Bates Loses $180 Mil. Hyundai Biz, Gains New Chief

LOS ANGELES—Hyundai Motor America’s four regional dealer associations last week notified Bates USA West that they are terminating the relationship with the Irvine, Calif., shop, said Hyundai Motor America representative Chris Hosford. The contracts are up at the end of August or September, depending on the region, he said. Media duties for the $180 million account are expected to go to Carat in Los Angeles, while The Richards Group in Dallas is expected to add dealer creative. Hosford said no contracts have been signed with Carat or Richards. The move follows a cut of 20 employees, or 27 percent of the staff, at Bates USA West last month. President and CEO Tim Hart and vice chairman, ecd Mike Robertson were among those laid off. John Upton, evp and group account director, is now leading the office. Bates declined comment.

Heinz Seeks Shop for Pet-Food Brands

NEW YORK—H.J. Heinz Co. is contacting agencies about handling an estimated $15 million in ad duties on its pet-food brands, including Kibbles ‘n Bits and 9 Lives, sources said. Heinz in Pittsburgh has approached shops through New York consultancy Roth Associates, said sources. Heinz took the business in-house after splitting with J. Walter Thompson in Chicago last year. Neither Roth nor the client could be reached.

ONDCP Extends Ogilvy Contract for 30 Days

WASHINGTON—Ogilvy & Mather’s contract with the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy on its anti-drug media campaign has been extended to July 3. ONDCP will extend the New York shop’s contract every 30 days until it selects an agency to handle its $150 million account. A decision is due this month.

TBWA\C\D Leaves, McCann Enters, Lottery Review

LOS ANGELES—TBWA\Chiat\Day has withdrawn from review for the five-year, $125 million California Lottery account, an agency representative said, citing the shop’s desire to pursue new business as a reason. As a result, the lottery named McCann-Erickson in Los Angeles a finalist. TBWA\C\D in Playa del Rey, Calif., was named a finalist two weeks ago, as was DDB and the incumbent, Grey, both Los Angeles, and Foote, Cone & Belding in San Francisco.

Kerstetter Exits Black Rocket

SAN FRANCISCO—Creative director Bob Kerstetter is leaving Black Rocket/Euro RSCG to pursue a directing and writing career. Kerstetter, 42, launched the agency in 1996 with partners John Yost and Steve Stone. The pair will continue to head the shop.

Account Activity

G Whiz, a division of Grey Global Group, has won a $5-10 million creative assignment from Progressive Insurance that targets teens, sources said, besting Odiorne Wilde Narraway & Partners in San Francisco and DiMassimo Brand Advertising in New York. New York consultancy Roth Associates managed the search. … IHOP Corp. in Glendale, Calif., has cut to six or seven undisclosed semifinalists in the review for its $30 million creative account, an IHOP representative said. The search is being led by Atlanta-based consultant Gregg Nettleton.