agency news

J. Walter Thompson in New York has created a new spot in its 4-year-old “That’s Brisk, baby!” campaign for Lipton Brisk Iced Tea. The spot, scheduled to break in June, features Elvis Presley’s song “Jailhouse Rock” and latex puppets of Elvis, James Brown, Coolio and Willie Nelson. Past spots for the beverage have included Frank Sinatra, Babe Ruth, Sylvester Stallone and Bruce Lee. In each, a pop-culture icon falters, then rebounds after a drink of Lipton Brisk. The iced tea is marketed through the Pepsi Lipton Tea Partnership, a joint venture between the Pepsi-Cola Co., Purchase, and Lipton, Englewood Cliffs, N.J.
Young & Rubicam Inc. acquired New York public relations firm Robinson Lerer & Montgomery in a cash-and-stock deal believed to be worth more than $30 million. Robinson Lerer, with such clients as Pfizer, Texaco and America Online, will continue to be run by its chairman and chief executive, Linda Gosden Robinson. Robin-son also becomes the fourth vice chairman at the New York-based Y&R Inc.
Wunderman Cato Johnson, New York, bowed its new global strategic direction recently. The direct-marketing agency changed its name to Impiric and launched a worldwide research and development entity, known as Marketing Lab. It also entered into strategic alliances with
Internet direct-marketing company Digital Impact, San Mateo, Calif., and Cambridge, Mass.-based e-mail company EchoMail. WCJ founder Lester Wunderman will serve as worldwide director and chief scientist at Marketing Lab. The name Impiric and other brand-identity components were created by branding and design consultancy Landor Associates, a sister company of Impiric in the Young & Rubicam family.
TBWA/Chiat/Day will donate creative services to an Advertising Council effort funded by the Markle Foundation. The foundation will donate $2 million over the next three years to a campaign educating families about the ways the Internet and other interactive media can help their children learn. Ads from the New York agency will help parents guide their children to positive interactive media resources, Web sites and games while avoiding inappropriate media.
Young & Rubicam, New York, will produce public-service announcements for the National Football League and the United Way of America. Y&R is the first major agency to produce spots for the 27-year-old collaboration. Through the partnership, ads featuring football personalities reach more than 100 million viewers each week, via airtime donated by the NFL during its broadcasts. The spots have focused on the positive contributions of NFL players, owners and coaches to their communities. The effort is pro bono.
DiMassimo Brand Advertising will handle advertising duties for in Alexandria, Va. Kinko’s, Ventura, Calif., joined forces with in Alex-andria to form the Web site, which provides online marketing tools and advice to small and home offices. Rick Steele, formerly president and chief executive officer of Liveprint, will serve as president and CEO of DiMassimo, New York, had been Live-print’s ad agency; billings for are $20 million.
Razorfish, New York, created an on-air graphics-identity package for cable pay- per-view network In Demand, New York. The branding effort uses humorous imagery to make viewers feel they are receiving royal treatment, with such graphics as a TV dinner on a silver tray, – red carpet on a linoleum floor and a terry-cloth robe with a fur collar.
DoubleClick, an Internet advertising network headquartered in New York, said in a statement by CEO Kevin O’Connor that it would not “merge names with anonymous user activity across Web sites in the absence of government and industry privacy standards.” The company recently launched a campaign to educate individuals about protecting their privacy online. DoubleClick’s policy was applauded by the American Advertising Federation in Washington, D.C., which last year initiated its own consumer protection effort to increase the number of small marketing and advertising businesses with online privacy policies.
Eric Mower and Associates, Albany, was tapped to handle integrated marketing communications for Premier National Bank. The agency has been charged with helping the bank increase its presence throughout the Hudson Valley region.
BergerBrown Communications, South Orange, created a TV campaign for Kinetics Asset Management’s family of Internet-driven mutual funds. Three spots, “Road,” “Burn In” and “Game Plan,” were designed to communicate to viewers whether the TV volume is up or down, since many people watch business and financial broadcasts during the day with the sound turned down. The 15-second spots will be aired in pairs to fit 30-second commercial blocks. They broke on CNBC and will expand to include CNN, CNNfn and Bloomberg News; the campaign may be extended into electronic and print campaigns. BergerBrown collaborated with New York graphic-design firm Langton Cherubino Group.
Creative 911 was a sponsor of the American Automobile Association’s 48th annual Eastern Conference, which took place in Palm Beach, Fla., March 5-8. The Hackensack agency began handling “salvage” marketing, direct marketing designed to re-enlist members who had let their memberships lapse, for AAA in 1996.
Linett & Harrison, Millburn, has added PacificHealth Laboratories, Woodbridge, to its client roster. The shop will launch PHL’s new weight-loss supplement. It also handled the national launch of the client’s Endurox R4 sports drink.
TMP Worldwide Direct, Mount Olive, was hired by Fisher & Paykel Appliances, Laguna Hills, Calif., to handle its rebate management and other marketing programs.
Timmons & Co. was tapped by engineering company Foster Wheeler Corp., Perryville, N.J., to design and produce its 1999 annual report for the fourth consecutive year. The Doylestown-based agency will handle all design, production and printing for the report, as well as Foster Wheeler’s 1999 investor profile.
Marketing Resources, Brookfield, was retained by First County Bank, Stamford, as its marketing-communications agency. The shop will handle advertising, public relations and direct-mail duties for the client, including development of the bank’s positioning; production and placement of print and TV ads; and public relations in support of a community-outreach program.