Samsung, Agencies to Prepare For $400 Mil. Consolidation

NEW YORK Samsung executives are scheduled to meet with three U.S. agencies at the client’s Korea headquarters in two weeks to prepare for the global consolidation of its estimated $400 million ad account, sources said. IPG incumbent Foote Cone & Belding is defending. WPP has put forth J. Walter Thompson, a roster shop in China and Spain. Omnicom’s BBDO also will participate, sources said. Publicis also has been invited and has tapped either Leo Burnett or Saatchi & Saatchi as lead shop. It is unclear which shop will take point.

Victoria’s Secret Cancels Fashion Show on CBS

NEW YORK CBS and Victoria’s Secret have canceled the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show, which has aired during November sweeps since 2001. The decision was made six weeks ago, while the Federal Communications Commission was investigating CBS for Janet Jackson’s Super Bowl halftime incident, said Ed Razek, president and CMO of Victoria’s parent Limited Brands. The show initially ran on ABC, but it moved to CBS in 2002 after ABC received indecency complaints. Razak said the show, which costs about $10 million to produce and advertise, may return next year.

Berlin Cameron Makes Play for Campbell’s Condensed Soups

NEW YORK WPP’s Berlin Cameron/Red Cell is scheduled to meet this week with executives from the Campbell Soup Co. to talk about its condensed-soups business, sources said. The New York shop is not on the client’s U.S. roster, but sibling HHCL/Red Cell in London handles Godiva, which Campbell owns. Omnicom’s BBDO has the condensed-soups account; WPP’s Young & Rubicam handles Chunky Soups and Pepperidge Farms. The client could not be reached; BBDO declined comment. Campbell’s spent about $65 million on condensed-soups ads in 2003, according to TNS Media Intelligence/CMR.

Petsmart Picks 6 Contenders For $30 Mil. Creative Review

LOS ANGELES Petsmart has named six semifinalists for the creative portion of its estimated $30 million account, Select Resources International said on Friday. They are Omnicom’s DDB in San Francisco; WPP’s J. Walter Thompson in Chicago; Publicis’ Publicis & Hal Riney in San Francisco, Leo Burnett in Chicago and Publicis in Dallas; and independent davidandgoliath in Los Angeles. The Phoenix-based retailer has handled creative in-house since splitting with independent Doner in Southfield, Mich., in September 2002. Media, handled by WPP’s Mediaedge:cia in Chicago, is not in play.

Nationwide ‘Comes at You Fast’ With $60 Mil. TV Campaign

NEW YORK Nationwide, best known for its “Nationwide is on your side” jingle, keeps that tagline but aims to shake up its image with a new $60 million effort themed, “Life comes at you fast.” One of two TV spots that break next week via Temerlin McClain in Irving, Texas, shows a buff young guy with a full head of hair diving into a pool as a 30-ish woman looks on approvingly. She gasps when the man emerges middle-aged, with a big gut and balding.

Iowa Senator: Cut Drugs to Canada, Give Up Ad Tax Break

WASHINGTON Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, introduced a bill last week that would eliminate the tax deduction that drug companies take for their ads if the companies make good on a threat to cut off drug supplies to Canada. Grassley’s bill would require federal regulators to allow Americans to buy discounted prescription drugs from Canada. The drug companies oppose such a measure.

Vonage Haunts Telephone Execs’ Dreams in New Work

NEW YORK Vonage launches eight spots today that position the broadband phone service as “Your telephone company’s worst nightmare.” The work is the first by Korey Kay & Partners in New York, which won the account in March. In the commercials, a minicassette player reveals desperate messages left by former executives at big telephone companies, detailing how Vonage’s low-cost service toppled their companies and careers, and ruined their lives. CMO Dean Harris has said his 2004 ad budget would be about $20 million.