TBWA\Chiat\Day Client Goes Under

SAN FRANCISCO—, the Internet company known for the sock puppet in its TV ads, is shutting down. The move comes after the pet-goods supplier was unable to find a buyer or raise new money. The estimated $20 million account was handled by TBWA\Chiat\Day in San Francisco since June 1999. Sources said new ads have not been in production for some time.

Ikea Eyes 6 Semifinalists for $40-50 Mil. Prize

BOSTON—Six agencies have emerged as semifinalists for Ikea’s $40-50 million U.S. and Canadian account. They are: Bensimon Byrne D’Arcy in Toronto; Carmichael Lynch in Minneapolis; Crispin Porter & Bogusky in Miami; The Martin Agency in Richmond, Va.; and New York players Fallon and Messner Vetere Berger McNamee Schmetterer/Euro RSCG. The client had split with incumbent Deutsch in New York. Pile and Co. in Boston is overseeing the process.

2 Compete for $50 Mil. Marconi Business

NEW YORK—The number of contenders in Marconi’s $50 million review has gone from four to two: Bates Worldwide and Grey Worldwide. Young & Rubicam and D’Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles are no longer pursuing the account. For Y&R, it was a question of resources. The New York agency is already committed to two other reviews: the defense of its $100 million global Ericcson account and the defense of its Metropolitan Life Insurance business, billed as a $50 million account. D’Arcy in New York pulled out of the review on Nov. 6 due to a conflict with its Alcatel account in its Brussels office and elsewhere in Europe. Starting next week, New York’s Bates and Grey will participate in group briefings in Pittsburgh.

Vidal Takes Cingular’s $15-20 Mil. Hispanic Duties

DALLAS—The Vidal Partnership has won the $15-20 million Hispanic ad account of Cingular Wireless, several weeks after the telco awarded its $250 million general market account to BBDO. Finalists were Bromley Communications in San Antonio, Dieste & Partners of Dallas, and The IAC Group in Miami. San Francisco’s HeadQuarters Advertising, the incumbent for the Atlanta client’s predecessor companies, SBC Wireless and BellSouth Mobile, did not participate.

Shakeup at WestWayne; Jeffrey Johnson Ascends

ATLANTA—Jeffrey Johnson, president of WestWayne’s offices in Coral Gables and Tampa, Fla., has been named agency president. Andrew Jones, president of WestWayne in Atlanta, steps down to become chief strategic officer. WestWayne, which claims $450 million in billings, has, in effect, operated under a dual-headquarters structure: Tampa and Atlanta. (A Miami unit reports to Tampa.) Chief executive officer Ben West becomes chairman. (The CEO function has been eliminated.) Board chairman Sid Smith and Knox Massey Jr., longtime agency veterans, are retiring. Johnson, 48, is a former vp and managing partner at Wells Rich Greene BDDP in New York.

Envoy Acquires Leagas Delaney for $86 Mil.

SAN FRANCISCO—Envoy Communications has acquired Leagas Delaney in a transaction worth roughly $86 million, according to the company and the agency. Envoy said the acquisition of Leagas will give future clients more international reach as well as a domestic presence. Leagas has offices in San Francisco, Paris, London and other cities. The agency claims more than $300 million in annual billings. Under the deal, some Leagas employees will get shares of Envoy stock.

Cooke Joins Shepardson Stern + Kaminsky

NEW YORK—Marty Cooke, executive creative director at M&C Saatchi for the past two years, has become partner, creative director at Shepardson Stern + Kaminsky. SS+K’s clients include General Motors, Dell, Time Warner Cable, TiVo, Polo Ralph Lauren, Southern Co. and Chubb. Creative Artists Agency acquired a minority stake in SS+K last year, giving the shop access to actors, screenwriters and literary agents.

Newswire Roundup

Three finalists remain in contention for the $15 million account of Kohler, sources said. Participants are Frierson Mee + Partners and Merkley Newman Harty, both in New York, and GSD&M in Austin, Texas. The Kohler, Wis.-based client may also invite a fourth agency to participate. A briefing on a creative pitch assignment was held last week. … Jenny Craig has awarded its creative account to Doner, sources said. The Newport Beach, Calif., shop bested incumbent Suissa Miller and Campbell-Ewald, both in Los Angeles, and Santa Monica, Calif.-based Siltanen/Keehn. Carat continues to handle media for the $25 million account. … BBDO has expanded its duties for Pepsi-Cola by taking on the 7Up and Mirinda brands overseas, effective in January. BBDO assumes responsibilities on the two non-cola brands formerly handled by Goodby, Silverstein & Partners in San Francisco. Pepsi executives said the consolidation at BBDO will cut advertising costs and help the company compete more effectively abroad. … Incumbent Lowe Lintas & Partners in New York was cut from the review for Burger King’s $400 million creative account last week, leaving New York shops Grey Worldwide and McCann-Erickson and Campbell Mithun in Minneapolis, as expected [Adweek, Nov. 6]. … WPP’s MindShare North America is merging the media planning and buying operations of its J. Walter Thompson and Ogilvy & Mather offices in Los Angeles into a local media powerhouse that will employ more than 50 and command $300 million in billings. Named managing director of the new outpost is Mark Rice, executive media director at Ogilvy’s Southern California office.