Deere & Co. Puts $45 Mil. Media Buying Business in Play

CHICAGO Deere & Co. is evaluating its $45 million media-buying account, now at IPG’s Initiative, the client confirmed. The review is “part of due diligence” and in its “very early stages,” said a representative for Deere’s Cary, N.C.-based commercial- and consumer-equipment division. Creative and media planning, at IPG’s Foote Cone & Belding in Chicago, are not part of the review, the rep said. Sources said consultancy Jones Lundin Beals in Chicago has contacted shops. JLB referred calls to the client.

Air Force Seeks Shop For Recruitment Account

CHICAGO The U.S. Air Force is gearing up to review its reserves-recruitment account, a one-year contract with four options to renew and an annual budget of $13-18 million, according to a government Web site. Creative and media duties are in play, the site said. Advertising will support the department’s prior service, non-prior service, health- profession and officer programs, the site said. Proposals will be requested Thursday. A briefing is scheduled for early June. Omnicom’s GSD&M has handled the Air Force’s $50 million general-recruitment account since November 2000. The Austin, Texas-based agency is expected to participate.

BBDO Exits Samsung Review, Citing In-House Involvement

NEW YORK Omnicom’s BBDO has withdrawn from the review for Samsung’s estimated $400 million global account because executives were concerned about having to split duties with the client’s in-house marketing arm, Cheil Communications, sources said. BBDO was concerned, said sources, that it would be serving two masters, Cheil and Samsung, and that as Cheil expands internationally, it could eventually elbow out other shops. Remaining in contention are the incumbent, IPG’s Foote Cone & Belding; WPP’s J. Walter Thompson and Red Cell, which are pitching as a team; and Publicis’ Leo Burnett and Saatchi & Saatchi, also pitching as a team. The first round of presentations is set for June, sources said. A decision date has not been determined. An agency rep declined comment. The client could not be reached.

MDC Eyes London Acquisitions As Porter Makes Rounds

NEW YORK Chuck Porter, chairman of Crispin Porter + Bogusky and MDC’s chief agency scout, was prospecting for the Canadian holding company in London last week. Porter, who has visited London three times in the past four months, said, “When I look at the landscape of the world, London is a place where there are a lot of smart people.” Porter would not identify possible acquisition targets. When asked about Mother, one of London’s most famous independents, Porter said only that the shop “brings a fresh, innovative perspective.”

Lawmakers Seek $90 Mil. To Study Media’s Effect on Kids

WASHINGTON Three powerful U.S. lawmakers are seeking $90 million over five years to study the effect of intensive media use on children. TV, the Internet, movies and videogaming all would be scrutinized under the proposal from Sens. Joe Lieberman, D-Conn., Hillary Rodham Clinton, D-N.Y., and Sam Brownback, R-Kan. The senators last week said public policy is lagging in a culture in which children use or view media more than 6 hours per day. Lieberman questioned whether TV viewing plays a role in juvenile obesity and in the increase in attention-deficit disorders.

Families Come First for Wendy’s ‘Super Value’ Campaign

NEW YORK As McDonald’s and Burger King each try to outdo the other with hip campaigns, Wendy’s will target families in its “Unofficial spokesman” effort. In one of three ads that break June 1, the chain’s unofficial spokesman, Mr. Wendy, umpires a Little League game. He tells players, “Hey, wouldn’t it be great to go for lunch with your parents after the game … like at Wendy’s?” His family will also appear in the ads, which tout Wendy’s Super Value meals. IPG’s McCann Erickson in New York handles. The tagline is, “It’s better here.” Spending was undisclosed. Wendy’s spent about $300 million on media in 2003, according to TNS Media Intelligence/CMR. A client exec said the budget will likely grow by 10-20 percent this year.

Newest Ads Call For Rumsfeld’s Dismissal

WASHINGTON launches an ad campaign today that calls on Congress and President Bush to fire Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld. One spot, set to run on Fox and CNN, shows a hooded Statue of Liberty to remind Americans of the torture of Iraqi prisoners at Abu Ghraib prison. After failing to convince the Federal Election Commission to limit fundraising by organizations like MoveOn, Republicans said they will form their own groups to run ads aimed at re-electing Bush.

Senators Reintroduce Effort To Place Tobacco in FDA’s Hands

WASHINGTON Two senators introduced a bill last week that would revive a previous effort to put control of tobacco products under the authority of the Food and Drug Administration. Sens. Mike DeWine, R-Ohio, and Edward Kennedy, D-Mass., are sponsoring the bill, which would also place tobacco ads under the FDA’s jurisdiction. Ad lobby groups are concerned that if the bill is passed, the FDA might resurrect a 1996 ruling that required further restrictions on cigarette ads in magazines, at cultural and sporting events, and at point of purchase.

Breweries Embroiled in Election Year Mudslinging Showdown

CHICAGO Anheuser-Busch last week launched a sales effort dubbed “Unleash the dogs” in response to attacks from Miller Brewing. A-B labeled Miller Lite the “Queen of Carbs” and made note of Miller’s South African ownership in a print ad by Cannonball in St. Louis that ran in USA Today last Thursday. Miller continued its “Miller for President” effort by independent Wieden + Kennedy in Portland, Ore., with a full-page ad in The New York Times noting that its beers are “American born, American brewed.” Sources said upcoming A-B radio and possibly TV spots by Omnicom’s Goodby, Silverstein & Partners in San Francisco feature Bud’s lizards, Frankie and Louie, addressing Miller’s ownership, asking how anyone can be president if one is not an American citizen.