BBH Wins Creative Duties On PepsiCo’s $20 Mil. SoBe

NEW YORK Bartle Bogle Hegarty has landed creative duties on PepsiCo’s SoBe brand, the client confirmed on Friday. Estimated billings are $20 million. The assignment came after a review in which the New York offices of Publicis-backed BBH and independent StrawberryFrog made presentations to client executives, said sources. StrawberryFrog, however, is said to have withdrawn before the client picked an agency. The shop declined to comment, and BBH referred calls to the client, which confirmed the hire without further comment. SoBe, which markets energy drinks, juice blends and flavored teas, has not had a lead agency since last year. Publicis’ Fallon here had handled the brand, but the agency closed its New York office in September 2005, leaving SoBe without a lead shop.

Fallon’s Exit From Audi Review Attributed to Chemistry

CHICAGO Sources cited a lack of chemistry as Fallon’s reason for withdrawing from the review for creative duties on Audi of America’s $100 million U.S. account last week. An agency representative confirmed the decision, but offered no further comment. The withdrawal came after the agencies competing for the account—including Havas incumbent McKinney of Durham, N.C.; Publicis-backed Bartle Bogle Hegarty in New York; and independent San Francisco agency Venables, Bell & Partners—made presentations to client executives last week. A client rep said final presentations would take place the last week of November or first week of December, with a decision to come shortly thereafter.

Secret Weapon Parts Ways With $85 Mil. Activision

LOS ANGELES Independent Secret Weapon Marketing is parting with digital game giant Activision, the agency said. Activision, based in Santa Monica, Calif., spent $85 million on ads in 2005, though spending this year dwindled to $10 million through August, a decrease of 52 percent from the same period a year ago, per Nielsen Monitor-Plus. Agency sources said it had become increasingly difficult to sell work for the client, which did not return calls for comment. Activision is the world’s second-largest gaming company (trailing Electronic Arts) with revenue approaching $1.5 billion for the fiscal year ending March 2006. Secret Weapon will continue to work with Activision over the next 60 days, including the crucial holiday sales season, when most of the advertising for games and game platforms runs.

E*Trade Adds StrawberryFrog To Agency Roster

NEW YORK E*Trade has added independent StrawberryFrog to its creative roster, sources said. Omnicom’s BBDO in New York serves as the client’s lead agency; handles interactive work. StrawberryFrog and BBDO presented concepts for a Super-Bowl-related project, per sources. “We have no plans for advertising on the Super Bowl at this time, but that could change as we get closer,” said Connie Dotson, a representative at E*Trade. She declined to comment on StrawberryFrog, saying only, “BBDO is our lead agency.” BBDO declined comment; StrawberryFrog did not return calls. E*Trade spent $140 million in U.S. media in 2005, per TNS Media Intelligence, and $85 million in the first half of this year. BBDO’s current E*Trade campaign, “Be extraordinary,” targets baby boomers.

TiVo President Enters Debate Over Commercial Ratings

NEW YORK DVR marketer TiVo hopes to play a role in the ongoing industry debate about how DVR playback viewing should be counted in the new commercial ratings system being developed by Nielsen Media Research. In a letter sent Friday to TV and cable networks, advertisers and agencies, TiVo president Tom Rogers noted that, unlike Nielsen, TiVo units can measure the actual audience for individual commercials because the recorders capture second-by-second viewing data (Nielsen, which is owned by Adweek parent VNU, captures it minute by minute). TiVo can also analyze commercial viewing data by pod position and length of spot, which Rogers said are key issues in the debate.

LOS ANGELES Campbell-Ewald Los Angeles is mounting a takeover of the three-level Montgomery Street BART station in San Francisco this week, converting the space into a healthful stress-reduction center for Kaiser Permanente. A series of musicians will holds chorale, jazz and string ensemble concerts, with signs reading “Keep your change. We’re brought to you by Kaiser Permanente. Thrive.” Pillars will be wrapped to look like redwood trees. 50 pieces of meditative art and video will be displayed along along with advice on living well. The exhibit runs through the month. Oakland-based Kaiser spends $55 million annually, per Nielsen Monitor-Plus.

McCann’s ‘Army Strong’ Effort Launches With 3 Spots

NEW YORK IPG’s McCann Worldgroup on Thursday officially launched its “Army strong” campaign for the U.S. Army with three TV spots that feature actual soldiers and their families. The military unit is being positioned as a means for young people to gain mental, physical and emotional strength, the agency said. The Army also hopes it will further boost enrollment, though its 2006 recruitment goal of 80,000 has already been met. Worldgroup’s MRM unit is creating a Web-based recruitment campaign through games, search and text-messaging. Other Worldgroup companies contributing to the effort include McCann Erickson and Momentum. Media spending is expected to exceed $1 billion over five years.

CHICAGO WPP’s JWT will divide duties on its Macy’s account between its Chicago and New York offices, the agency said. Chicago had previously acted as the lead agency for the project-based business, which included a campaign launching the Federated Department Stores brand as a national chain and subsequent holiday work. “At JWT we often utilize resources across our network, especially on clients whose assignments are of a project nature,” according to a statement issued by the agency. Since JWT was enlisted former Citi executives Anne MacDonald and Brad Jakeman joined Federated’s marketing department. Federated spent about $230 million through the first half of 2006, according to TNS Media Intelligence.