Agency News

Young & Rubicam, New York, created two spots for General Foods’ International Coffees featuring the new tagline, “It stirs the soul,” and the voice of actor Armand Assante. In the ads, women sip coffee by a lake and beside a fireplace. Past ads showed a mother relaxing in a kitchen with a cup of coffee, despite a hectic day with the kids. Parent Kraft Foods spent $41 million on coffee advertising in 1997 and $15 million through the first nine months of 1998, according to Competitive Media Reporting.
The New York Women in Communications have honored Linda Srere, president and chief executive of Young & Rubicam, New York, with a Matrix Award for advertising. The honor recognizes women who have distinguished themselves in fields such as books, broadcasting, film, magazines, new media, newspapers and public relations.
The Lord Group’s first work for the March of Dimes–a 30-second spot extolling the value of folic acid in preventing birth defects–broke last month in spot markets. Lord also developed a radio spot, print and outdoor ads. The campaign is part of a three-year, $10 million initiative that aims to reduce the number of brain and spinal chord defects in babies. The TV spot shows a baby crawling across a busy street as cars pass in either direction. The tagline is: “March of Dimes–saving babies together.”
Lotas Minard Patton McIver, New York, joined forces with Vancouver-based Blast Radius Communications. Blast will serve as LMPM’s new online and digital media division.
The direct mail campaign created by Toolbox, New York, for Flavia Beverage Systems was named Best of the Best at the 1998 International Pro-Comm Awards. The campaign combines photographs of a dirty coffee pot with copy such as, “Your company prides itself on using the latest technology and you’re still making coffee with a machine from World War II?”
Microsoft Corp. has awarded a print assignment for its ActiMates Teletubbies interactive plush toys to Towne Silverstein Rotter, New York. The assignment is in addition to the broadcast creative duties that the shop already handles. TSR was also named lead agency for Wham-O. It had previously handled only the girls’ division. Billings are estimated at $4-6 million.
To introduce cigar company Tabacalera de Espa-a to the U.S. market, Artustry Partnership, New York, created a four- page insert celebrating the pleasures of smoking a fine cigar. The ad debuted in December in Cigar Afficionado, Smoke, Forbes, Wine Spectator and Golf Digest.
Visa USA has appealed the National Advertising Division of the Better Business Bureau’s recommendation that it modify the line “The preferred lodging card,” used in advertising for its Preferred Card credit card. The advertising, from BBDO, New York, was challenged by American Express. The NAD ruled that Visa’s evidence did not substantiate the implication that customers prefer to use the card to pay for hotels. Visa stands by its contention that its market data supports the preference claim, and has asked the National Advertising Review Board, New York, to review the NAD’s decision.
Michael Penn Media Relations, New York, an agency which offers communications counsel and media relations for consumer and business-to-business clients, has opened for business. Principal Michael Penn had directed Cohn & Wolfe’s central media department.
The MWW Group, East Rutherford, has added five new clients. The shop will develop a campaign for the Atkins Center for Complementary Medicine & Atkins Nutritionals and marketing and media relations for electronic communication network The Brass Utility and computer consultant-training company SetFocus. MWW was also retained by Planet Entertainment Corp., an entertainment provider and music and video wholesaler, and National Discount Brokers University, a new online instructional program.
Keyes Martin Advertising, East Hanover, was tapped by newspapers The Record, Hackensack, and The Herald & News, Passaic, to create direct mail programs targeting businesses.