BJK&E Rejects Omnicom Buyout Offer

NEW YORK–Bozell, Jacobs, Kenyon & Eckhardt

chairman Leo Kelmenson announced late last week that the privately held company’s board of directors had ‘unanimously’ rejected an offer from Omnicom Group to purchase BJK&E. Kelmenson, who cited financial and ‘operational considerations’ as reasons for the rejection, said Chrysler had been notified of the decision. Terms were not disclosed. Omnicom president and chief executive John Wren declined comment. BJK&E remains in discussions with True North Communications in Chicago, sources said. TN chief executive Bruce Mason could not be reached. ‘This does not necessarily end the battle for Bozell between Omnicom and True North,’ said Abe Jones, a principal of AdMedia Partners here. ‘What it does, perhaps, is raise the ante.’

Rio Bravo Seeks MSSB Successor

CHICAGO–The Rio Bravo Cantina restaurant chain is conducting a review and expects to have a short list of three to five agencies this week. McConnaughy Stein Schmidt Brown resigned the account last month, saying it was not ‘appropriately supported’ by ad spending. A questionnaire sent to agencies by the chain–owned by Applebee’s International in Overland Park, Kan.–indicates advertising will concentrate on radio. Spending was not disclosed.

McCann Touts Yukon’s Power

CHICAGO–General Motors’ Pontiac-GMC division today breaks a new 30-second TV spot nationally for the GMC Yukon sport utility vehicle. It focuses on the vehicle’s towing power and continues the ‘Comfortably in Command’ theme. A supporting print campaign will begin this summer. McCann-Erickson in Troy, Mich., handles the GMC account.

SmithKline Seeks Promotions Shop

CHICAGO–SmithKline Beecham Consumer Healthcare in Pittsburgh is contacting promotions agencies about a $6-10 million account covering such over-the-counter brands as Tums and Geritol. The client confirmed the review but declined to offer any other details. The assignment primarily concerns trade promotions, sources said. SmithKline’s advertising agencies are not believed to be involved.

Sears’ Guze Moves to Reebok

BOSTON–John Guze has joined Reebok International, Stoughton, Mass., as senior vice president and chief marketing officer. Previously, he was vice president of merchandise strategy and business development at Sears, Roebuck & Co. in Hoffman Estates, Ill. The post has been vacant since Dave Ropes left last year. Separately, Heater Advertising in Boston said it may open a San Francisco office to help service the Reebok account. Heater became Reebok’s lead creative shop after Leo Burnett, Chicago, resigned the business last month.

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