OnStar Taps Digitas for Direct Assignment

BOSTON—OnStar, a subsidiary of General Motors, has awarded a direct-mail project to Digitas, following a review. Campbell-Ewald in Warren, Mich., remains lead agency for the navigation system and continues to do other direct-mail initiatives. The Digitas assignment focuses on customer loyalty and retention and targets the two million current OnStar subscribers, said an OnStar representative. OnStar spent about $30 million in measured media in 2001 and about $10 million through the first seven months of 2002, according to CMR. Digitas in Boston handles GM’s direct-mail and Web site, while the agency’s New York office handles its event marketing.

4 Shops Pursue Novartis Drug

NEW YORK—Four agencies are vying to handle creative duties on Diovan, a high-blood pressure drug from Novartis Pharmaceuticals that has been approved for use in treating heart failure, sources said. They are Grey, Deutsch and Merkley Newman Harty & Partners, all in New York, and Arnold, based in Boston, said sources. The budget has not been determined, but sources said billings on the global account could be in the $80 million range. Each finalist is pitching with a medical specialty shop. Deutsch, for example, has teamed with sister shop Integrated Communications Corp. in Parsippany, N.J.; Arnold, with Lally McFarland & Pantello Euro RSCG, here; Grey, with Grey Healthcare; and Merkley, with MNH Healthworks, according to sources. Deborah Dick-Rath, executive director/global advertising at Novartis in East Hanover, N.J., declined comment.

Pile and Co. Prepares Timex Review

BOSTON—Pile and Co. this week will send RFPs to an undisclosed number of agencies as Timex launches a review for its estimated $5-10 million ad account. The Middlebury, Conn.-based client had been with Fallon in Minneapolis for more than 15 years before splitting with the shop two weeks ago. A decision is expected by year’s end.

Carrier Launches Agency Search

CHICAGO—Carrier has sent RFPs to agencies for its $10-15 million ad account, the company confirmed. The business has been at Euro RSCG Tatham Partners in Chi cago since 1996. A representative for Carrier, which is based in Syracuse, N.Y., and has offices in Indianapolis, said Tatham is expected to defend.

BBDO Touts Panamanian Tourism

ATLANTA—BBDO in Atlanta seeks adventurous travelers in its first TV campaign for the Panama Tourism Bureau. The client is touting itself as “the path less traveled.” Three 30-second spots air this week on Animal Planet, National Geographic and Outdoor Life Network cable stations. Print targets high-income adventurers, bird-watchers and “eco-tourists.”

Cashman & Katz Picks Up 3 New Accounts

BOSTON—Cashman & Katz Integrated Marketing in Glastonbury, Conn., has added three new clients to its roster: the National Kidney Foundation of Connecticut in West Hartford; Connecticut Collaboration for Fall Prevention, based in New Haven; and Buckland Hills Mall in Manchester, Conn.