– Focus Media, Sears, Roebuck Headed for Court
LOS ANGELES–A California court is expected to rule early this week on whether to lift a temporary restraining order freezing at least $3.5 million held by Focus Media or to issue a preliminary injunction that would continue the hold as requested by Sears, Roebuck & Co. The court is also expected to rule on Sears’ request for an immediate accounting of all the Santa Monica, Calif., media shop’s assets. Sears fired Focus on March 13 and filed a lawsuit charging breach of contract, leading to a counterclaim by Focus that accused the retailer of trying to drive it out of business. Focus also claimed the conflict derailed a potential merger with a larger media company, identified by sources as Initiative Media. Sears’ response to Focus’s counterclaim was to be filed late on Friday.
– Iomega Kicks Off $30-35 Mil. Agency Review
NEW YORK–Iomega has begun a review for its estimated $30-35 million account. The Roy, Utah-based company, which markets the Zip, Jaz and Clik! data-stories drives, is looking for a shop in the West, Midwest or Southwest, sources said. It has enlisted consultancy Select Resources International, Los Angeles, to assist. Euro/RSCG/DSW Partners resigned the business last month.
– Denny’s to Hear Pitches From 5 Contenders
ATLANTA–Denny’s Restaurants will hear credentials presentations from five agencies the first week of April for lead creative duties, confirmed the client. They are Fitzgerald & Co., Atlanta; the Tampa, Fla., office of WestWayne; Ogilvy & Mather, Chicago; and New York shops Kaplan Thaler Group and Merkley Newman Harty. The restaurant chain split with Lowe Lintas & Partners last January. At the time, the creative account totalled less than $10 million.
– Compaq Pitch for $300 Mil. Account Nears End
NEW YORK–Creative pitches for Compaq Computer’s $300 million global account are set for April 3 and 4. A series of “fireside chats” between CEOs from the competing agencies–incumbent DDB Worldwide, FCB Worldwide and Grey Advertising–and client CEO Michael Capellas has taken place since the first credential meetings in early March. Saatchi & Saatchi, an HP roster shop, was initially contacted by the consultant. While sources insist the agency is still in discussions with Compaq, the agency denies any involvement. “We’re not in discussions with Compaq; it’s as simple as that,” said Saatchi vice chairman Tony Dalton.
– Lowe Lintas General Manager Plans Departure
NEW YORK–Nancy McNally, general manager and top account executive on Burger King at Lowe Lintas & Partners, plans to leave the agency next month. Her BK duties will be absorbed by Matt Heller, executive vice president and managing director. As for her future plans, McNally, 44, said: “I’m looking at everything.”
– MVBMS Wins Subway’s $30 Mil. Creative Account
NEW YORK–Messner Vetere Berger McNamee Schmetterer/Euro RSCG won Subway’s $30 million creative business in a review that came down to finalists Mullen in Wenham, Mass., and The Martin Agency, Richmond, Va. The Milford, Conn.-based restaurant chain split with incumbent Publicis & Hal Riney in Chicago late last year. (Continued on page 68)