IPG and Kassan Settle Litigation
LOS ANGELES--The Interpublic Group of Cos. and Michael Kassan on Friday said they had settled the litigation between them regarding Kassan's employment agreements with Western Initiative Media Worldwide and IPG. Terms were not disclosed. Kassan, the former president of Western, cited press reports of an IPG audit and possible financial impropriety at Western as evidence in a lawsuit and related arbitration claim that alleged defamation of character and breach of contract. Collectively, he had sought $63.5 million in damages [Adweek, Aug. 16]. As part of the same carefully worded announcement, IPG said that "separately" it had "completed its regularly scheduled audit of the financial operations of Western and is satisfied with the results." Said Kassan on Friday, "I enjoyed the nearly six years I worked at Western. I'm glad to have had the opportunity to work with people I admired, particularly [Western chief executive officer] Dennis Holt and [IPG chairman] Phil Geier." He declined to discuss the litigation. Geier declined comment.
D'Arcy and Plastics Council Split; Review Set
DETROIT--D'Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles has split with the American Plastics Council over a compensation disagreement, sources said. A review for the $30 million account is being handled by AAR/Bob Wolf Partners, New York. D'Arcy was the plastics manufacturers lobbying association's first agency, landing the account seven years ago. APC is based in Washington, D.C.
MacManus Merges Novo and Blue Marble
NEW YORK--Novo Interactive has merged with Blue Marble, a digital marketing communications division of The MacManus Group. Based in San Francisco, the new entity is not yet named. Novo CEO Kelly Anthony Rodriques takes that title at the merged company. David Yakir, Blue Marble's president and CEO, becomes vice chairman. Novo's client roster includes E*Trade, Levi Strauss & Co. and Michaels Stores. Blue Marble works with Procter & Gamble and Continental Airlines, among others.
Agency Recommendation in Legacy Pitch Due
NEW YORK--Following final presentations this Monday and Tuesday, Chuck Wolfe of the American Legacy Foundation on Sept. 15 will recommend the winning agency for the $150-225 million anti-tobacco program to the board. Contenders include Arnold Communications, Boston; The Richards Group of Dallas; and Messner Vetere Berger McNamee Schmetterer/Euro RSCG, New York. The board will consider the recommendation on Sept. 21.
About 10 shops have returned rfps for Swissotels estimated $3-5 million account, sources said. AAR/Bob Wolf Partners, New York, is the consultant Whirlpool Corp. has put its North American ad account at Publicis & Hal Riney, Chicago. Publicis handles the business overseas. Campbell-Ewald in Warren, Mich., handled previously.