Lawsuit Puts Anti-Smoking Advertising on Hold

CHICAGO—A lawsuit by customers of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota has shelved, temporarily at least, the company’s plan for an $80-110 million anti-smoking ad program. A BCBS review ended last week with Crispin Porter + Bogusky of Miami declared the winner, but no advertising will be created until the lawsuit is resolved. Plaintiffs argue that the ad money, which came from the state’s share of winnings from a lawsuit against Big Tobacco, should go to BCBS customers. Other finalists in the review were BBDO and Carmichael Lynch, both in Minneapolis.

David B. Abramson, D.C. Ad Exec, Dies at 67

ATLANTA—David B. Abramson, founder of Abramson Ehrlich Manes, died Aug. 8 of cancer at the Hospice of Northern Virginia. During his ad career in Washington, D.C., Abramson, 67, served as chairman of the American Association of Advertising Agencies’ mid-Atlantic region. In 1988, the Advertising Club of Metropolitan Washington awarded him its Silver Medal for outstanding contributions to the industry. His clients included former Washington mayor Marion Barry, D.C. Council member Jack Evans and D.C. Council chairman David A. Clarke. Abramson also worked at BBDO and Norman, Craig & Kummel in New York.

South Carolina Agencies Combine Operations

ATLANTA—Chernoff/Silver & Associates and Newman Saylor & Gregory merged operations last week. The combined billings of $65-70 million make the Columbia, S.C., agency, now operating as CNSG, one of the three largest in the state, behind Erwin-Penland and The Leslie Agency, also in Columbia. Lee Bussell, NS&G president, becomes chairman and chief executive officer of CNSG. CS&A founder Rick Silver becomes vice chairman, and CS&A chief operating officer David Campbell is now president and chief operating officer. The approximately 70 staffers of the new entity will be located at NS&G’s current headquarters on Gervais Street. No layoffs are expected, according to agency representatives. Clients include the South Carolina Education Lottery, Dayton Power & Light and Shell Oil Company.

Farm Equipment Dealer to Leave Buntin Group

CHICAGO—Farm equipment retailer Tractor Supply Company is expected to name Carmichael Lynch its lead advertising agency, sources said. The account, which sources valued at $15-20 million, was awarded after a review that included incumbent The Buntin Group of Nashville, Tenn., J. Walter Thompson in Atlanta andChicago Creative Partnership, sources said. A representative for the Minneapolis agency referred calls to the client. Client officials declined comment. The Nashville-based company spent $4 million on advertising last year, according to CMR.

Wray Ward Laseter Breaks National Campaign

ATLANTA—Wray Ward Laseter is launching a print push for Spring Industries this month. Ads for the Wamsutta and Springmaid brands carry an “Indulge yourself” tagline and will run in Modern Bride, Elle Décor, People and other magazines. WWL is based in Charlotte, N.C.