Cablevision Taps IPG Team for Rainbow Satellite Account

NEW YORK A team of IPG shops has beaten teams from WPP and Omnicom to land advertising and marketing-services duties for the launch of Rainbow DBS, Cablevision Systems’ foray into satellite television. IPG’s Lowe in New York will take the lead on the account. Sources said the budget is estimated at $100 million, but a client representative said spending has not been determined.

7 Vie for $80 Mil. Toyota New York Dealers Account

NEW YORK Seven New York agencies have advanced in the $80 million creative review for the Greater New York Toyota Dealers Association. They are Grey; IPG’s Hill, Holliday, Connors, Cosmopulos; Omnicom’s DDB; Kirshenbaum Bond & Partners; Wolf Group; DeVito/Verdi; and the incumbent, Publicis’ Saatchi & Saatchi, sources said. The client will cut to four after officials visit the agencies. Final presentations are slated for mid-July. Roth Associates in New York is managing the process.

GM, Publicis Attempt to Mend Rift Created by Hiring Blunder

DETROIT Publicis Groupe and General Motors executives met last week in an attempt to mend the rift created when the holding company hired away one of the automaker’s top executives, sources said. It could not be determined at press time what concessions Publicis may have offered to compensate for bringing aboard GM executive Kurt Ritter late last month. Ritter was charged with overseeing the account of GM rival Toyota Motor Sales USA at Saatchi & Saatchi in Torrance, Calif. “We were very disappointed to lose a key executive,” said a GM rep. “GM has a relationship with Publicis. The details of the relationship are best kept between GM and Publicis.” The GM rep spoke on behalf of C.J. Fraleigh, executive director, corporate marketing and advertising. Publicis handles GM’s Pontiac, Cadillac and Goodwrench brands via Chemistri in Troy, Mich., as well as media planning through Starcom MediaVest Group’s GM Planworks in Detroit. IPG, which is assigned the majority of GM’s business— including Chevrolet, GMC, Buick, GM corporate and media buying via GM Mediaworks—has made overtures indicating interest in Publicis’ accounts should GM decide to punish the holding company for its faux pas, according to sources.

Pfizer Reaches Beyond JWT on Celebrex

NEW YORK Pfizer is testing creative concepts from three roster shops for use on its $80 million Celebrex brand, sources said. The client reached beyond incumbent J. Walter Thompson in New York, a WPP agency, to get ideas from Omnicom’s TBWA\Chiat\Day and Publicis, said sources. The testing began last month and is expected to conclude in the coming weeks. Separately, final presentations in reviews for Pfizer’s Bextra, Zyrtec and Zoloft brands are scheduled for late June and early July. Finalists for those brands, each of which will spend $50-70 million on ads, were selected in May.

Upfront Yields Record $9.45 Billion for Broadcast

Los Angeles The six broadcast networks took in more money during last week’s upfront negotiations than even the most optimistic sales that executives had predicted. Advertisers spent $9.45 billion on commercials in prime time, an increase of 14 percent over last year. Cost-per-thousand price hikes ranged from 15 to 22 percent. Network executives estimated that, as most networks sold out in just hours, at least $600 million was turned away.

Two N.Y. Shops Compete for AOL Time Warner’s Mystro TV

NEW YORK Two New York shops are competing for an estimated $5-10 million creative assignment for Mystro TV, a new digital subscription service from AOL Time Warner’s Interactive Video Group, sources said. DiNoto Lee and Wieden + Kennedy made presentations to client executives two weeks ago, sources said. DiNoto Lee did not return calls. Wieden declined comment, as did a client rep in New York. The finalists emerged from a pack of seven, which included Boston shops Arnold and Modernista!, sources said. The bulk of the work will run on the company’s various media properties.