Westbrook Returns to Help Fallon Find ECD, Train Creatives

CHICAGO Bill Westbrook will be assisting in Fallon’s search for a new executive creative director, an agency representative confirmed. While she stopped short of saying Westbrook, who had served as ecd of the shop from 1993 to 1998, would be returning to the shop in any official capacity, the representative added that Westbrook would provide training for some of the Publicis Groupe shop’s creatives. The Minneapolis agency fired ecd Paul Silburn last month. Since leaving Fallon, Westbrook has run a consulting practice in Richmond, Va. Though sources familiar with Westbrook said it was unlikely he would return to agency life full-time, they noted that his affinity for Fallon Worldwide and founder Pat Fallon could lure him back temporarily. Westbrook was not immediately available.

Mother Joins J&J Roster for Rembrandt Creative Chores

NEW YORK Johnson & Johnson said last week it added Mother to its roster, awarding the shop creative duties for its Rembrandt oral-care products following a review. Sources estimated the media spend at $15 million. The client said it heard final pitches at its Skillman, N.J., offices earlier this week from four other New York agencies: IPG’s Deutsch, McCann Erickson and Lowe’s Alchemy unit; and Roberts & Tarlow, a unit of Omnicom’s DDB, all of which are on the J&J roster. IPG’s Universal McCann handles J&J’s media duties. The Rembrandt account was previously handled by Omnicom’s BBDO in New York, which parted with the client in December after J&J bought Rembrandt from Gillette. The latter company was acquired in October by Procter & Gamble. Rembrandt products include toothpaste and whitening strips.

Orange Winnows to 3 Finalists In $200 Mil. European Review

NEW YORK Orange, the French-owned wireless telecom, has cut to three finalists in the review of its estimated $200 million pan-European ad account, sources said. Havas’ Euro RSCG in London and Paris; Publicis’ Fallon in London, which is partnering with Marcel in Paris; and Omnicom’s TBWA in Paris will make final presentations to the client in Paris later this month, sources said. Eliminated from the process were the Omnicom team of CLM BBDO in Paris with DDB in London and Amsterdam; independent Mother, which was the U.K. incumbent on the account; and Tapsa in Madrid, which is affiliated with IPG’s Foote Cone & Belding. A decision is expected in March.

Nationwide Insurance Plans 40% Ad Spend Increase in ’06

NEW YORK Nationwide Insurance is doing a top-to-bottom marketing revamp in 2006, including a 40 percent increase in ad spending, according to Steven Schreibman, the company’s vp, advertising and brand management. Nationwide spent close to $60 million on ads in 2005, per Nielsen Monitor-Plus. A first-ever national TV ad campaign will be anchored by an ad featuring Fabio that broke during the Super Bowl, and five new spots (by IPG’s TM Advertising) promoting the “Life Comes at You Fast” theme, said Schreibman. A major Internet promotion will give consumers a chance to post their own “Life Comes at You Fast” experiences on the Reuters electronic billboard in Times Square.

News Roundup

DALLAS Pier 1 Imports has hired The Loomis Agency to create its spring campaign, scheduled to break March 20, the agency said. A budget was not disclosed. Pier 1 spent $46 million on advertising in 2004 and $49 million through November 2005, per Nielsen Monitor-Plus. Addison, Texas-based Loomis edged out Dallas-based Slingshot, both independents. … Twelve of 14 agencies contacted returned the RFP for BF Goodrich’s review of its $15-20 million ad account, sources said. Respondents were: BBDO, Atlanta; Foote Cone & Belding and Cramer-Krasselt, both Chicago; Publicis, New York; JWT, Detroit; Carmichael Lynch, Minneapolis; Arnold, McLean, Va.; McKinney, Durham, N.C.; Hill, Holliday, Connors, Cosmopulos, Boston; Mullen, Wenham, Mass.; The Martin Agency, Richmond, Va.; and Dailey & Associates, Los Angeles. The two that did not submit are undisclosed. The Greenville, S.C., client will hold chemistry checks after a Feb. 20 cut to six, followed by another cut to three finalists with a decision in April, sources said. Doner, the 16-year incumbent, declined to defend. Raleigh, N.C., consultancy Hasan + Co. is handling the review.