AAR RFPs Due Back From Long Subaru List, Potential Kia Suitors

NEW YORK At least 17 of the approximately 20 shops that received Subaru of America’s RFP were expected to return the form, which is due back to AAR Partners in New York today. Sources said the shops include Grey in New York; IPG’s Avrett Free Ginsberg and Foote Cone & Belding, both New York, Campbell Mithun in Minneapolis and The Martin Agency in Richmond, Va.; MDC’s Kirshenbaum Bond + Partners and Margeotes|Fertitta + Partners, both New York, and Colle + McVoy in Minneapo- lis; Omnicom’s Martin/ Williams in Minneapolis; Publicis-backed Bartle Bogle Hegarty and The Kaplan Thaler Group, both New York, and Publicis & Hal Riney in San Francisco; WPP’s Berlin Cameron/Red Cell; and independents Tucker Hampel Stefanides & Partners in New York, Eisner Communications in Baltimore, Cramer-Krasselt in Chicago and Bernstein-Rein in Kansas City, Mo. The national account was valued at $130 million, plus $35 million for regional ads. A similar RFP from AAR was issued last week for creative duties on Kia Motor America’s $200 million national and regional account. That RFP is due back by June 28.

CEOs Continue Pitching in $400 Mil. Samsung Review

NEW YORK Final pitches in Samsung’s $400 million global ad review began on Friday, with top Saatchi & Saatchi and Leo Burnett executives presenting as part of a Publicis Groupe team that included CEO Maurice Lévy, sources said. The CEOs of two other holding companies chasing the business—IPG’s David Bell and WPP’s Martin Sorrell—are also participating, said sources. IPG’s team, led by creative incumbent Foote Cone & Belding, and WPP’s, which pairs Red Cell with J. Walter Thompson, pitch today and tomorrow, respectively. The meetings are taking place at Samsung’s global headquarters in South Korea.

Fraud Trial of Former Ogilvy Execs Pushed Back

NEW YORK The trial date in the case of two former Ogilvy & Mather executives charged with falsifying time sheets while working on the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy’s media campaign has been moved to Nov. 8, according to court documents filed with the U.S. District Court of New York. Thomas Early and Shona Seifert were originally scheduled to stand trial Sept. 7 on charges that they allegedly schemed to defraud the U.S. government while working on the ONDCP campaign. Judge Richard M. Berman moved the trial date to allow the prosecution and defendants’ legal teams more time for “discovery” related to extensive files containing e-mail records of Ogilvy employees.

Kerry’s Spot-TV Spending Climbs While Bush Pulls Back

WASHINGTON Democratic contender John Kerry’s advertising on spot TV increased during the first three months of this year and spiked in April and May, while President Bush’s spend has steadily decreased each month since he launched his ads in May, according to a study by Nielsen Monitor-Plus. Bush and Kerry have spent $64 million combined on local TV ads since January. Bush has spent $36 million in 100 markets, while Kerry’s outlay has been $28 million in 121 markets. Bush has spent most of his money in Philadelphia, while Kerry has concentrated on Phoenix, Minneapolis, Detroit and Cleveland.

Healthcare Shops Compete for $300 Mil.+ Schering-Plough Biz

NEW YORK Schering-Plough, maker of Claritin, Nasonex, Bain de Soleil, and Dr. Scholls, has invited several holding-company teams to pitch its global professional-services marketing business, sources said. The review includes communications directed at physicians and the healthcare community, currently handled by myriad agencies worldwide. Holding companies contacted include WPP, Omnicom and Havas, sources said, all of which own agencies on the client’s roster. It is unclear whether Publicis, another holding company with Schering-Plough business, is also participating. (Publicis’ Zenith Media in New York handles Schering-Plough media duties, which are not in play.) No budget was disclosed. Schering-Plough spent about $300 million on U.S. ads in 2003, according to Nielsen Monitor-Plus. Sources estimated the business could be worth $400 million. A client rep declined comment.

Anti-Obesity Legislation Looks To Restrict Ads Aimed at Kids

WASHINGTON Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, introduced a bill on Friday that would require menus at chain restaurants to list nutritional information, give the Federal Trade Commission the authority to restrict unfair ads targeting children, and allow the Food and Drug Administration to regulate tobacco products. The bill would also require the Secretary of Agriculture to regulate the sale of junk foods in schools, prohibit tobacco ads aimed at kids and eliminate tax deductions taken for tobacco ads. Harkin included the marketing restrictions as part of a broader bill that seeks to combat chronic disease and obesity.

Snapple, New York Celebrate Start of $166 Mil. Deal

NEW YORK Snapple and New York City today kick off the five-year, $166 million partnership that makes Snapple the exclusive vending provider of water and fruit drinks to city schools. This summer, Snapple will tout the brand citywide with a series of marketing events and signage on city property. The pact was charged by city comptroller William Thompson to be the fruits of a tainted bidding process, but it has since cleared those hurdles. The New York State Supreme Court has yet to rule on whether future marketing plans involving new partners must be approved by the Franchise Concession Review Committee.

3 Vie to ‘Revive’ English Muffins Brand’s Advertising

new york At least three New York shops—Avrett Free Ginsberg, Klamath Communications and Seiter & Miller Advertising—are set to present creative ideas next week in a review for Thomas’ English Muffins, formerly with Bates USA in New York, said sources. A letter from the client asked shops for print and point-of-sale ideas that would revive the brand, closely tied to traditional white muffins, by touting its Hearty Grains line. Spending on the brand has declined from about $15 million in 2000 to approximately $5 million in 2003 and less than $200,000 through April, according to Nielsen Monitor Plus.