Newswire Agencies Present Global Ideas to Citibank

NEW YORK-Citibank, which is considering launching a global branding campaign, heard presentations from its three roster shops last Wednesday: J. Walter Thompson, Lowe & Partners/SMS and Foote, Cone & Belding, all in New York. The agencies are expected to hear back from the New York-based client in a few weeks. The company might also be considering additional shops, sources said. A Citibank representative said the company has only confirmed participation by its core agencies, but “that doesn’t rule anyone out,” she said.

DDB Takes Control of McDonald’s Account
CHICAGO-DDB Needham last week repeated for McDonald’s operators the presentation that years ago won the agency creative control of the chain’s national advertising. DDB chairman Keith Reinhard’s evocation of his personal history with the brand, dating from 1970, impressed McDonald’s executives, insiders said. DDB presented only one campaign theme, “Did Somebody Say McDonald’s?” Leo Burnett here, which retains the creative assignment for kids and preteens, offered as many as 10 campaign possibilities, sources said. Brad Ball, McDonald’s senior vice president for domestic marketing, said there will be no competition for media buying. Burnett will handle planning and buying for its assignments, and Ball said he expects to move the remaining planning and buying to DDB after a “due diligence” assessment of its media capabilities. McDonald’s spent $600 million on advertising in 1996, according to Competitive Media Reporting.

JWT, Office Depot Part Company
CHICAGO-J. Walter Thompson here has lost its $35 million broadcast creative assignment from Office Depot in Delray Beach, Fla., the agency confirmed last week. JWT won the account 16 months ago. The client-whose proposed merger with Staples in Framingham, Mass., was scrapped after federal regulators opposed it-could not be reached for comment.

Temerlin Launches Subaru Campaign
DALLAS-Subaru of America next week launches a new campaign it is calling its largest ad push to date. Actor Paul Hogan returns to promote Subaru’s three 1998 Outback models, as well as the new Forester sport utility vehicle. Actor Judge Reinhold debuts as a pitchman for the Cherry Hill, N.J., client, with three spots plugging all-wheel drive technology. The tagline for the new Forester, a hybrid SUV/wagon, is: “Sport-utility tough. Car easy.”

Timberland Considers 3 Shops
BOSTON-The Timberland Co. in Stratham., N.H., is mulling three finalists in the review for its estimated $10-15 million ad account, sources said last week. In the contest are Hill, Holliday, Connors, Cosmopulos in Boston; Carmichael Lynch in Minneapolis; and The Martin Agency, Richmond, Va., sources said. Timberland declined comment. The business has been in-house.

GM’s Olympic Deal ‘No Windfall for Agencies’
DETROIT-General Motors, NBC and the U.S. Olympic Committee announced a multimillion-dollar sponsorship agreement designating GM as the official domestic car and truck of the U.S. Olympic Team through 2008. The contract entitles GM, its divisions and subsidiaries the use of the Olympic rings and logos in all marketing efforts. GM, NBC and the committee declined to comment on the terms of the agreement, but estimates run as high as $1 billion. GM EventWorks, the automaker’s newly formed sports and entertainment marketing unit managed jointly by Interpublic Group and Kaleidoscope Media Group, both in New York, will help orchestrate marketing programs for the divisions and their agencies. Phil Guarascio, vice president and general manager of GM North American Operations marketing and advertising, said GM’s agencies are mistaken if they think the Olympic deal means a windfall for them. “This isn’t an ad buy. It’s a marketing buy,” Guarascio said. “This is not ‘Show me the money.’ It’s ‘Show me the ideas. Show me the strategy. Show me the execution.’ Then the money will come.”

America West to Review Account
LOS ANGELES-America West Airlines will launch a review for its $20 million ad account, the Phoenix-based client confirmed last week. Team One Advertising in El Segundo, Calif., has handled the business for two years and will defend the account.

5 Leave RPA to Start Interactive Shop
LOS ANGELES-Five executives at Rubin Postaer and Associates’ interactive unit have defected from the agency to form their own shop, Atomic PSR. The five have been joined by Matt Reinhard, a vice president and art director at Foote, Cone & Belding’s Chicago office. Atomic principal George Penner said the Venice, Calif., shop is being financed by its founders as well as undisclosed investors. Reinhard is the son of DDB Needham Worldwide chairman Keith Reinhard, who some sources believe may be helping to finance the new venture. RPA’s Pete Imwalle has replaced Penner as general manager of the interactive unit. RPA has resigned Sony Pictures Entertainment as an interactive client.

Newswire Roundup
Deutsch and Kirshenbaum Bond & Partners, both in New York, and Goodby, Silverstein & Partners in San Francisco have dropped out of the review for an Olympic ad assignment from NBC Sports. Agencies still involved include Fallon McElligott Berlin in New York, which is pitching with sister agency Fallon McElligott in Minneapolis, Citron Haligman Bedecarrƒ in San Francisco and possibly two other undisclosed shops, said sources Norwegian Cruise Line handed its $15-25 million account to Young & Rubicam in Chicago without a review. Y&R succeeds Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, San Francisco Lowe & Partners/SMS’ new San Francisco office has landed Eddie Bauer’s estimated $4-8 million account.