At Least 6 Shops Pitch for $30 Mil. Ray-Ban Creative Account

At least six agencies are in contention for the creative portion of the $30 million Ray-Ban sunglasses account, sources said, including Omnicom’s TBWA\Chiat\Day in San Francisco, independent StrawberryFrog and Publicis’ The Kaplan Thaler Group, both New York. The others could not be determined at press time. Ray-Ban is owned by Luxottica Group. Executives at the agencies either could not be reached for comment or referred inquiries to the client. It is unclear who the incumbent is. Executives at Ray-Ban’s U.S. headquarters in Port Washington, N.Y., were unavailable for comment. Ray-Ban spent $5 million on ads in the U.S. last year, per TNS Media Intelligence.

Land Rover Unveils Online Channel for Branded Content

LOS ANGELES Ford’s Land Rover has launched an Internet channel for branded entertainment content called Go Beyond TV, claiming to be the first automotive brand to use the Web in such fashion to support its marketing programs. “The challenge is to bring the brand into the 21st century, using the Internet as a medium,” said Steve Hobbs, the editor of the broadband content. “It’s an ambitious project and a leap of faith.” The initiative involves Land Rover’s lead creative shop, WPP Group’s Young & Rubicam, Irvine, Calif., and London, and includes the participation of Mediaedge:cia and MindShare. Go Beyond TV seeks to foster an online “community” wherein spectators can start uploading their own adventures. Hobbs said that aspect of the Webcast would reinforce the Land Rover message that breaking personal boundaries gives one a sense of “personal achievement . . . it makes you relook at yourself.”

Pool, 25-Year Industry Veteran, Retires From Universal McCann

NEW YORK Media veteran Jean Pool is retiring from Universal McCann after more than 25 years in the industry. Pool, currently North American chief operating officer at the IPG shop and evp of UM’s local spot-buying unit LCI, will leave the agency at the end of the month, UM said. Pool’s retirement was announced by Mary Gerzema, who was named president of UM’s U.S. operations in February. “Jean is an extremely well-known and respected person within the media world, and has been a significant role model for many,” wrote Gerzema in a statement. “The industry will miss her great energy, enthusiasm and forward-thinking leadership. She has made tremendous contributions to this industry and has never been afraid to express a strong opinion or fight for necessary change.”

Sara Lee Contenders Vie For Hillshire Farm Brands

CHICAGO Having completed presentations for creative duties on Sara Lee’s deli and bakery accounts, three agencies this week will offer ideas for the Hillshire Farm brand, according to sources. Contending for the consolidated account are Omnicom’s Element 79 in Chicago (which handles Hillshire Farm), Publicis’ Publicis in New York (which handles deli and bakery) and Omnicom’s TBWA\Chiat\Day in Playa del Rey, Calif., a Sara Lee roster shop. Agency officials either couldn’t be reached or declined comment. A representative for the Chicago company did not return calls by press time. Sara Lee spent $60 million on the bakery, deli and Hillshire Farm brands last year, according to Nielsen Monitor-Plus.

Networks File Suit Contesting $4 Mil. FCC Indecency Fines

WASHINGTON ABC, NBC, CBS, Fox, their station affiliates and Hearst-Argyle Television have filed suit in a number of federal courts, including New York and Washington, D.C., to challenge the Federal Communications Commission’s March 15 ruling that found the language on several programs to be indecent. The FCC levied nearly $4 million in fines for TV broadcasts, including a record $3.6 million for a single show on CBS. The broadcasters, representing more than 800 affiliated TV stations, are seeking to overturn the FCC decisions, charging the rules are vague, subjective and unconstitutional. “We strongly believe that the FCC rulings that we are appealing today are unconstitutional and inconsistent with two decades of previous FCC decisions,” the broadcasters wrote in a statement.