Omnicom's Income, Revenues Grow
NEW YORK--Omnicom Group, buoyed by acquisitions, said second-quarter net income jumped 24 percent to $107.1 million, compared with $86.3 million in the same period last year. Worldwide revenues rose 16 percent to $1.27 billion. For the six months ending June 30, net income grew 26 percent to $172.7 million versus $137.6 million. Domestic revenues rose 20 percent to $1.22 billion and international revenues were up 22 percent to $1.1 billion. Omnicom's results include earnings from U.K. agency Abbott Mead Vickers, which it purchased outright in February after owning a partial stake.
Kraft Realigns Ad Assignments
CHICAGO--Kraft Foods moved brands with total billings estimated at $20 million among three agencies here. Duties for Minute Rice and Shake 'n Bake moved from Young & Rubicam to Foote, Cone & Belding. Kraft's grated parmesan cheese account shifted from FCB to J. Walter Thompson. The Northfield, Ill.-based client said it wanted to realign its products along category lines. FCB will now handle most Kraft dinner brands. JWT is the primary shop for Kraft's $3.5 billion cheese division. Y&R in Chicago no longer has any Kraft business, although its New York office still handles Crystal Light and Jell-O.
Hallmark Adds MVBMS to Roster
NEW YORK--Hallmark Cards hired Messner Vetere Berger McNamee Schmetterer/Euro RSCG to help the company develop "a major new initiative" for fall. Shop principal Ron Berger said his agency has been working with Hallmark since January as a consultant. Kansas City-based Hallmark's hiring of MVBMS will not affect its relationship with Leo Burnett, Chicago, which handles the client's $100 million account, a Hallmark representative said. Hallmark considered Burnett as well as nonroster agencies DDB Worldwide and Young & Rubicam, among others, sources said, before choosing MVBMS here. The budget for the initiative is undecided.
American Honda Consolidates at RPA
LOS ANGELES--Rubin Postaer and Associates has won the consolidated $550 million American Honda Motor Co. automotive account without a formal review. Suissa Miller and Western Initiative Media Worldwide, both here, previously handled the estimated $150 million Acura luxury division. RPA in Santa Monica, Calif., has handled Honda for nearly 25 years. Executives with the Torrance, Calif.-based Honda said the consolidation was driven by an effort to cut costs and did not mean the client was dissatisfied with Suissa Miller's work, tagged, "The true definition of luxury. Yours." Acura sales have increased during the shop's tenure, but the brand has lagged behind competitors Lexus and Mercedes. Agency president and CEO Gerry Rubin said he expects to add 100 staffers to the agency's current tally of 350 and will establish a separate unit to service the Acura brand.
Playboy Seeks Design Shops
NEW YORK--Playboy is considering a number of undisclosed agencies and design shops for a project related to the company's return to themed entertainment. Tom Staebler, svp, art director at Playboy in Chicago, is looking for design ideas for casinos, restaurants and the like.
3 Finalists Vie for Avis
BOSTON--Avis Rent-A-Car System has chosen three finalists for the creative portion of its $30 million account: Ammirati Puris Lintas, Lowe & Partners/SMS and McCann-Erickson, all New York. Deutsch, Kirshenbaum Bond & Partners and Publicis, all New York, did not advance. The winner will replace Bates USA, New York, which split with the Garden City, N.Y., client after 14 years. Media, at Grey Advertising, New York, is not in play. Boston Consultancy Pile and Co. is assisting the client.
Decision Expected in Zyrtec Review
NEW YORK--Deutsch, McCann-Erickson Worldwide, Merkley Newman Harty and Ogilvy & Mather, all here, await a decision this week on creative duties for Pfizer's Zyrtec brand, an account with billings estimated at $75 million. Kirshenbaum Bond & Partners here withdrew from the review due to business and time constraints after it got the final pitch assignment.
J. Crew tapped Messner Vetere Berger McNamee Schmetterer/Euro RSCG in New York for its Web site, jcrew.com. MVBMS beat DiMassimo Brand Advertising and other undisclosed agencies to win the $10 million account [Adweek, July 5] Foote, Cone & Belding Worldwide opened FCB Berlin last week, the 173rd global office for the agency. The new unit has 20 employees. Thomas Lohr, managing director of FCB Berlin, joins the shop from Ammirati Puris Lintas, Hamburg Knight/Trimark Group of Jersey City, N.J., shifted its $10-20 million account from Doremus to Gotham. Doremus landed the account in March after a review that involved other undisclosed agencies, including Gotham, sources said. Doremus cited strategic differences for the split; the client cited Gotham's "proven record of building brand names" Four shops are vying for Bravo's creative duties: M/K Advertising Partners, Grey Entertainment, Della Femina/Jeary and Partners, all New York, and Red Tettemer, a Narberth, Pa., shop, said sources. Earlier this month, Bravo named DeWitt Media to handle its estimated $10 million media-buying chores. Creative was previously done in-house Car repair center Monro/Speedy in Rochester, N.Y., has shifted its media duties from Infantino Associates in Rochester to Horizon Media, New York, without a review. Billings were estimated at $5 million. Infantino retains creative duties Clothier Moe Ginsburg awarded the creative portion of its estimated $2 million account to Korey Kay & Partners, halting a review where Korey Kay had been eliminated during an earlier round. Advice & Advisors, New York, managed the process. Media remains at Media and Marketing Group, Boca Raton, Fla. The other finalists were DiMassimo, Pedone & Partners and Leibler-Bronfman Lubalin, all New York.