Toyota, Saatchi Seek Consultant for Talks
LOS ANGELES–Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. and Saatchi & Saatchi Los Angeles are interviewing consultants about handling their contract renewal negotiations. Saatchi’s Southern California office is the lead shop on Toyota. Its Team One Advertising unit handles Toyota’s luxury nameplate Lexus. “It’s a matter of course,” said Steve Sturm, Toyota’s vice president of marketing, who emphasized it is not a review of the estimated combined $800 million account. “We are looking at how to structure our long-term contract with Saatchi,” Sturm said. Among the consultancies under consideration is Select Resources International in Los Angeles, confirmed Saatchi chief executive Scott Gilbert.
IPG Investigating Misconduct at Western
LOS ANGELES–The Interpublic Group of Cos. is conducting an internal investigation at Western Initiative Media Worldwide, sources said last week. The holding company is exploring possible misconduct, perhaps of a financial nature, at the media buying service. The investigation coincides with a leave of absence taken by Western president and chief operating officer Michael Kassan, who was said to be in New York last week meeting with IPG officials. IPG and Western executives would not comment.
TBWA/C/D Readies iBook Campaign
LOS ANGELES–TBWA/Chiat/Day is preparing to roll out a campaign for Apple Computer’s new iBook laptop computer using themes like “iMac to go” and “iMac unplugged.” Apple acting chief executive Steve Jobs unveiled several of the new TV spots–which depict the blue- and tangerine-colored laptops rotating against a white screen, with voiceovers by actor Jeff Goldblum–at a computer exposition in New York last week. The TV, print and outdoor campaign breaks in several weeks to support the product’s September launch.
Microsoft Plans $150 Million Fall Campaign
LOS ANGELES–Microsoft plans to launch a major, $150 million TV ad campaign in the fall via McCann-Erickson/A&L, San Francisco, to bolster the software giant’s corporate image and highlight its products, according to Reuters. The company consolidated its $230 million domestic account at the shop last month [Adweek, June 21]. Bob Herbold, Microsoft’s chief operating officer, said last week TV ad spending would sharply increase over last year’s $100 million. Herbold said the aim is to present a “unified message promoting Microsoft’s corporate image and its business units.”
Seiniger Denies Harassment Allegations
LOS ANGELES–Seiniger Advertising, Beverly Hills, Calif., and its president and chief executive, Tony Seiniger, last week filed a response denying claims of sexual harassment made by a former employee [Adweek, June 21]. Seiniger is asking the Los Angeles Superior Court to throw out the employee’s suit against him and the shop.