Utilicorp Readies Review Decision

CHICAGO–Utilicorp United, the Kansas City, Mo.-based natural gas and electric utility, has narrowed its search for an agency to three undisclosed finalists. Ethan Hirsch, senior director of corporate communications, declined to name them, but said the company plans to have a decision next week. Utilicorp officials previously said the account would have billings of less than $5 million. The company spent $2.6 million on media in 1996, according to Competitive Media Reporting.

Burnett Eyed for Tambrands Assignment

CHICAGO–Procter & Gamble said Leo Burnett here will handle the approximately $65 million Tampax account when its pending acquisition of Tambrands closes. The global account has been handled by Foote, Cone & Belding’s New York office since October 1996, but FCB also is a global agency for Kimberly-Clark Corp., which P&G considered a conflict. Additionally, saying it was ‘balancing agency assignments,’ P&G moved responsibilities for Pampers in Latin America and Tempo facial tissue in Europe and Hong Kong to D’Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles from Burnett. Billings for those assignments were not disclosed.

Nintendo’s Super Fox Gets Ad Push

CHICAGO–Nintendo of America in Redmond, Wash., is supporting the June 30 launch of its Super Fox 64 game for the Nintendo 64 system with a $7 million campaign. The push encompasses TV spots on broadcast networks, the in-school Channel One network and in-arcade Channel M network, plus direct mail and print work. Leo Burnett, Chicago, is Nintendo’s agency.

Carmichael Wins First Alert Account

CHICAGO–Carmichael Lynch in Minneapolis has been named agency of record for First Alert smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, with an initial campaign expected this fall. First Alert spent $2.5 million on advertising in 1996, according to Competitive Media Reporting. The Aurora, Ill.-based company’s review included Chicago shops Cramer-Krasselt and Ogilvy & Mather. Lois/EJL, also in Chicago, previously handled the business.

FTD to Hire New Agency as Grey Resigns Business

NEW YORK–Florists’ Transworld Delivery in Downers Grove, Ill., is expected to select a new ad agency this week, a FTD representative said. Incumbent Grey Advertising, which had handled creative and media duties, resigned the account last week citing philosophical differences with the company management. Shops that have been contacted by FTD president Bob Norton over the past few months include DiNoto Lee in New York, Foote, Cone & Belding in Chicago, Cleveland agency Meldrum & Fewsmith Advertising, D’Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles, Troy, Mich., and J. Walter Thompson in Detroit. FTD spent around $16 million in ad support in 1996 according to Competitive Media Reporting.

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