agency news


The team of Zenith Media and Draft Worldwide has landed consolidated media buying duties for New York-based Verizon Communications, which includes Verizon Wireless and Verizon Information Services. Billings are estimated at more than $500 million. Both shops are in New York.

FutureBrand Worldwide, a worldwide brand consultancy in New York, has added Marketing Corp. of America to its network group. MCofA, based in Westport, Conn., is a strategic-marketing management- consulting firm with practice specialties that include business planning and market assessment, branding, new-product development and e-business strategies. FutureBrand offers both strategic and creative services for corporate and consumer brands, including market strategy, customer segmentation, positioning and brand valuation, as well as corporate identity and packaging design, retail and customer environment design, and digital branding. Both companies are part of The Interpublic Group of Cos.: FutureBrand is a unit of McCann-Erickson Worldwide, and MCofA was part of IPG’s Allied Communications Group.

MasterCard’s latest “Priceless” spot, “Circus,” goes behind the scenes in the daily life of a troupe of performers to demonstrate the company’s online purchase-protection plan. Owen Plotkin of Editing Concepts in New York edited the grainy, documentary-style, black-and-white spot, which was created by McCann- Erickson in New York and directed by Ralf Schmerberg of in Santa Monica, Calif. The spot debuted last month. Accompanied by polka music, the commercial comprises a series of vignettes featuring human and animal circus performers. It shows a strong man practicing rolling a cannonball up and down his arms, an acrobat spinning hula hoops and an elephant sticking its trunk through an open trailer window to sip from a sink, among other images. The voiceover says, “Cannonballs. $129 online. Eighty-eight hula hoops. $60 online. Elephant shampoo. $42 online. Not having to pay for any weird stuff that shows up on your bill. Priceless.”

Finlandia Vodka has launched the next phase of its “Tasting Is Believing” advertising campaign. The work was designed and created by Mezzina Brown & Partners, a New York-based agency that specializes in Web-based advertising and marketing programs. A key component of this phase is a series of online promotional offers that use the Superstitialó advertising format created by Unicast. Elements of the overall campaign include online promotional offers for free Finlandia Vodka merchandise, “party guides” and drink recipes, as well as coordinated offline print advertising prompting consumers to try Finlandia. The current phase kicked off at the end of last month and will end Dec. 31. The campaign is appearing on several Web sites that attract Finlandia’s target audience, such as and, a consumer automotive Internet service, has hired The MWW Group’s New York office to manage the company’s ongoing corporate, strategic communications, public relations and investor relations programs. tapped The MWW Group to strengthen its relationship with the investment community and to communicate its corporate mission and automotive expertise effectively to the media.

Attik, an all-media creative-solutions provider in New York, last month received The BritishAmerican Business Transatlantic Entrepreneurial Business Award for 2000. The Transatlantic Business Awards annually recognize and honor four business leaders and companies that contribute to strengthening the economic relationship between Britain and the U.S. Separately, Attik conceived, designed, directed and produced a modular montage incorporating memorabilia and iconic elements associated with baseball for a 30-second Fox Sports commercial. The spot, which is part of the “Collage Montage” campaign promoting the Major League Baseball Playoffs, including the Division Series, the National League Championship Series and the World Series, depicts the grandeur and history of the sport and rolled out nationally in late September.

The Advertising Council and the Commu-nity Action Network have presented awards to the winners of the Community Action Network’s Service Award 2000: Honoring the Media & Corporate Communities for Outstanding Solutions to Social Problems. Awards were presented in 14 categories that included local and national divisions of Outdoor Advertising, Non-Profit, Internet, Print, Television, Radio, and Public or Private Corporation. The first-place honorees include MTV, TDI, Oxygen Media, The Children’s Aid Society, Cooking Light magazine, U.S. Cellular, Fairway Outdoor Advertising, CMF&Z Marketing Communications, Publicolor, KDRV-TV, KFMB-FM and The Daily Camera.

Men’s Health magazine has named Winstar Interactive Media to be its exclusive online media partner to handle online advertising sales for Rodale’s Web sites and its teen spinoff, This alliance grants Winstar the exclusive rights to represent online advertising sales and sponsorship opportunities for both sites. Winstar will be responsible for expanding each site’s advertiser base nationwide and forming strategic alliances for the brands. Winstar is a Web property-representation com-pany based in New York; Men’s Health is published by Rodale.

AdOutlet, a provider of e-solutions for the media marketplace, has created three advisory boards dedicated to three core fields: technology, finance and media. The New York company’s Media Advisory Board members represent media suppliers, advertisers and agencies. They are as follows: Joseph Abruzzese, president, sales, CBS Television; Dr. Roger Blackwell, professor of marketing, Ohio State University; Phil Guarascio, most recently vice president, advertising and corporate marketing, General Motors; Michele James, vice president of talent acquisitions, AOL/Time Warner; John Nardone, president, international and media worldwide, Modem Media Poppe Tyson; Kelly O’Dea, president, FCB Worldwide; and Jeffrey Warshaw, CEO and founder, Connoisseur Communications.

A powerful droning tone growing steadily louder, accompanied by a faint percussive beat mimicking the sound of a quickening heartbeat, provides the musical symbolism that takes the viewer into the mind of a race-car driver moments before the flag drops. Matt Hauser of Big Foote Music in New York composed and sound designed Audi’s “Start of Race,” a new commercial by agency McKinney & Silver in Raleigh, N.C. The spot, which debuted last month, focuses on a series of close-ups of an Audi driver as he prepares for a race. It ends with the drop of the green flag.

The French Government Tourist Office has hired Warren/Kremer/CMP/Advertising in New York for its multimillion-dollar ac-count. Initiatives for FGTO will include offline and online advertising and promotions, strategic alliances and co-op programs aimed at both consumers and the travel trade. Campaigns will focus on both broad- and niche-market travelers.

Intelli-Check has hired Korey Kay & Partners in New York to launch a national advertising campaign promoting its pat-ented identification verification system, ID-Check. Designed for merchants that sell age-restricted products, ID-Check can read all currently encoded U.S. and Canadian driver’s licenses and government ID cards that are AAMVA/ANSI/ISO compliant, and can be easily updated on-site with the latest official encoded data. The ads are running in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post and several trade publications targeting convenience stores, nightclubs, bars, liquor stores, casinos and financial institutions. Korey Kay’s integrated marketing efforts will also include a relaunch of the client’s Web site, online marketing, trade-show support and direct marketing. The budget is estimated at about $5 million.

Cohn & Wolfe Healthcare, a public relations firm in New York, has added Gilead Sciences to its roster of healthcare ac-counts. The client is an independent biopharmaceutical company, headquartered in Foster City, Calif., that focuses on the antiviral, antifungal and oncology markets. The agency will provide Gilead with strategic counsel and investor relations.


The Star Group was hired by AvidLearn, a Cherry Hill-based firm that provides online education and training in real time to both businesses and consumers. The account is estimated to be worth $25 million over the next five years. The Cherry Hill-based advertising agency’s initial as-signment includes all promotion, public relations and advertising phases of the company’s launch, slated for the beginning of 2001.

Gillespie, a Princeton-based full-service marketing-communications agency, was awarded contracts from four online firms to create and implement integrated marketing-communications campaigns with combined billings of approximately $15 million. The clients are Enjewel, a New York-based online retailer of fine jewelry, watches and gifts, TimeTo, a Newton, Mass.-based online resource for health, wealth and legacy-planning issues, Beliefnet, a New York-based information and interaction Web site for faith-based issues, and Media Market Makers, a New York-based online marketplace for the planning, buying and selling of advertising.

The Lunar Group, an advertising and marketing-communications agency based in Mountain Lakes, has added six new clients: PSEG Energy Technologies, a division of PSEG that provides energy-efficient solutions to institutional customers; Met-Life Securities, the financial-advisement arm of MetLife Insurance; Wilentz Goldman & Spitzer, a law firm that specializes in asbestos-related representation;, a new business-to-business Web site that caters to the needs of landscaping professionals; Olflex, a manufacturer of flexible wires and cables; and Bugen Stuart Korn & Cordaro, an investment-management firm.


Club Systems Group has hired Diccicco Battista Communications to conduct a full- service communications program. The Horsham marketing-communications firm, which comprises advertising agency FlashPoint—DBC, media-services company In-telliMedia—DBC and public relations firm Tattar Cutler—DBC, will provide services that include advertising and media buying. Club Systems Group is a wholly owned subsidiary of Jenkintown-based Hospital-ity Solutions International, a provider of software and Internet solutions to large, private country clubs.

Sharavsky Communications in Plymouth Meeting has created a brand and an independent identity for Hollywood Casino’s new Asian-fusion restaurant, Seven Fortunes. The campaign features seven chefs who symbolize the cuisines of the Asian nations represented in the menu. The themeline, “Far Eastern cuisine. Mid-Western fun,” ties together the food and the Aurora, Ill., casino’s entertainment offerings. The campaign includes print, direct mail and radio, and is appearing throughout the Chicago area.