Hotlines Launches $55 Mil.-Plus Creative Review

DALLAS Online travel company has put creative duties in review, sources said. The Dallas company, a subsidiary of IAC/ InterActiveCorp, spent about $55 million on media through October of this year, per Nielsen Monitor-Plus. It is not using a consultant. Requests for information were sent to undisclosed shops yesterday and are due Jan. 9, sources said. The move comes as client svp of marketing Cheryl Rosner prepares to take over as president in January. SBI in Portland, Ore., handles broadcast creative. The client handles print and most media duties.

BBDO Has M&Ms Characters Shed Their Colored Coats

NEW YORk A 30-second BBDO spot that breaks New Year’s Day will feature M&Ms characters Red and Yellow in a black-and-white animated ad, sources said. The spot promotes packages of black-and-white M&Ms, which are now in circulation and meant to inspire appreciation for the multi-colored ones, according to sources. A representative at the New York agency referred calls to MasterFoods executives, who could not be reached.

Drug Deputy Robert Denniston To Lead ONDCP Campaign

WASHINGTON Drug czar John Walters has chosen Robert Denniston to replace Alan Levitt as director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy’s anti-drug media campaign. Denniston has served as deputy director of the campaign since it began in 1998. He was named acting director on Sept. 12, when Levitt announced his retirement. As director, Levitt fought with Congress over the campaign’s funding and weathered a billing scandal involving its lead shop, Ogilvy & Mather in New York. Denniston must still complete the federal government’s employee-clearance process.

Campbell-Ewald Picks Up Kaiser Permanente Creative

NEW YORK Campbell-Ewald last week won creative duties for Kaiser Permanente, following a shootout with sister IPG shop McCann-Erickson, the consultant, David Melancon of Brandstream, confirmed. The agency will handle the business from its Los Angeles and Warren, Mich., offices, and share media duties with incumbent sibling Initiative Media, sources said. Melancon declined to comment on media but said the HMO, based in Oakland, Calif., will put direct and other below-the-line ad duties in review in 2004. The client has said it plans to more than double its media spend to $40 million next year.

Valvoline Moves $20 Mil. Account From Lowe to BPN

NEW YORK Valvoline is shifting its ad account from IPG’s Lowe to independent roster shop Borders Perrin Norrander, the client said. Spending on the brand has been $20 million. The move is designed to “produce cost efficiencies,” a client executive said. BPN, based in Portland, Ore., has been working on Valvoline’s Eagle One line of products. The shop is expected to tackle creative and media planning and outsource media buying. The shift, which comes without a review, is expected to be completed by Dec. 31. Lowe in New York had handled creative and media since 1998.

Unilever Shifts $25-30 Mil. Caress Account To JWT

NEW YORK IPG’s J. Walter Thompson has claimed U.S. creative duties on Unilever’s $25-30 million Caress account from Omnicom’s BBDO, JWT confirmed. The shift occurred after a series of strategic and creative meetings between the client and the New York shops, said sources. JWT handles two other Unilever soap brands: Lux and Lever 2000.

News Roundup

Saatchi & Saatchi worldwide CEO Kevin Roberts named managing partners Scott Gilbert and Mike Burns joint CEOs of the New York office, effective Jan. 1. The move dissolves the agency’s three-year managing partnership, which also included Tod Seisser and Tom Lom. … LB Works leaders Jeff Jones and Steffan Postaer are leaving the Chicago shop, an agency rep said. Jones, CEO of the unit, will remain through February; Postaer, chief creative officer, will leave at the end of December. The departures come a month after Leo Burnett CEO Linda Wolf folded the 2-year-old unit back into Burnett.