Soderstrom Joins Converse

BOSTON—Modernista! said it is developing a fall push for Converse, its first work under the direction of Erick Soderstrom, who has joined the North Reading, Mass., apparel company as its chief marketer. He succeeds Cheryl McCants, who left the company. Converse emerged from bankruptcy last year and launched a national print push from Boston’s Modernista!, which was tagged, simply, “Shine.” Soderstrom joined Holland Mark in March 2001 as an evp, and was named president of the Boston agency shortly before it closed in October. He had previously held marketing posts at sports retailer and Nintendo North America, and has worked at the Seattle offices of McCann-Erickson and DDB.

Digitas Issues Warning for Third Quarter

BOSTON—Digitas last week issued a warning to investors for the third quarter, saying it might take a $25-35 million charge if it cannot renegotiate real estate contracts or dispose of excess space in several markets where it maintains offices. The warning came amid generally positive financial results for the Boston-based marketing company, which reported net income of $1.8 million for the second quarter on revenue of $74 million, compared with a loss of $35 million on revenue of $89.5 million for the same period a year ago.

Decker to Relaunch Orangina in 2003

BOSTON—Decker has begun devising strategies for Snapple’s Orangina brand and plans to launch a $2-3 million U.S. campaign next year. The agency, in Glastonbury, Conn., last week was tapped by the client, which did not have a domestic shop on board. The work is in the early planning stages, but an integrated effort is expected, likely a mix of print and promotions.

McDonald’s Awards Diner Inside to DDB

BOSTON—McDonald’s awarded ad chores for its Diner Inside account to DDB, Chicago. Roster agencies Arnold, Boston, and Leo Burnett, Chicago, as well as the Chicago office of nonroster shop Ogilvy & Mather, had been invited to pitch. The first Diner Inside opened in March 2001 in Kokomo, Ind., offering traditional diner fare. DDB will handle TV for the introduction of the concept in Evansville, Ind.

Hotline Roundup

NEW YORK—Seven shops have advanced in H.J. Heinz Co.’s $10-15 million pet-food review: D’Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles, New York; Arnold McGrath, New York; Doner, Southfield, Mich.; Element 79, Chicago; The Martin Agency, Richmond, Va.; Carmichael Lynch, Minneapolis; and Suissa Miller, Los Angeles, sources said. The client is expected to visit the shops this week, before cutting to three finalists. New York consultancy Roth Associates is managing the search. … Lands’ End is issuing proposal requests for its $20 million account through the Rojek Cutcher Group, with pitches set for late September and a decision early the following month, a representative for the Dodgeville, Wis., retailer said. The client is splitting with Omnicom shop Element 79, where it was moved by DDB, Chicago, two months ago in an apparently unsuccessful effort to shield it from conflict with DDB’s J.C. Penney business.