Hotline

Zenith Takes $200 Mil. Schering-Plough Account

LOS ANGELES—Zenith Media in New York was assigned the $200 million Schering-Plough Corp. media planning and buying business last week without a review, the client confirmed. Incumbent Lowe Lintas & Partners in New York continues to handle the drug maker’s creative account. Schering’s media is primarily spent on its blockbuster anti allergy drugs, Claritin and Nasonex.

Gillette Readies $150 Mil. Global ‘Venus’ Push

BOSTON—Gillette is preparing to break a $150 million global push for its Venus triple-blade shaving system for women through lead agency BBDO. The New York-based shop has fashioned a multimedia effort that includes TV spots featuring a veritable army of women in bathing suits. The tag: “Reveal the goddess in you.” Bananarama’s ’80s hit remake of the dance tune “Venus” is heard on the soundtrack. Ads will be previewed during E! Network’s Academy Awards special March 29.

Publicis Builds Hispanic Network

ATLANTA—Publicis New York, part of Publicis Groupe S.A. in Paris, purchased a 49 percent stake in Hispanic marketing firms Sanchez & Levitan in Miami and bought the Dallas and Los Angeles offices of Siboney USA. The two shops will be combined into a new entity, Publicis Sanchez & Levitan. The French conglomerate wants access to the 85 million Hispanic consumers, the fastest growing minority in the U.S., according to the U.S. Census. “We’re not just putting two and two together,” said Publicis chairman Robert Bloom. “We see this surging population, and we want real leverage.”

Diet Coke Spots Feature Celebrity Voiceovers

NEW YORK—Diet Coke bowed a new campaign during pre-Oscars programming on ABC Sunday night that uses voiceovers from five film stars. The first two spots are narrated by Renee Zellweger and Ed Burns. Tagged, “That certain something,” the 30-second spots include quick shots of Diet Coke spliced in. In one spot, Zellweger watches a neighbor through his bathroom window, flossing his teeth. In the Ed Burns-narrated spot, a woman trips as a couple trudges through the rain to a party. The spots were created by Wieden + Kennedy in Portland, Ore. Three more Diet Coke ads roll out in April and feature the voices of Ben Affleck, Matthew McConaughey and Ashley Judd.

Bush Taps New FTC Chairman

WASHINGTON—President Bush last week nominated Timothy Muris, an economist and law professor at George Mason University, to become chairman of the Federal Trade Commission. Muris, 51, previously headed the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection and the Bureau of Competition during the Reagan administration. Current Chairman Robert Pitofsky, whose term expires in September, said he plans to step down once a new chairman is confirmed by the Senate.

Holiday Inn’s ‘Mark’ Checks In

CHICAGO—Fallon in Minneapolis moves spokescharacter Mark out of his home in its new campaign for Holiday Inn. The work broke last week and moves the slacker character, whose parents taunt him with the refrain, “What does this look like, a Holiday Inn?” into the hotel. The ads continue to highlight the chain’s business amenities.

Burnett Breaks First U.S. Postal Service Campaign

CHICAGO—Leo Burnett targets small business in its new work for the U.S. Postal Service. Two spots broke this past Friday and depict the lengths people will go to grow their small businesses and how the service can help. In one spot, a man disrupts a baseball game with a poster promoting his business; a voiceover states the service has better solutions. The work retains the tagline, “Fly like an eagle,” introduced by former agency FCB in New York.

Newswire Roundup

Della Femina Rothschild Jeary and Partners has won creative and media duties for Purdue Pharma’s Senokot Laxatives and Betadine Antiseptics brands, as well as all over-the-counter new-product development, after a review that included incumbent Holland Mark in Boston and other undisclosed shops. The work is estimated to be worth $10-15 million. … Bates Canada has won the $20 million Pfizer Canadian media account. Contending were incumbent The Media Co., Carat Canada and MindShare Canada, sources said. Carat USA has Pfizer’s U.S. media business. … Martin/Williams was awarded Syngenta’s estimated $25 million U.S. crop protection, seed and e-business account, sources said. Syngenta was formed last year by the merger of the agricultural divisions of AstraZeneca and Novartis. M/W has handled pieces of Novartis’ crop-protection business since 1985. … Bates’ New York office landed the $10 million Parmalat account after a review that included incumbent Kaplan Thaler Group in New York and DePlano in Italy. … California Milk Advisory Board members voted to continue their marketing program featuring Goodby, Silverstein & Partners’ famous “Got milk?” TV and outdoor campaign, now in its eighth year. Anita Santiago Advertising in Santa Monica, Calif., handles Hispanic ads. … Citron Haligman Bedecarré in San Francisco has finalized a deal to partner with London-based Internet development and consulting company AKQA, e-commerce-applications provider Magnet Interactive in Washington and Asian new-media shop The AdInc. Citron will assume the AKQA name. … Worldwide Partners has been acquired by the 90 independent shops that comprise its membership roster. In acquiring the 63-year- old network, which had an estimated $4.2 billion in billings last year, members received an undisclosed amount of stock in exchange for their membership dues.