McCann Exec Gets Husband’s Post at Coke

NEW YORK—Lori Senecal, director of account management at Interpublic Group’s McCann-Erickson, is slated to replace Bill Grogan in running the agency’s $300 million worldwide Coke Classic account, sources said. Senecal, 35, and Grogan are married. Grogan resigned from McCann this month and begins a new job at AOL/Time Warner in January, sources said. Senecal will report to IPG’s Gunnar Wilmot, Grogan’s former supervisor, sources said. Neither IPG nor McCann executives could be reached. In August, McCann promoted Senecal from evp, group director on Xbox, Labatt and Sprint to director of account management. She replaced Rich O’Leary, who became CEO, North America, at McCann WorldGroup agency FutureBrand.

Lentz Named Marketing Chief at Toyota

DETROIT—Jim Lentz, Toyota Motor Sales USA’s new top marketing executive, says he intends to do an evaluation before making any marketing changes. He was not appointed in order to revamp current marketing, Lentz said, adding that he would like to see more collaboration and communication between all marketing partners. Lentz, previously vp of Scion, Toyota’s new youth-oriented line, was named vp of marketing, replacing Steve Sturm, who moves to the automaker’s Toyota Logistics Services unit. Lentz’s new responsibilities include Toyota Division’s market planning, advertising, merchandising, sales promotion, incentives and Internet activities. He continues to serve as a consultant for the Scion unit, but Scion and Toyota marketing will remain separate, he said.

Diet Coke Revamps Packaging

NEW YORK—The Coca-Cola Co. is altering the packaging for its Diet Coke brands, to be unveiled first in the U.S. early next year and then worldwide, the company said. The changes affect Coca-Cola Light, Diet Coke, Caffeine-Free Diet Coke, Caffeine-Free Coca-Cola Light and Diet Coke with Lemon. Coke’s trademark “dynamic ribbon” will return to the packaging of the Diet and Light lines for the first time since 1997, as well as a variation of its silver packaging. Pearlfisher, a London-based design consultancy, created the new look.

Initiative Makes Executive Changes

LOS ANGELES—IPG’s Initiative Media CEO Alec Gerster has followed through with plans to shuffle key talent in an effort to turn around the $20 billion media network. Randy Bixler was promoted to president of Initiative Partners, the Los Angeles-based unit that works with small and midsized agencies. Rich Simms becomes evp and general manager of Initiative Media in Los Angeles and Rob Claxton takes on the role of general manager, Southeast region. All three report to Carolyn Bivens, Initiative president and COO. Bixler, 51, was director of Western regional client services for Initiative here. He replaces Bruce Silverman, 56, who next month becomes president of WongDoody in Los Angeles. Simms, 46, was evp and general manager of Initiative’s Atlanta office. Claxton, 48, was svp, group account director in Atlanta, where he managed retail strategy for Home Depot.

Havas Taps Schmetterer for President, COO Post

BOSTON—Havas last week named Bob Schmetterer president and chief operating officer. One of Schmetterer’s primary tasks in his new role with the Paris-based holding company will be to improve North American revenue, which is down 9 percent to $550 million through the third quarter. Schmetterer remains chairman and CEO of the Euro RSCG worldwide agency network. Havas is also parent to the Arnold and Media Planning global agency networks.

Former Grey Exec Indicted in Ongoing Print Case

NEW YORK—A federal grand jury last week returned an indictment charging John Steinmetz, a former vp and associate director of graphic services at Grey Global Group’s Grey, with bid rigging, tax evasion and conspiracy to do both. The charges stem from an ongoing Department of Justice investigation of the print and advertising industries. Steinmetz was charged in U.S. District Court in New York with conspiring to rig bids and allocate contracts retouching and separation services purchased by Grey on behalf of one of its clients from late 1994 until 2001.

Newswire Roundup

WPP Group’s MindShare North America named Bruce Smith to take over its Chicago office as managing partner. Smith, 47, replaces Kathleen Brookbanks, who jumped to Omnicom’s OMD in July. Smith was previously CEO of ABC Interactive, a unit of the Audit Bureau of Circulations in Schaumburg, Ill. Before that he was a worldwide media director for McDonald’s. … StarLink is expected to pick up Lexmark International’s $15-20 million media account following a review, sources said. The Lexington, Ky., computer printer maker awarded its creative account to StarLink’s Publicis Groupe sibling LB Works last month [Adweek, Nov. 5]. The media incumbent is Optimedia in New York, while the Ocean Group in New York had creative. … Supercuts tapped Element 79 Partners for its $10-15 million account following a review. The Chicago shop, affiliated with Omnicom’s DDB, bested The Richards Group in Dallas and Cliff Freeman and Partners in New York. The creative incumbent is McCann-Erickson in San Francisco. MediaCom in New York handles media duties. Supercuts in Minneapolis is owned by the Regis Corp. … Carvel is mulling five shops for its estimated $3-5 million ad account, sources said. They are TG Madison, Fricks/Firestone, Fletcher Martin Ewing and Match, all in Atlanta, and Suissa Miller in Los Angeles. The client, in Farmington, Conn., last worked with Kirshenbaum Bond & Partners in San Francisco.