Red Jade to Select Agency for $75-100 Mil. Prize

LOS ANGELES—Red Jade in Palo Alto, Calif., plans to hand its estimated $75-100 million account to Portland, Ore.-based Wieden + Kennedy, sources said. The startup had been meeting with a handful of undisclosed West Coast shops about a 2001 consumer campaign for a hand-held wireless entertainment device.

Kirshenbaum Names Creative Team

NEW YORK—The duo of copywriter Rob Feakins and art director Logan Wilmont has replaced Bill Oberlander as head of Kirshenbaum Bond & Partners’ creative department. Feakins, 44, was previously creative director at Lowe Lintas & Partners; Wilmont, 42, joined the agency as a creative director in 1998 and became a creative partner last year. He and Feakins share the title of executive creative director and serve as managing partners. Before Lowe Lintas, Feakins was co-creative director at the former Ammirati Puris Lintas, with Roger Bentley.

MarchFIRST Gets $150 Mil. in Funding

ATLANTA—An investment company plans to buy $150 million worth of marchFIRST stock, seemingly relieving pressure for the Chicago-based e-commerce solutions provider to sell off its signature asset, McKinney & Silver in Raleigh, N.C., to raise short-term operating funds. Last month, marchFIRST warned it needed $50 million to stay afloat. The new deal calls for Francisco Partners, a San Francisco-based private-equity firm that invests in technology companies, to buy 150,000 shares of marchFIRST stock, giving the venture capitalist a 32 percent stake.

Goodby to Unveil Talking Ants in Milk Spots

LOS ANGELES—Goodby, Silverstein & Partners uses live “talking” ants in a new “Got milk?” spot for the California Milk Processor Board. The San Francisco-based shop enlisted the help of about 1,000 ants for the 30-second commercial slated to air January 8. In the ad, ants eat crumbs dropped by a family on a picnic and try to drink spilt milk. The spot will run in California and possibly other major markets. Goodby handles media planning; Creative Media in New York handles buying.

Organic to Lay Off 25 Percent of Staff

NEW YORK—Organic is to lay off 270 employees, about 25 percent of its total work force, effective immediately. Additionally, co-founder and chairman Jonathan Nelson will step down from his duties as CEO. Mark Kingdon has been named CEO of the company, effective Jan. 15. Kingdon, who formerly held positions at PriceWaterhouse Coopers and Idealab, will oversee day-to-day operations, while Nelson will continue to be involved in long-term strategy. The San Francisco-based company has closed its Boston office and plans to close its Atlanta office within two months. The changes follow lower-than-expected revenue and earnings for the fourth quarter of 2000.

Kent Named President of Universal McCann

NEW YORK—Robin Kent has been promoted to president, Universal McCann, a new position with global responsibilities, effective Jan. 1. For four years, he has been regional director responsible for Europe, Africa and the Middle East. The agency is the media service arm of Interpublic Group’s McCann-Erickson Worldwide, which launched Universal McCann as a global brand in October 1999. Kent’s successor has yet to be determined.

Powell Leaves Duffy to Start Agency

NEW YORK—Neil Powell, president worldwide of design shop Duffy in New York, is leaving this month to open his own design agency in New York called Powell. As a result, Duffy CEO Joe Duffy, now based in Minneapolis, will spend more time here. A search for a successor is under way. Powell, 33, who also was a managing partner of Fallon in New York, is opening the business with two undisclosed clients. Duffy is a unit of Fallon.

Newswire Roundup

An agency started by former Fallon Minneapolis group creative director Mike Lescarbeau has officially opened its doors under the name ONE. … Starcom MediaVest Group will name Nick Brien president of U.S. corporate business development. Brien will take on many of the duties previously handled by SMG COO Bob Brennan, who takes over as president of Leo Burnett Worldwide on Jan. 1. … Jay Bingle, worldwide CEO of Impiric, is leaving the shop this month, sources said. Impiric, a unit of the WPP Group’s Young & Rubicam Group, is searching for a replacement. … Chris Bryan, former owner of B.A. Advertising in Dallas, has been recruited to establish Wanamaker Associates’ ad consultancy practice in Dallas. The office is the first domestic expansion for Atlanta-based Wanamaker, which has a London office. … About 30 staffers were given notice at GSD&M last month, the result of management’s forecast of lower spending by clients next year. … Karen Kingsley, former president of Toolbox, has joined Deutsch as svp, associate director of business development, a new position, effective immediately. … Intelligence Factory, the trend-spotting unit of Young & Rubicam Group, is being eliminated by parent company WPP Group, sources said. About a dozen staffers worked at the unit, some of whom will be absorbed by other Y&R units. Intelligence Factory president Marian Salzman and Ira Matathia confirmed their departure in an internal e-mail last week. The elimination comes as WPP cuts costs and tries to create synergies between Y&R and other WPP units. … The Toronto office of FCB Worldwide has retained the estimated $5 million Levi Strauss account in Canada after a review. … Independent Media in New York has added media duties for Viacom cable network Country Music Television, estimated at $5-10 million, without a review. Draft Worldwide in New York was the incumbent.