Maxxcom Parent-to-Be MDC Reports Income Drop in Q2

TORONTO MDC Corp., which is in the process of buying out marketing-services affiliate Maxxcom, said its second-quarter net income plummeted 90 percent to $8.6 million or 53 cents per share. Operating income, before charges, dropped 41 percent to $6 million. Sales dropped 15 percent to $134.8 million. Operating income at Maxxcom, before charges, increased 42 percent to $2 million. Maxxcom revenue dropped 2.4 percent to $101.5 million from the same period last year. Maxxcom owns a stake in Miami-based Crispin Porter + Bogusky and New York-based Margeotes|Fertitta + Partners.

AOL to Break Ads for Next Generation of Online Service

NEW YORK Omnicom’s BBDO in New York will break a teaser campaign Aug. 18 for America Online’s new AOL 9.0 broadband service, sources said. The first spot does not mention the newest version of the service, but it introduces the theme line, “Life needs…” with different AOL attributes completing the sentence. Three additional commercials that focus on 9.0 will begin rolling out later in the month and will replace BBDO’s current campaign for AOL Broadband. That work broke in March and was tagged, “Welcome to the world wide wow.” AOL Time Warner began offering a preview version of AOL 9.0 to subscribers on Friday. BBDO is readying a larger campaign for AOL 9.0 that will break closer to the wide release of the product in mid-October, sources said. AOL declined comment, as did a BBDO rep.

Shops Pitch Kmart in Colorado, Await Next Step

NEW YORK At least five agencies made presentations last week to Kmart in Aspen, Colo., as the retailer ended its three-year relationship with Omnicom’s TBWA\Chiat\Day in New York after wrangling in court (see page 7). Among the shops presenting were WPP’s J. Walter Thompson in New York; IPG’s Campbell-Ewald in Warren, Mich.; Havas’ Euro RSCG MVBMS Partners in New York; Doner in Southfield, Mich.; and Grey in New York, said sources. The pitches took place over three days at the Hotel Jerome. The review panel included CEO Julian Day, chief information officer Karen Austin, vp of corporate systems Julie Younglove-Webb and two executives from Kmart backer ESL Investments: president William Crowley and CEO Ed Lampert, said sources. Kmart, which spent $270 million on ads last year, is expected to pick an agency or invite finalists for another round of presentations. Day is said to be mulling a project-based setup that would use more than one agency. The contenders declined comment, and the client did not return calls.

‘Adweek’ Names Solman West Coast Editor

LOS ANGELES Gregory Solman has joined Adweek as West Coast editor. Solman, 45, has more than 20 years of journalism experience, including stints as editor-in-chief of Variety’s On Production and 10 years as senior editor of Millimeter, a motion picture, TV and commercial-production trade magazine. His film criticism has appeared in Film Comment, The Boston Phoenix and on radio, television and In his new post, Solman will cover West Coast-based national agencies and entertainment-marketing news, working with national news editor Jack Feuer. He will also contribute to Adweek’s Creative department and Web site.

News Roundup

The creative portion of The Sports Authority’s $80 million ad account is in review. The sporting-goods retailer, expected to merge with Gart Sports in October, has requested credentials from 15-20 agencies nationwide. The winning agency will rebrand all of the merged company’s properties under The Sports Authority brand, sources said. WestWayne in Tampa, Fla., currently handles The Sports Authority’s account. … Travelocity is talking to consultants about its estimated $30 million account, sources said. The Richards Group in Dallas and its interactive affiliate, Click Here, have handled Travelocity work since 1999. A client rep denied the discussions, saying it was working with the incumbents on Q4 ads. … TIAA-CREF, a New York-based organization that offers insurance and pension investments to teachers nationwide, is talking to agencies about its $20 million account, now at Ogilvy & Mather in New York, sources said. The client visited shops last week and is expected to draw up a short list this week, said a source. The client and incumbent could not be reached.