Lowe Drops Lintas Name; Octagon Taps New CEO

NEW YORK—Interpublic Group last week confirmed the long-anticipated name change of Lowe Lintas & Partners to Lowe Worldwide, effective Jan. 1. The change is designed to underscore the creative heritage of Lowe and shed the packaged-goods connotations of Lintas, a name acquired through the merger of Lowe & Partners and Ammirati Puris Lintas in 1999. “Frank Lowe is one of the legendary creative leaders in our business, and the global stature of the agency is testament to that,” said IPG CEO John Dooner. Separately, IPG sports marketing operation Octagon is shifting its headquarters from London to New York, with co-founder Les Delano inheriting the CEO title from Lowe, who remains chairman.

CL in Line for Burger King Work

CHICAGO—Carmichael Lynch could be a beneficiary of Burger King’s ongoing efforts to put together a stable of agencies to handle its $400 million ad account, sources said. Client and agency executives were believed to have met in September, sources said. The client could not be reached, and an executive with the Minneapolis shop denied knowledge of a meeting. BK split with McCann-Erickson in New York on its $400 million account earlier this year. CL parent company Interpublic Group is making a concerted effort to keep the BK business within the family. Two other IPG shops, The Martin Agency in Richmond, Va., and Gotham in New York, have met with BK executives in recent weeks, sources said.

Richards to Rebrand Pep Boys

DALLAS—Pep Boys-Manny, Moe & Jack will reconsider its entire brand positioning after shifting its $40 million ad account to The Richards Group, the client said. Jeff Palmer, Pep Boys’ recently arrived svp of marketing and advertising, said work by former incumbent DDB in Chicago had never focused on a single theme. “We’re re-evaluating all of that,” said Palmer, who joined Pep Boys last month from Home Depot, another Richards’ client, where he was vp of marketing and advertising. The Pep Boys account went to Richards last week without a review.

Pant Sets Reebok Ad Goals for 2002, Ups Budget

BOSTON—Micky Pant, the new chief marketing officer at Reebok, said the sneaker giant will likely increase its ad budget next year in an effort to be viewed as the “cool” athletic-clothing choice, though he gave no specifics. Annual global spending has been about $100 million, Reebok has said. Pant said the “Defy convention” positioning introduced in January by Berlin Cameron & Partners in New York will remain the brand’s overall theme for the foreseeable future, though the next round of image ads will be from Arnell Group in New York. Ads will break on Jan. 22, and specific spots for men’s products, also from Arnell, will break on Feb. 10, Pant said. Berlin Cameron handles Reebok’s women’s lines. Bartle Bogle Hegarty in New York, which had been handling the client’s “Classics” line, will likely be off the account soon, Pant said.

Cordiant Revenue Slips; Layoffs to Come

NEW YORK—Cordiant Communications Group predicted last week that revenue for 2001 will decline 9 percent from 2000, as opposed to a September estimate of 5 percent. As a result, the London-based parent of Bates, 141 and Fitch, among others, said it plans to reduce its work force of 10,000 by 1,100, or 11 percent, across all of its businesses. Cordiant also plans to merge or consolidate a number of its units around the world and close or reorganize loss-making operations, the company said. Cordiant’s interactive business, CCG.XM, will become part of Bates and 141. The reduction in media spending and project-based business, coupled with cancellations of planned campaigns, were factors that led to the revised forecast.

Crudup to Continue on MasterCard Campaign

NEW YORK—McCann-Erickson has renewed its contract with Billy Crudup, the actor who has narrated its “Priceless” campaign for MasterCard since 1997. Crudup, who signed a multi-year deal to continue on Mastercard, has appeared in films such as Inventing the Abbotts.

Study: Consumers Want Return to Normality

NEW YORK—Nearly three months after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, consumers are counting on a return to normality and want advertisers to recognize it, according to a study by Initiative Media North America and The Massachusetts School of Technology. Some of the primary points to emerge from the data, which show that 35 percent of those surveyed said they intend to stay close to home, are that consumers are likely to enjoy home entertainment, as opposed to going out. Hence, the increased consumption of publications and higher TV viewership since Sept. 11 has opportunities for advertisers who seek to strengthen their connections to the public, the survey found.

Newswire Roundup

Havas Advertising will change its name to simply Havas next year after purchasing the moniker for about $4 million, based on the current rate of exchange, from parent company Vivendi Universal. … Zenith Optimedia Group’s Zenith USA has promoted three top executives in the U.S. Tim Jones, 42, was named president of Zenith USA, a new position. He was formerly evp, director, worldwide client services and business development. Peggy Green, 58, evp and director, national broadcast, advanced to president, national broadcast. Neil Ascher, 40, was promoted to evp of Zenith USA from svp, communications planning. Jones and Green will report to Rich Hamilton, CEO, the Americas, of the network. Ascher will report to Jones. … Gleason/Calise/Associates has closed its doors, according to sources. Founder and president Matthew Gleason declined comment.