TBWA\Chiat\Day Bows New Circuit City Spots

NEW YORK—The first of four new Circuit City spots from TBWA\Chiat\Day roll out this week. Two employ holiday themes. One shows Santa Claus on a sunny golf course, sinking a putt and making an appointment, via cell phone, for a foot massage. The scene then switches to Santa outside a Circuit City store, gazing longingly at electronic products inside. A third spot stars a Latina multimedia sensation named Rene Ramirez, who is seen in a movie, a music video and on a Web site before morphing into a rather ordinary customer in line outside a new store. The New York shop’s work, which dials up product placement and features more dialogue than previous spots, retains the tagline, “Imagine that.”

Cliff Freeman Takes Hardee’s $80 Mil. Business

NEW YORK—Cliff Freeman and Partners has won Hardee’s estimated $80 million account, besting TBWA\Chiat\Day in Playa del Rey, Calif., WestWayne in Atlanta, and The Martin Agency in Richmond, Va. Brad Haley, evp of marketing for the Rocky Mount, N.C.-based client, joined the company in September from Church’s Chicken, whose $15 million account had been handled by Cliff Freeman in New York since August 1999. That account moved to BaylessCronin in Atlanta last week.

Verizon Taps Hill, Holliday for $50 Mil. Assignment

BOSTON—Verizon Wireless has selected Hill, Holliday, Connors, Cosmopulos for its estimated $50 million Northeast retail account following a review. The business will be handled by the 110-person New York office, which is owned by the Interpublic Group of Cos. Berenter Greenhouse & Webster and Lowe Lintas & Partners, both in New York, also competed, sources said. Bozell in New York handled the lion’s share of the work, which covers metropolitan New York, New Jersey and New England.

Winn Dixie Cuts to 3 for $42 Mil. Account

ATLANTA—The field has narrowed to three finalists in the race for Winn-Dixie Stores’ $42 million marketing account. Incumbent Cook Marketing Communications, with some back-channel assistance from Bozell chairman Gene Bartley, came roaring back to join FKQ Advertising in Clearwater, Fla., and Chicago’s Cramer-Kresselt in the finals of the Jacksonville, Fla.-based supermarket’s review.

Publicis Acquires Geltzer, Nelson

NEW YORK—Publicis DialogSM, the integrated communications agency of Publicis, has acquired public relations firm Geltzer & Co. for an undisclosed amount. Geltzer will assume the Publicis Dialog name and merge with Publicis’ New York staff in December. Publicis also recently acquired Nelson Communications, a healthcare-marketing company, for an undisclosed amount. Paris-based Publicis will consolidate its other healthcare-communication agencies under Nelson Communications Worldwide.

Chrisanthopolous Moves From MindShare to Azteca

NEW YORK—Peter Chrisanthopolous, president of national broadcast and programming at MindShare North America, is joining Spanish network Azteca America Network as president and CEO of sales and marketing. MindShare is searching for Chrisanthopolous’ replacement.

Wolf Camera Holds Early Talks for $10-20 Mil. Biz

DALLAS—Wolf Camera is contacting a handful of agencies for its estimated $10-20 million account, the first time in a decade that the retailer has looked outside for a marketing partner. Current television and radio advertising features the company’s founder, Chuck Wolf.

Grey Global Group Reports Earnings

NEW YORK—Grey Global Group, Grey Worldwide’s parent company, posted third-quarter results that showed a 15 percent rise in billings over the same quarter last year. The company reported $2 billion in billings, compared with $1.7 billion in third-quarter 1999. Net income for the third quarter of 2000 was $5 million, versus $4.6 million in the third quarter of 1999. Net income for the first nine months of this year was $16 million; the company posted a loss of nearly $2 million for the same period last year.

Cat Herding Follow-up Ready

CHICAGO—Fallon’s follow-up to its well-received “Cat Herders” spot for EDS breaks during Monday Night Football. The spot has a team of earnest workers assembling an airplane in midflight. Passengers eat and sleep on the plane as the wind whips around them. The Minneapolis shop is now working on what its president David Lubars called “a grand, epic production” for EDS to air during this year’s Super Bowl.

Newswire Roundup

DiMassimo Brand Advertising has won the estimated $30 million account for, a travel Web site that is a joint venture between McKinsey & Company and South African Airways. … Berry-Brown Advertising will close its doors after 23 years in business, following the suicide of the agency’s chief financial officer and a misappropriation of funds that has left the agency unable to pay its bills. Agency president Jim Hradecky declined to comment on the reason for the agency’s imminent closure, citing legal concerns. A source confirmed that former CFO Philip Schieber killed himself last month and “a significant amount of money is missing.” The Dallas agency’s 49-member staff was informed of the planned closing early Wednesday. … Grey Worldwide and MediaCom Digital have won creative and media duties, respectively, for, the Web site for Hachette Filipacchi’s Car and Driver. Separately, Grey Worldwide is parting ways with Kenosha, Wis.-based Jockey International due to creative differences. The account was estimated at $5 million.