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GPC Elevates Niemann to Principal

DALLAS—Griffith Phillips Creative has promoted Brian Niemann to agency principal. In his new role, Niemann will be in charge of the creative department. He joins the agency's two other principals, Bruce Griffith and Ken Phillips, who founded the Dallas shop in 1991. Niemann, who arrived at GPC in 1996, had served as director of interactive services. He will assume duties previously handled by Phillips.

'Local Yokel' Campaign Hits Austin

DALLAS—A radio station and a restaurant chain owner have joined forces to produce a campaign encouraging listeners to patronize locally owned and operated businesses. Threadgill proprietor Eddie Wilson is featured in the first of a series of 60-second "local yokel" commercials on 107.1 KGSR, which launched late last month. The two parties conceived of the idea to promote unique but smaller establishments that could not normally afford on-air advertising. Contributors to future spots will include former Texas governor Ann Richards and Grammy award-winning musician Ray Benson.

Texas Motors Ford Names Witherspoon

DALLAS—Texas Motors Ford has selected Witherspoon Advertising and Public Relations as its agency following a review of local shops. Ash Almond in Dallas previously handled the account. Fort Worth, Texas-based Witherspoon will develop the client's print and broadcast advertising, public relations and brand development strategies. The agency will also coordinate the opening of a new 20-acre dealership this spring. Billings were not disclosed.

California Plum Spots Bow in New York

DALLAS—The California Plum Board's new radio advertising campaign includes two 60-second spots aimed at health-conscious consumers. In one ad, "South Dakota," a robust announcer humorously plays off the fact that California dried plums (also known as prunes) are better than ones grown in South Dakota because there are no dried plums grown in South Dakota. Both commercials were created by the client's Dallas agency, The Richards Group. The spots broke in New York on Jan. 28.

Western Union Puts Account in Review

LOS ANGELES—Western Union Financial Services has put its North American consumer advertising account into review, the company said last week. Annual billings were undisclosed. The account was estimated at $25 million when it was handled by Lowe in New York. The shop resigned the account in December, citing the client's desire to focus on the Hispanic market [Adweek, Oct. 29]. The Denver-based company said it is searching for an agency that can offer multicultural support to consumers in the U.S. and Canada. The review is being led by Achenbaum Bogda Associates in New York. Western Union incumbent agenciesBromley Communications in San Antonio and Unity Media in New York have been invited to participate in the review, the client said.