Havas in Talks to Acquire McKinney & Silver

ATLANTA—McKinney & Silver has confirmed that Havas, acting through Arnold, has made an offer to purchase McKinney from troubled marchFirst. “We have been in discussions with a number of potential buyers,” said Don Maurer, McKinney chief executive officer, “but the chemistry with Ed Eskandarian has been great. This deal will probably happen.” Eskandarian, Arnold’s chief executive, has been Havas’ lead man on negotiations. Arnold’s flagship account is Volkswagen of America; McKinney handles VW-owned Audi. An alignment would provide synergies for the German automaker, sources said. McKinney would become an operating unit of the Arnold group, which includes Jordan McGrath Case & Partners Euro RSCG, in New York, and numerous other shops worldwide.

Topolewski Heads to Doner

DETROIT—Doner in Southfield, Mich., has tapped Gary Topo lewski to be an executive creative director. He starts this spring and will report to chief creative officer John DeCerchio. Topolewski was previously ecd at TBWA\Chiat\Day in Playa del Rey, Calif.

Coke OKs ‘Life Tastes Good’

NEW YORK—Coca-Cola has approved the “Life tastes good” tagline [Adweek, Feb. 26] for its new campaign scheduled to break in the second quarter, sources said. Forty-five TV spots are in production around the world, all handled by McCann-Erickson shops, sources said. Client and agency declined comment.

Layoffs Continue Across U.S.

NEW YORK—Ogilvy & Mather is planning to cut 7-10 percent of its 3,200 staffers in the U.S. within the next two weeks, sources said. Ogilvy declined comment. Separately, Tony Granger, creative director of Bozell, New York, dismissed 11 people from the 84-person creative department. Granger could not be reached. In other regions, Kirshenbaum Bond & Partners West in San Francisco has cut six of 66 staffers, just weeks after Bay Area shops Goodby, Silverstein & Partners and TBWA\Chiat\Day announced layoffs.

News Roundup

Square One’s Boston partners Fred Bertino and Jamie Mambro are forming an agency with Joe McCarthy, whose McCarthy Co., in Princeton, N.J., works on the $15 million Samuel Adams account, sources said. Bertino, Mambro and McCarthy have been planning to develop ad concepts for the Boston Beer Co.’s flagship brand, but could not move forward because of a potential conflict with Dallas-based Square One client Miller Lite. … McCann-Erickson in New York has won the estimated $50 million account for Allegra, a medication made by Aventis Pharma, after a review that included Ogilvy & Mather in New York and other, undisclosed agencies, sources said. Incumbent Leo Burnett in Chicago did not participate, sources said. … Motorola has scaled back rebranding efforts built around its new tag, “Intelligence everywhere.” A Motorola executive said the budget for the campaign won’t be near the $400 million previously estimated, but wouldn’t elaborate. Since January 2000, Motorola’s stock price has fallen about 70 percent, and since December the company has cut 12,000 jobs.