3 Chase $250 Mil. Gateway Prize

LOS ANGELES—At least three shops are contending for Gateway’s $250 million media planning and buying business, according to sources. The trio includes incumbent Universal McCann and Media Planning, both in New York, and Initiative Media North America in Los Angeles. The client was unavailable for comment.

Arnold in Power Play for $50 Mil. Fidelity Account

BOSTON—Arnold late last week made presentations to top officials at Fidelity Investments that likely included suggestions for applying the agency’s “brand essence” philosophy to the client’s Powerstreet online brokerage, sources said. Powerstreet is currently handled by New York-based Gotham and is worth an estimated $50 million. Hill, Holliday, Connors, Cosmopulos in Boston is Fidelity’s lead agency.

FCC Steers Clear of Advertising

WASHINGTON—Federal Communications Commission chairman Michael Powell said last week his federal agency will not get involved in advertising issues. Under former chairman William Kennard, the FCC released a report accusing advertisers of paying less for airtime on stations with ethnic audiences. The FCC also played a role in a federal agency working group that met to discuss advertising issues. Powell said he will not continue that effort.

Bates’ Lazarus to Lead National Broadcast

NEW YORK—Kara Lazarus was promoted to svp, director of National Broadcast Buying Group, from vp, national broadcast at Bates. She replaces Rosemarie Ombres, who left after deciding to move to the West Coast, a representative said. As vp, national broadcast, Lazarus worked primarily on the Wendy’s International business.

FCB Settles Dispute With Mazda

CHICAGO—A week before True North Communications reached an agreement to be acquired by Interpublic Group of Cos., TN unit FCB reached an out-of-court settlement with Mazda over automobile lease advertising disclosure statements the Federal Trade Commission found to be unclear. Mazda in 1999 paid $5.25 million as part of a consent decree with the FTC and 24 states. The automaker subsequently sought $9 million from FCB, which was its agency at the time the ads ran in 1996 and 1997. FCB denied liability and filed a counterclaim for $5.5 million for commissions the agency claimed were unpaid during the final months of its relationship with the client. The settlement agreement’s terms were not revealed.

Alter Rises Up at McCann

NEW YORK—Stewart Alter was promoted from svp, director of corporate communications for McCann-Erickson to evp, corporate strategy and communications at McCann-Erickson WorldGroup. He reports to WorldGroup chairman and CEO Jim Heekin. Alter, 51, also becomes a member of WorldGroup’s board. In this new position, Alter will work with WorldGroup’s top management in developing strategies to expand its integrated marketing communications globally. Alter joined McCann in 1990; before that he was managing editor of Adweek magazine.

Grey Reorganizes New York Office

NEW YORK—Grey has begun restructuring its New York office. Steve Blamer, president of Grey New York, said the plan was to move 600 staffers to different agency locations and to divide the shop into eight groups, each run by a creative head, an account supervisor and an account planner. When he headed Grey London from 1998-2000, Blamer managed along similar lines and named each group with a color. Grey New York is in the process of replacing chief creative officer Steve Novick, who is poised to assume full responsibilities as vice chairman of the holding company Grey Global Group [Adweek, March 19]. Sources said candidates include Lee Garfinkel, formerly of Lowe Lintas & Partners, and Bill Oberlander, formerly of Kirshenbaum Bond & Partners. Grey officials declined to comment.

Newswire Roundup

The Rojek Cutcher Group is handling the review for Mail Boxes Etc.’s $20 million account. The Columbus, Ohio, consultancy plans to contact shops shortly. The San Diego-based client split with Ogilvy & Mather in Los Angeles after two years. … Four New York shops are contending for the estimated $20 million CSFBdirect creative account: D’Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles, Margeotes|Fertitta + Partners, TBWA\Chiat\Day and Messner Vetere Berger McNamee Schmet terer/Euro RSCG. Kirshenbaum Bond & Partners, the incumbent, declined to participate. … The New York State Department of Health said it has awarded its $20 million antitobacco account to Korey Kay & Partners. The New York agency beat 15 undisclosed shops. … True North Communications postponed its May 16 annual meeting because of its pending acquisition by the Interpublic Group of Cos. The shareholders will vote on the deal after a government review. … Cliff Freeman and Partners in New York was tapped by Mohegan Sun Casino for its estimated $5-10 million account, beating New York-based shops Deutsch and Merkley Newman Harty and incumbent Mintz & Hoke in Avon, Conn. Spending by the client was $5-10 million last year. … The review for the $10-15 million Juniper business is down to two after Arnold Ingalls Moranville withdrew due to a client conflict. Saatchi & Saatchi in San Francisco and a.k.a. Euro RSCG remain in the hunt.

For the Record

A newswire item [Adweek, March 26] misstated FCB’s current relationship with the U.S. Postal Service. The New York-based shop continues to handle direct marketing and interactive advertising for the client.