Lee to Direct TBWA’s Spots For Academy Awards Show

LOS ANGELES TBWA\Chiat\Day has signed Spike Lee to helm the TV campaign touting the Academy Awards broadcast next February, confirmed Carisa Bianchi, president of the Playa del Rey, Calif., agency. The shop won the assignment from the Beverly Hills, Calif.-based Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences last week. Beth Harris, academy director of marketing, said this is the first time it has hired a traditional ad agency to handle its campaign.

Kodak Seeks to Consolidate Global Media Duties

NEW YORK Eastman Kodak has launched a review to consolidate its global media buying and planning chores at one agency. Kodak currently divides its media business among several shops, including Aegis Group’s Carat and WPP’s MindShare. In a statement, a company representative said, “We’re continuing efforts to work with a more focused group of agency partners. This has been ongoing for the past 18 months, and has already resulted in greater operational efficiency with superior creative. We are not in discussions with any agencies beyond our current network at this time.” Kodak spent nearly $500 million on global ad expenditures in 2005, per a company 10-K filing. Billings on the account in review were not disclosed.

Decision Looms in $170 Mil. Review

NEW YORK this week is expected to name an agency to handle creative and media duties on its estimated $170 million account, following final presentations last week. Awaiting a decision: IPG’s Mullen in Wenham, Mass., independent Doner of Southfield, Mich., and Omnicom’s TBWA\ Chiat\Day in Playa del Rey, Calif. The winning agency will replace IPG’s Deutsch/LA of Marina del Rey, Calif.

Federal Judge Orders Big Tobacco to Fund Ads

WASHINGTON A federal judge has ordered Big Tobacco to fund a new national ad campaign that portrays the adverse effects of smoking and to stop labeling cigarettes as “light,” “low tar” or “natural.” Cigarette companies also must stop using “deceptive brand descriptors that implicitly or explicitly convey to the smoker and potential smoker that they are less hazardous to health than full-flavor cigarettes,” said Judge Gladys Kessler of the Federal District Court for the District of Columbia. Those rulings concluded a racketeering case brought by the U.S. Department of Justice against the tobacco industry. The companies now must place weekly full-page ads in Sunday editions of more than two-dozen major newspapers, in addition to running weekly 15-second spots in prime time, Judge Kessler said.

De Nardis Assumes CEO, Director Roles at Aegis

NEW YORK Mainardo de Nardis on Friday became CEO of Aegis Media and a director of holding company Aegis Group, after being named to these posts last October. De Nardis comes to Aegis from WPP’s Mediaedge:cia, where he served as global chief executive from 2002, following the acquisition of CIA-MediaNetwork’s parent Tempus. His move marks the expiration of his Mediaedge:cia contract. De Nardis will oversee Carat, Vizeum, Posterscope and Isobar. He assumes his posts amid overtures by Havas majority shareholder Vincent Bolloré to forge an alliance with Aegis.

WPP Group’s First-Half Profit, Revenue Rise

BOSTON Buoyed by new business and acquisitions, WPP Group posted a 30 percent gain in first-half pre-tax profit to nearly $540 million on a 15 percent revenue spike to approximately $5.4 billion, compared to the first six months of 2005. Excluding currency fluctuations, first-half revenue rose 13 percent. On an organic basis, revenue was up 5 percent.