– Omnicom, Hakuhodo Form G1 Unit
LOS ANGELES–Omnicom Group and Hakuhodo have formed G1, a joint venture to handle the estimated $600 million global Nissan Motor Corp. business, according to sources. The 50-50 joint venture is owned by Hakuhodo, the second largest ad agency in Japan, and TBWA Worldwide, a unit of the world’s largest ad agency group. G1, which stands for Global One, will establish regional subsidiaries in Japan, the U.S. and Europe, sources said. Nissan has used Hakuhodo and Nippo, now known as TBWA/Nippo, for advertising in Japan since 1992; TBWA/Chiat/Day in the U.S.; and a joint venture of Hakuhodo and TBWA in Europe. The move by Omnicom and Hakuhodo is considered a pre-emptive measure. Nissan USA executives had no official statement, but reiterated chief operating officer Carlos Ghosn’s pledge from last fall to implement cost-cutting measures. One possibility is consolidating global advertising at one agency, but no official decision has been made, a Nissan representative said last week.
– Ground Zero Kicks Off Lucy Campaign
LOS ANGELES–Ground Zero is launching its inaugural campaign for women’s athletic apparel e-tailer The estimated $10 million national effort includes print ads with a female heroine, Lucy of Portland, designed to inspire women through their daily workouts. They are debuting in March issues of women’s, fitness, beauty and general interest publications. The Marina del Rey, Calif., agency won the business after a review last year. The Web site went live in November.
– JWT TCG to Break NCR Work
CHICAGO–A $37 million corporate ad campaign focusing on NCR Corp.’s relationship technology solutions will launch next month. The global campaign is the NCR debut from J. Walter Thompson Technology Communications Group. JWT TCG, San Jose, Calif., won the creative and media account in November following a review.
– Reviews Roundup … Tees Off, which partners with golf courses to offer free services such as online tee-time reservations and instruction, is searching for an agency to handle its global $15-20 million creative and media account. The Scottsdale, Ariz., company hopes to make a decision by the end of March. … Publicis, WongDoody, Think New Ideas and Copacino, all Seattle, are the agencies still vying for Safeco’s $6-7 million account. Select Resources International, Los Angeles, is conducting the search for the Seattle-based insurance company. The 20-year incumbent, Cole & Weber, did not make the cut. A decision is due in April.
– Accounts Roundup … DSW Drops Iomega
Euro RSCG/DSW Partners, Salt Lake City, has resigned the Iomega account after 13 years. The Roy, Utah-based maker of Zip data storage drives is expected to begin a search, but executives would only say they are “reviewing ad plans.” Billings have been about $12 million, according to Competitive Media Reporting. New and Improved Advertising, Scottsdale, Ariz., was selected as lead agency for, a business-to-business e-commerce company based in San Francisco. Billings were undisclosed.