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Gross Named COO of JWT New York
NEW YORK--J. Walter Thompson has promoted Michael Gross, 39, to the new post of chief operating officer. Gross, formerly regional finance director North America, takes over for Doug McMahon, who held the title of general manager in New York. "Michael has a no-nonsense, get-it-done kind of attitude," said New York president Bob Jeffrey, to whom Gross reports. Succeeding Gross is Stephen Kuehn, 41, who is based in Detroit and remains worldwide financial director on the Ford account. Kuehn's other role as financial director of the Detroit office has yet to be filled.
TBWA/Chiat/Day Lands Circuit City
NEW YORK--TBWA/Chiat/Day bested DDB in Chicago last week for creative duties on Circuit City's $50-60 million account. The agency's first work is expected to break in the fall. "We're looking to carve out a brand identity," said New York agency chief executive Carl Johnson. "The battle [in a highly competitive marketplace] is what I'm looking forward to." DeVito/Verdi here previously handled creative projects for the client. Media remains in-house.
Burnett Set to Restructure Again
CHICAGO--Leo Burnett, which last week unveiled two spinoff units, is said to be planning a reorganization that will dismantle or dramatically alter its 2-year-old "mini-agency" setup. The new units, meanwhile, are Lapiz, an Hispanic division, and StarLink, which will operate under media subsidiary Starcom Worldwide to service small to midsized agencies.
FCB Expected to Hang On to Sunkist
LOS ANGELES--Foote, Cone & Belding will hold on to its longtime client Sunkist Growers following a review, said sources. FCB's Los Angeles office prevailed over Deutsch/LA, Marina del Rey, Calif., McCann-Erickson, Los Angeles, and Bozell Worldwide and Bates USA, both New York. The account is worth $7-8 million. Sunkist did not return calls; FCB declined comment.
Land Rover Taps DeWitt Media
NEW YORK--Land Rover North America has awarded media duties to DeWitt Media. The client spent $30 million on U.S. media last year. DeWitt has handled media planning for two other members of Land Rover parent The BMW Group: BMW of North America and BMW Motorcycles. Media buying for the Lanham, Md.-based Land Rover had been at Grace & Rothschild, New York. That agency will continue to handle creative.
John Doig Moves to Hill, Holliday
BOSTON--John Doig has joined Hill, Holliday, Connors, Cosmopulos as creative director. He succeeds Mike Sheehan at the Boston-based Interpublic Group agency. Sheehan resigned in May and will soon join DDB Chicago, overseeing creative on the McDonald's account. Most recently, Doig was a principal of New York shop Yellow Card, which recently lost its biggest account, the Mercedes-Benz retailers group of Southern California. Formed in 1994 as Doig, Elliott, Schur, Yellow Card has now closed.
Starcom Adds 3 Accounts
CHICAGO--Starcom USA has picked up media and planning duties for Kohler Co. and Varsitybooks.com, sources said. Billings for the combined accounts were unavailable, but are believed to be in excess of $25 million. Additionally, the Chicago-based subsidiary of Leo Burnett last week said it won Chicago-based Coolsavings.com's $10-15 million account.
Burnett Puts Altoids in Motion
CHICAGO--Leo Burnett is working on a short film to support the launch of cinnamon-flavored Altoids, said sources. The work is believed to be headed for the Internet or movie theaters, sources said. For several years, Burnett has produced award-winning print and outdoor work for Kraft's "curiously strong" breath mints.
Amazon.com Seeks Online Ad Partner
SAN FRANCISCO--Amazon.com will put its online ad duties into review following this week's resignation of the business by Left Field Advertising, said sources. The account is estimated to be worth at least $5 million. The San Francisco agency dropped the online book and music retailer as a client because of dwindling creative opportunities, due primarily to the client's increased focus on offline ad efforts, said agency executives. Lead shop Foote, Cone & Belding here has not yet been contacted about participating in the review for Seattle-based Amazon.com's online business, said sources. The client did not return calls.
Account Roundup
Pennzoil-Quaker State has officially named The Tucker Partnership lead agency for its Quaker State products. GSD&M in Austin, Texas, handles media duties. The Houston-based client has worked with New York-based Tucker since 1993 Cable News Network and World Championship Wrestling have severed ties with their shops. Hill, Holliday, Connors, Cosmopulos in Boston and Ogilvy & Mather in Atlanta confirmed that CNN and WCW, respectively, have ended their relationships. Sources said parent Turner Broadcasting
System is taking both of the Atlanta-based accounts in-house. A CNN representative did not return calls MacGregor Golf has named six finalists for its $3-5 million ad account: The Holland Group, New York; Burris, High Point, N.C.; Husk-Jennings, Jacksonville, Fla.; and Atlanta shops Austin Kelley, Fricks-Firestone and T.G. Madison Martin/Williams has been added to the list of contenders vying for the $5-8 million ad account of Virtual Ink. The Minneapolis agency is pitching against crosstown shop Carmichael Lynch; Boston-based Wickersham Hunt Schwantner; and three New York agencies: Gotham, Hampel/Stefanides and Angotti, Thomas, Hedge. Pile and Co. in Boston is overseeing the process