DDB Loses Pep Boys Business

CHICAGO—Pep Boys-Manny, Moe & Jack pulled its $45 million account from DDB, Chicago, last week, sources said. Jeff Palmer, who took over as the Philadelphia-based auto-service chain’s svp of marketing and advertising in early November, declined to confirm the split. DDB won the business in 1998 following a review. Palmer came to Pep Boys from Home Depot, whose agency is The Richards Group in Dallas.

PriceWeber Wins Canadian Mist

ATLANTA—Brown-Forman named PriceWeber agency for its Canadian Mist whiskey. The Louisville, Ky., shop won the estimated $7 million account after a review that included Creative Alliance in Louisville, Carmichael Lynch in Minneapolis and Arnold (formerly Simmons Durham) in St. Louis [Adweek, July 16].

Dentsu Closes First Trading Day

CHICAGO—Dentsu shares closed at $3,795 on the Tokyo Stock Exchange Friday after opening at $3,391. A misplaced sell order from UBS Warburg initially caused the stock to drop to $3,295 before it recovered. Dentsu, which owns 22 percent of Bcom3, raised a net $85 million in its IPO and has a market capitalization of $5.3 billion. TSE officials are investigating the misplaced order.

Blockbuster Breaks Holiday Campaign

CHICAGO—Blockbuster introduces an Elvis-impersonating elf for its holiday campaign from Doner in Southfield, Mich. Three new TV spots feature the character singing adapted Elvis songs atop a snow-covered Blockbuster store. The campaign for the Dallas-based video-rental chain is scheduled to break early this month.

Heinz Retains Campbell Mithun for Classico

CHICAGO—H.J. Heinz will retain incumbent Campbell Mithun to handle its recently acquired Classico brand of pasta sauces. Heinz bought the brands from Borden last August. CM has had the business since 1998. Billings were not disclosed, but Borden spent $4 million advertising Classico sauces last year, according to CMR.

MindShare, Fallon, Duffy Continue Layoffs

NEW YORK—WPP media network MindShare has completed a third phase of layoffs. This time, it reduced its U.S. staff by 3 percent, or about 30 people. The Chicago office shrunk its spot-buying operation by about 20 people, sources said. Separately, Fallon in New York laid off 10 people, or about 15 percent of staff, said an agency representative. And Duffy Worldwide laid off 9 people, or 25 percent of U.S. staff, in New York and Minneapolis.

ING Has Interest in East, Midwest Shops

BOSTON—ING Direct, the online banking unit of ING Group, has launched a review of its ad account, estimated at $50 million. Incumbent Howard, Merrell & Partners in Raleigh, N.C., is not participating, said Rick Hooker, president of Boston consultancy Pile and Co. Large, creatively driven agencies in the East and Midwest are preferred, but location is not a strict criterion, sources said. About 20-25 agencies have received the initial request for proposals.