Hotlines

The Wolf Group Shutters Struggling New York Office

NEW YORK The Wolf Group is closing its Manhattan office effective immediately, sources said [Adweek Online, Jan. 30]. Paul Kelly, president and CEO of Wolf’s parent, Toronto-based Wolf Group Integrated Communications, broke the news to the 50-person staff Friday evening. The office, which claimed billings of $250 million in 2002, has since struggled to win accounts and lost Scotts Co.’s estimated $50 million media business and the $8 million “I New York” account in 2003. Wolf also has offices in Cleveland and Rochester, N.Y.



Sara Lee Consolidates $200 Mil. Media Business at Starcom

LOS ANGELES Sara Lee has consolidated its $200 million-plus U.S. media planning and buying business at Publicis’ Starcom in Chicago without a review. Falling off the roster were Publicis’ Optimedia in Dallas; IPG shops Mullen in Winston-Salem, N.C., and The Martin Agency in Richmond, Va.; Havas’ MPG in Chicago; Omnicom’s OMD in Chicago; and independent Shahid & Co. in New York. Meanwhile, four finalists in the $40 million creative review for Sara Lee’s Jimmy Dean and Ball Park accounts presented last week. Havas’ McKinney + Silver in Raleigh, N.C., pitched first, followed by Omnicom’s Element 79 in Chicago and TBWA\Chiat\Day in Playa del Rey, Calif. WPP’s Ogilvy & Mather presented last. A decision is due this week.



Muhammad Ali Is ‘Impossible’ Icon in $50 Mil. Adidas Effort

SAN FRANCISCO TBWA\Chiat\Day is poised to break the TV, print and Internet component of a $50 million global Adidas effort featuring Muhammad Ali on Thursday. The boxing legend, who wore Adidas throughout his career, will be featured alongside his daughter Lalia Ali with the tagline, “Impossible is nothing.” Billboards went up last week in San Francisco; Portland, Ore.; and Los Angeles. NBA star Tracy McGrady will also appear in the print and TV work.



Hotels.com Chooses Finalists In $55 Mil. Creative Contest

DALLAS Three shops remain in Hotels.com’s $55 million creative review: Dallas independent The Richards Group; Bartle Bogle Hegarty in New York (49 percent-owned by Publicis) and Publicis in Mid America in Dallas, sources said. Cut last week were Omnicom’s DDB in Chicago; WPP’s J. Walter Thompson in New York; and Publicis’ Leo Burnett in Chicago, Publicis & Hal Riney in San Francisco and The Kaplan Thaler Group in New York. A client rep said a decision is expected by the end of the month.



Magic Johnson Again Stars in Y&R’s Lincoln-Mercury Ads

DEARBORN, MICH. WPP’s Young & Rubicam launches a Lincoln-Mercury TV campaign today, with four 30-second spots touting the Lincoln Town Car, Navigator and Aviator, and four 15-second spots spotlighting the 2004 Mercury Monterey, the division’s first full-size luxury minivan. The campaign, tagged, “One more reason,” revives the 30-second Magic Johnson “Father & Son” Navigator spot from last fall and introduces a 30-second spot with Johnson and his wife, Cookie, created by UniWorld Group. Johnson sings along with the Smokey Robinson song “Cruisin’ ” while driving the Aviator. Billings were undisclosed. The carmaker spent $270 million from January-November, according to Nielsen Monitor-Plus.



Mack Promoted to Oversee ‘Adweek’ Interactive Coverage

NEW YORK Ann M. Mack has been promoted to Interactive Editor at Adweek. In her new role, Mack will be responsible for all of Adweek’s interactive coverage in print and online. That includes the recent relaunch of interactive coverage in Adweek, the expansion of Internet-related news online at Adweek.com and IQ Daily, an e-newsletter. Mack, 28, joined Adweek in 2000 as a reporter for IQ news. A year later, she shifted to Adweek proper to cover general agencies. At the end of 2001, Mack assumed editorial control of the IQ newsletter. “Anyone who has worked with Ann knows she is a dedicated, relentless reporter who is full of ideas and enthusiasm,” said Adweek editor Alison Fahey, to whom Mack reports. “The entire editorial operation will benefit from her increased involvement.”