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Shops Prepare Pitches for MLB $20 Mil. Account
NEW YORK--Several undisclosed shops are preparing to pitch Major League Baseball in what could turn into a consolidation of its ad business at a single agency, sources said. MLB needs advertising to boost attendance, counter ill will associated with a 1994 strike and prime the sport as it negotiates a new network TV deal, sources said. "We seem to have the right message as far as positioning, but we could be a little stronger on some executions," said Kathy Francis, vice president of marketing, who confirmed the review. One source indicated that the account was worth more than $20 million, even though MLB spent just under $6 million on ads last year, per Competitive Media Reporting. MLB has used shops such as The Lord Group and Vigilante on a project basis.
Gemstar Launches $100 Mil. E-book Business Review
SAN FRANCISCO--Gemstar International Holding Group has launched an estimated $100 million review for its e-book business, sources said. The company is said to be looking for a shop to design ads for its Rocket e-book and Softbook products. The handheld devices allow users to download books off the Internet.
New Bush Ads Target Swing States
WASHINGTON, D.C.--The latest ads from George W. Bush are not likely to rock any boats as the presidential candidate heads to the Republican National Convention. Created by Maverick Media, the three TV ads are geared toward four important swing states: Ohio, Pennsylvania, Florida and Washington. The spots are done in the baby-kissing tradition reminiscent of ads in his father's 1988 campaign. They portray Bush as a man of integrity who will "unite, not divide and let every American look at the White House and be proud," as one ad says. The ads are "harmless and nobody is going to complain other than the babies," said Tom Messner of Messner Vetere Berger McNamee Schmetterer/Euro RSCG, who worked on the senior Bush's campaign in 1988.
Account Activity
Incumbent Saatchi & Saatchi has been eliminated from the race for Southeast Toyota Distributors' $70 million ad account. The four remaining finalists are: Omni Automotive, Birmingham, Ala.; WestWayne, Atlanta; and Gotham and Grey Worldwide, both New York. Also eliminated was Della Femina/Jeary and Partners in New York. TBWA\Chiat\Day in New York withdrew from contention for the $40 million account of employment site HotJobs.com to vie for a slot in the review for Monster.com's $75-90 million assignment, sources said. Also believed to have returned materials to Pile and Co. are incumbent Mullen, Wenham, Mass.; roster shops Lowe Lintas & Partners and Saatchi & Saatchi, both New York; Arnold Communications and Hill, Holliday, Connors, Cosmopulos, both Boston; and D'Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles, Deutsch and Young & Rubicam, all New York, sources said. The U.S. Air Force has changed the terms of its ongoing review with a 70-plus page amendment delineating a performance-based compensation plan. The Air Force had previously proposed a combination of fee-based and performance-based compensation. Six agencies are competing for the estimated $50 million account.