Berlin Cameron Expands Coke Duties With ‘American Idol’ Ads

NEW YORK As part of its expanded Coke Classic duties, WPP’s Berlin Cameron/Red Cell is working on the first campaign for the brand specifically linked to the Fox network’s American Idol franchise, sources said. Spots being considered will run only during the show, whose new season debuts Jan. 18, and their concept will link back to the show’s content, sources said. A Coca-Cola rep declined comment, except to say that Berlin Cameron’s role on Coke Classic will expand throughout 2005. The New York shop has handled the $155 million account since February 2003 and created the “Real” campaign. The Atlanta-based company moved the $20 million Dasani business last week from Berlin Cameron to independent Anomaly in New York, saying it wanted the former agency to devote itself entirely to the flagship brand.

Diet Pepsi Seeks More Ideas In $35 Mil. Omnicom Contest

NEW YORK Omnicom siblings BBDO and DDB will make additional presentations for the $35 million Diet Pepsi account during the week of Nov. 29, sources said. The New York shops were asked for more ideas after another sibling, TBWA\Chiat\Day in Playa del Rey, Calif., was cut. Sources said the winning idea could be produced for broadcast during the Super Bowl. At stake is BBDO’s 40-year stewardship of the brand.

DDB Buys Miami Shop To Bolster Regional Presence

ATLANTA DDB Worldwide last week bought Cooper & Hayes in Miami, one of Florida’s largest independent shops with annual billings of almost $150 million. The acquisition brings Carnival Cruise Lines, the Florida Lottery and the United Way of Miami-Dade to the Omnicom shop and gives it a second agency in Miami. DDB bought the shop to increase its presence in the Southeast, which the agency said it had considered a gap in its regional coverage. DDB bought Hispanic marketing firm dRM, now dRM DDB, in 1999 and opened a corporate office in Miami in 2002 that manages the shop’s Latin America accounts. Terms of the Cooper & Hayes deal were not disclosed.

Three Shops Remain in Review For $90 Mil. Levitra Account

CHICAGO Omnicom’s DDB has withdrawn from the review for Levitra’s $90 million U.S. account due to a potential conflict, sources said. Levitra is a joint venture between Schering-Plough and GlaxoSmithKline. The agency network handles several drug companies, including Merck, Novartis and Johnson & Johnson. The remaining contenders—Omnicom’s Merkley + Partners and BBDO, and Publicis’ Saatchi & Saatchi Consumer Healthcare, all in New York—presented last week, sources said. A DDB representative declined comment.

IPG Denies Discussion of Media Venture With Havas

LOS ANGELES Interpublic Group unequivocally denied a Reuters report that it is in talks with Havas about a joint media-buying venture. Although there were preliminary discussions between the two companies in the past year, they never reached a serious stage and there have been no talks for the past three months, an IPG rep said. The media networks for both struggling holding companies have been particularly pressed of late, with Havas’ Media Planning Group fighting to keep its Volkswagen account, IPG’s Universal McCann losing its Nestlé business and IPG’s Initiative losing out in the Samsung pitch.

Pfizer, KFC Award Public Relations Duties After Reviews

BOSTON Pfizer and KFC both selected public relations agencies last week following reviews. Pfizer chose WPP’s Ogilvy PR in New York and Shire Health in London to handle U.S. and global public relations duties, respectively, for the drug maker’s Celebrex and Bextra pain relief brands. Sources pegged the combined PR budget at $5 million. The other contenders were WPP’s Burson-Marsteller and Hill & Knowlton and Omnicom’s Porter Novelli. Separately, KFC tapped IPG’s Weber Shandwick as its lead PR shop. Incumbent Edelman, which had handled the business for 28 years, did not defend.

Office Depot’s Holiday Ads Target Small Business Chiefs

NEW YORK As part of a strategy to connect with small business owners, Office Depot this week will launch a holiday campaign touting the chain as a source of gifts. Dubbed “Gifts That Mean Business,” the effort is centered on a top 100 gift list and highlights possibilities such as digital cameras, printers and the company’s line of Christopher Lowell office accessories. Two 30-second spots via BBDO in New York feature items from the list. “Because” shows the people small business owners have to thank. Another encourages owners to self-gift with a Compaq Presario and an HP Pavilion. Office Depot spent about $85 million on ads in the fourth quarter of 2003, according to Nielsen Monitor-Plus.

Texas Instruments’ Consumer Ads Signal New Strategy

DALLAS As it conducts its first agency review in more than 20 years, Texas Instruments is breaking its first consumer-oriented campaign in nearly that long. Created by TM Advertising in Irving, Texas, a commercial promoting TI’s digital light-processing technology (DLP) for big-screen TVs is airing this week in 15 markets. In it, a football referee calls home to ask his wife whether a player was out of bounds. The ref can’t tell by watching his replay screen, but she’s watching on her big screen with DLP. TI’s decision to build brand awareness with consumers signals a shift in strategy for the chip maker, sources said. The work could also mean that TI’s ad budget, now estimated at $10-30 million, will increase, sources said.

News Roundup

Sirius Satellite Radio, the subscription radio service that last month signed Howard Stern, said it has hired Stern’s former boss and one-time Viacom COO Mel Karmazin to succeed Joe Clayton as CEO. Clayton will remain at Sirius as board chairman. … S.C. Johnson & Co. president and CEO William Perez, 57, will replace Nike co-founder Phil Knight, who resigned last week from his president and CEO posts. Knight will remain chairman, Nike said. Nike’s lead agency, Wieden + Kennedy in Portland, Ore., could not be reached.