euro RSCG Worldwide will acquire direct marketing agency Devon Direct Marketing & Advertising. Terms were not disclosed. Devon will retain its name and continue to operate under founder and principal Ron Greene, who will serve as president and CEO. The Berwyn, Pa., agency has offices in New York, London and Los Angeles, and reported 1998 billings of $290 million. The deal marks the third significant acquisition for Euro this year following its purchase of Jordan McGrath Case & Partners in New York and Citron Haligman Bedecarrƒ in San Francisco.
Radio Shack in $100 Mil. Shift
NEW YORK–Tandy Corp. confirmed it will move media buying duties for its Radio Shack stores from TBS Media Management and will consolidate $100 million in business at Carat USA, both New York, effective Nov. 1. “TBS did a fine job of buying for us, but I’ve been looking for some time now for more assistance in the strategic planning area,” said Jim McDonald, vp of advertising and marketing at the Fort Worth, Texas-based client. While TBS may still play a role, McDonald said he was impressed with the online and offline work from Carat Freeman’s Newton, Mass., office in launching RadioShack.com. At TBS in New York, president Frank Muratore said the departure of the $60 million broadcast account would not force any layoffs as had been speculated [Adweek, Oct. 4]. “We’ve picked up so much new business in the past six months. It’s enough to keep the network group busy,” he said.
Sandbox.com Digging for Agency
ATLANTA–Sandbox.com, a provider of interactive sports and financial games, has launched a review for an agency to handle its $15-20 million account. The Fairfax, Va.-based company is seeking a shop in the New York or Washington, D.C., area, said Sandbox marketing manager Mike Sweeney. A winner is expected to be chosen by Nov. 1.
Newswire Roundup
McCann-Erickson Europe will handle the 2000 launch of Microsoft’s largest pan-regional campaign for Europe, the Middle East and Africa. The $50 million effort will focus on business-solution products and target customers with print, TV and online executions WPP Group’s Enterprise IG subsidiary in London has acquired Brindfors Design, a Scandinavian design firm with 1998 revenue of $6.5 million. The unit will be renamed Brindfors Enterprise IG Insignia Financial Group has launched a review for its $25-30 million account. The New York real estate services firm is launching a Web site and seeking a shop with experience in banking or financial services Value Line, the publisher of stock and mutual fund research, tapped Wolf Group New York for its $10 million account after a review with six undisclosed shops, handled by New York consultancy Netburn McGill. The client had worked with shops on a project basis CyberLuxury.com, a luxury goods site, tapped TSR to handle ad duties. The firm will spend $12-15 million on marketing efforts to target affluent customers, primarily in New York Ammirati Puris Lintas breaks a new TV spot for Brut antiperspirant today that extends its “guy humor” outdoor efforts and spoofs the category in general OnView.com, which sells fine art on the Web via a pact with America Online, has tapped LaPlaca Cohen, New York, for its $2 million account, which includes creative, media and direct duties Specialty foods retailer Balducci’s has enlisted Valentine Radford, Kansas City, Mo., to redesign its Web site, as well as develop Internet and print ads.
For the Record
Moss/Dragoti, New York, was not a finalist for Empire State Development’s recently awarded account. The shop pulled out of the review in June.