– Future of Focus May Rest With Sears
LOS ANGELES–Sears, Roebuck & Co. and roster media agency Focus Media have drawn up a new contract which, if signed by the client, could save the struggling Santa Monica, Calif., media agency, sources said. Focus, which handles an estimated $200 million in Sears spot, cable and syndicated television and Hispanic media, faces several challenges. It is defending its Sears business in the retailer’s ongoing consolidation; is embroiled in a dispute with various media over unpaid bills related to former clients; and is absorbing the layoffs, firings and resignations of dozens of staffers in recent months.
– Accounts Roundup … Taps Goodby
Online DVD rental site enlisted Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, San Francisco, to design a national branding and ad campaign. Billings are estimated at $10-15 million. … The Young Co., Santa Monica, Calif., was tapped by software developer Candle Corp., El Segundo, Calif., to handle an international branding effort valued at $3-5 million. Young also landed the $2-3 million Samsung Electronics office automation account. It will promote a line of digital laser printers and other products of the Rancho Dominguez, Calif.-based electronics marketer.
– Reviews Roundup … Open Minds Toasts Callaway
Callaway Wines selected Open Minds and the Ponzi Group to handle its account, following a review. Laguna Beach, Calif.-based Open Minds will handle creative; Ponzi, Trabuco Canyon, Calif., will handle media and strategic marketing. Other contenders included Colby Effler & Partners, Santa Monica, Calif., Houston Helm Fattal & Collins, Marina del Rey, Calif., and Zuckerman Fernandes/Marc, San Francisco. A $1 million campaign for the Healdsburg, Calif.-based client will break this fall. Select Resources International, Los Angeles, was the consultant. Wood is Good, a coalition of lumber and paper companies, selected a short list of agencies in its $10-15 review. They are: Asher & Partners and Dailey & Associates, both Los Angeles; Mering & Associates, Sacramento, Calif.; WongDoody, Seattle; Bozell, Chicago; Campbell Mithun Esty, Minneapolis; and Roche Macauley & Partners, Toronto. … Safeco Insurance narrowed its search to three agencies for its $6-7 million account: Publicis, WongDoody and Copacino, all Seattle. The Seattle offices of Think New Ideas and incumbent Cole & Weber were eliminated. … Bulldog Drummond, San Diego, was selected by Airwalk International, Denver, to handle its shoe branding campaign, valued at $2-3 million. The review was handled by Select Resources International, Los Angeles.
– Onward & Upward
Publicis & Hal Riney, San Francisco, hired FCB Worldwide veteran Florence Babbitt as svp, director of broadcast production. … Alfa Tate-O’Neill of Ogilvy & Mather, Los Angeles, moves across town to Kovel/Fuller today as vp/management supervisor, overseeing
– For the Record
In an article about the Los Angeles Advertising Agencies Association’s Leader of the Year event [Adweek, March 6], a quote from Kowloon Wholesale Seafood Co. president Dick Sittig should have read, “The LAAAA gave each of the honorees 15 minutes for a presentation.”