RFIs Due in’s Estimated $55 Mil. Review

DALLAS Requests for information issued by for its account are due this Friday. Sources said the client is reviewing only creative duties but that media could follow. Among the shops contacted on Dec. 18: Omnicom’s GSD&M in Austin, Texas; Publicis in Mid America in Dallas; and three shops that have hotel clients: independent The Richards Group in Dallas (Red Roof Inns and Motel 6); Publicis’ Fallon in Minneapolis (Holiday Inn) and Omnicom’s DDB in Chicago (DDB’s Dallas office handles Omni Hotels), sources said. The client, which could not be reached, handles print creative and most media chores in-house. SBI.Razorfish in Portland, Ore., recently worked on broadcast creative. The client spent $55 million on advertising from January-October, according to Nielsen Monitor-Plus.

Apple to Unveil ‘1984’ Update At Macworld Conference

NEW YORK Apple Computer CEO Steve Jobs this week will commemorate the 20th anniversary of the company’s seminal “1984” Super Bowl ad by showing a tweaked version at the Macworld Conference & Expo in San Francisco, sources said. The protagonist in the original ad, a sledgehammer-wielding female athlete, will sport an iPod in the re-edited version, said sources. The work, produced by TBWA\Chiat\Day in Playa del Rey, Calif., also will be shown on the Web, sources said. TBWA\C\D referred calls to Apple, which declined comment.

BK and Y&R Alter Whopper Ads In Response To Mad Cow

NEW YORK Following the discovery of mad cow disease in the U.S., Burger King has revised new TV spots for the Whopper. Young & Rubicam in New York added a reference to the Chicken Whopper, reminding viewers that they have an option other than beef, in ads that broke yesterday. McDonald’s, which like BK said it does not use the meat suppliers associated with last month’s discovery in Washington, said it will monitor the situation to see if an ad response is warranted, a rep said. Likewise, the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association and lead agency Leo Burnett in Chicago are gauging public reaction but have yet to address the issue in ads.

Snickers’ New Energy Bar Takes On Rivals in BBDO Spots

NEW YORK A TV and print campaign for the Snickers Marathon energy bar launched Jan. 3 during the NFL Wild Card game on Fox. Ads by BBDO New York position the product as a great-tasting alternative to other such snacks. A 30-second spot shows athletes running long distances, mountain-climbing, surfing and weightlifting. “Agony,” a female voice says. “Anguish,” a male voice adds. “Despair. Pain. Words that should never define the taste of your energy bar.” The tagline is: “The energy you crave.” Spending was undisclosed. Sources said Masterfoods will spend about $10 million on the ads.

IPG to Sell Remaining Shares In Modem Media

NEW YORK IPG is expected to divest its remaining 148,000 shares, or 0.6 percent stake, in Norwalk, Conn.-based Modem Media after a mandatory waiting period of about 90 days, sources said. The New York-based holding company, previously Modem Media’s largest investor with a 42.4 percent stake, realized nearly $60 million from the sale of 11 million shares of the interactive shop’s common stock, which went for $5.40 per share in an underwritten public offering in late December. The sale is an attempt to improve IPG’s cash flow at a time when it is seeking to cut operational costs and pay down debt, sources said. IPG declined comment.

Chrysler Inks Placement Deal With NBC’s ‘The Apprentice’

NEW YORK The Chrysler Group will be the exclusive automotive sponsor of NBC’s prime-time reality show The Apprentice, created by Mark Burnett and starring Donald Trump. The package, via BBDO in Troy, Mich., also includes a web presence and mentions in promotional spots for the show, which premiers Thursday. Chrysler’s PT Cruiser, Crossfire and the forthcoming 300C sedan will receive placement on the show, and one of the vehicles will be used in a final task given to competitors.