Miller Brewing Sues Bates, Zenith
CHICAGO–Miller Brewing in Milwaukee last week filed a federal lawsuit against Bates USA and its media arm, Zenith Media Services, both in New York, seeking nearly $7 million and charging the agencies with failing to broker the best broadcast prices, provide post-buy analyses or obtain proper credits for buys on shows that lacked promised ratings or demographics. The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in Milwaukee, also accuses Bates of double-billing Miller for $936,997.37 in 1997. Zenith took over Miller’s media buying in February 1995 and was terminated along with Bates, which handled advertising for Miller Genuine Draft, in March 1997. Miller’s $260 million media account is now at Leo Burnett’s Starcom Media unit in Chicago. “We’ve tried to work with them to get an amicable resolution, [but] they’ve declined to even acknowledge us,” Miller representative Scott Bussen said. “It’s almost mind-boggling to us.” Zenith chief executive officer Rich Hamilton called the suit “utterly ridiculous and without merit. We will defend it with great rigor.”
Ackerman’s Millweard Joining Barkley
DALLAS–Tom Millweard, president of Ackerman McQueen in Oklahoma City, Okla., joins Barkley Evergreen & Partners, Kansas City, Mo., next month. Millweard will assume the chief operating officer title from Scott Aylward, who continues as BE&P president.
DDB Needham Stays in U S West Hunt
CHICAGO–DDB Needham here will remain in contention for creative responsibilities on U S West’s $40-50 million account. The client has decided that DDB Needham Dallas’ acquisition of telecommunications startup Level 3’s account would not represent a conflict, a representative of the Denver-based company said. Needham is set to make its U S West presentation this week. Other finalists are Bozell Worldwide, Seattle, and Minneapolis shops Campbell Mithun Esty and Martin/Williams.
Budget Readies Cut to 5 Finalists
CHICAGO–Budget Rent a Car Corp. plans to select five finalists for its anticipated $35 million account this week, a company representative said. Lisle, Ill.-based Budget has met with 11 agencies: Chicago shops Ammirati Puris Lintas, Arian, Lowe & Travis, BBDO, Bozell, Cramer-Krasselt, Euro RSCG Tatham, Grant Jacoby, Laughlin/Constable, McConnaughy Stein Schmidt Brown and Publicis-Hal Riney & Partners; and Warren, Mich., agency Campbell-Ewald Advertising. Incumbent Hill, Holliday, Connors, Cosmopulos in Boston was not invited to participate.
New Jersey Governor Hires Doner Unit
CHICAGO–Doner Public Affairs, the Tampa, Fla.-based political unit of W.B. Doner & Co., has been retained by New Jersey Gov. Christine Todd Whitman. Although Whitman is not up for re-election this year, Doner will develop issue-oriented broadcast and direct marketing work for the Republican governor.