Hotline

Verizon Names Bilney for Marketing

BOSTON—Verizon Communications elevated Jody Bilney to senior vice president, brand management and marketing communications. Now responsible for leading the company’s global marketing initiatives, including advertising, Bilney replaces Jan Keeler, who is retiring. The New York-based company spends $300-400 million on ads, mainly through Lowe Lintas & Partners, Draft and Zenith Media. No lineup changes or reviews are planned in light of Bilney’s ascension, a company representative said.

Supreme Court Hands Victory to Big Tobacco

BOSTON—The U.S. Supreme Court last Thursday rejected a Massachusetts law designed to keep tobacco ads out of view of children. The justices ruled that the restrictions were overridden by a federal law that governs tobacco labeling and advertising. The ruling calls into question similar restrictions in markets including New York, Los Angeles and Chicago. The justices said, however, that the Bay State can require shopkeepers to keep tobacco products out of youngsters’ reach

Upromise Names George Bell as CEO

BOSTON—Brand loyalty company Upromise has named George Bell chief executive officer and a member of its board. Bell succeeds founder Michael Bronner, who will remain chairman of Upromise. Bell was chairman and CEO of Excite@Home. Through Upromise consumers can establish college savings accounts in exchange for buying products and services.

Havas Concludes Circle.com Buyout

BOSTON—French conglomerate Havas Advertising last week concluded its buyout of i-shop Circle.com, swapping 22.7 million Circle shares for 2.1 million Havas shares. Circle, already operated as part of Havas’ New York-based Euro RSCG network, had been part of Snyder Communications, which Havas acquired in 2000.

Boston Ad Club Changes Name

BOSTON—The Advertising Club of Greater Boston will now be known as the Boston Idea Group. The new name was coined by Deutsch’s soon-to-closed Boston office. It is designed to appeal to integrated marketing professionals in all realms of communications.

Accounts Roundup

BOSTON—Three finalists emerged in the review for the $30 million account of the Nasdaq stock exchange. McKinney & Silver, Raleigh, N.C., and New York shops Bouchez & Co. and J. Walter Thompson advanced, sources said. Arnold, Boston, and New York agencies Grey, Kirshenbaum Bond & Partners and incumbent Messner Vetere Berger McNamee Schmetterer/Euro RSCG were semifinalists. … TBWA\Chiat\Day of New York has withdrawn from the review for the creative portion of Timberland’s $15-20 million account, according to a client representative. Seven remain in the pitch … Benes Brand Imaging, Lexington, Mass., and Holland Mark, Boston have been named finalists in the review for Northeastern University’s $500,000-1 million account.