Deutsch Won’t Replace Delaney, Chief Planner, Until 2007

NEW YORK Deutsch does not plan to name a replacement for Kathy Delaney, formerly its New York chief creative officer, or former director of account planning Jeffrey Wolf, until early next year, the agency said. Delaney, 42, a 13-year veteran of the IPG shop, left last week, as did Wolf, who had worked there 11 years. The moves came after Deutsch suffered a string of large account losses from 2004 through last year. Both said they were leaving to “pursue other interests.” Agency execs are mulling a “shortlist” of creative leaders and planners to replace the two, the shop said. Delaney is best known for her work on Ikea, Revlon and Snapple.

Foster’s Wine Estates Hands $15 Mil. Ad Account to Vizeum

NEW YORK Aegis’ Vizeum took another step toward establishing itself in North America last week, winning the domestic planning and buying account of Foster’s Wine Estates following a review, the agency confirmed. The incumbent, Publicis’ Starcom, did not defend. Independent Horizon Media and possibly one undisclosed other agency competed for the business, per sources. Vizeum will handle the business from its San Francisco office. Foster’s spent slightly more than $15 million on advertising in 2005, according to Nielsen Monitor-Plus. The review involved only the U.S. wine group.

First Modernista! Work for Red Encourages Holiday Purchases

NEW YORK The first work by Modernista! for Bono and Bobby Shriver’s Red initiative asks consumers to “upgrade” their purchasing decisions this holiday season. VH1 on Wednesday turned its logo red for 24 hours and added an occasional red wash over its content as a precursor to a media roadblock at 9 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day that, according to the client, included a 90-second commercial explaining the concept of Red across several MTV properties. The ad explains the Red mission, how it works to help buy and distribute anti-viral medications to AIDS victims in Africa, and urges consumers to “Choose Red.” It features portraits of everyday people reciting the manifesto, which also appears on the Red Web site.

Decision Looms in $175 Mil. ConAgra Media Review

NEW YORK ConAgra Foods this week is expected to select an agency in its review of media duties on its $175 million U.S. account, sources said. WPP’s MediaCom in New York is defending the business against the New York offices of Aegis’ Carat and IPG’s Initiative. Final presentations took place two weeks ago at the client’s headquarters in Omaha, Neb. Roth Associates here is managing the search. ConAgra brands include Healthy Choice, Banquet, Chef Boyardee, Butterball, Hebrew National and Slim Jim.

MTV to Air 24 Ads From 6 Shops That Tackle HIV/AIDS Issues

NEW YORK Six ad agencies have produced 24 TV spots that aim to stem the global spread of the HIV virus that causes AIDS by addressing behavior such as unprotected sex and infidelity. The effort, created pro bono for the Global Media AIDS Initiative, will launch Thursday—World AIDS Day—on MTV channels globally that reach a total potential audience of 1.4 billion, according to GMAI. MTV also will disseminate the work via its Web and mobile platforms. Contributing were WPP shops Ogilvy & Mather and Young & Rubicam; IPG’s Lowe; and independents 180, Cake and Wieden + Kennedy (via 12, its ad student unit). The ads also will be offered to any other broadcaster or content distributor willing to air them for free.

Amex Launches Avatar Site Featuring Virtual DeGeneres

NEW YORK American Express is diving into the world of “avatar-ising.” The company last week launched an interactive user-generated storytelling campaign with spokeswoman Ellen DeGeneres. Digitas, American Express’ digital agency, created a promotional Web site for the effort,, which invites visitors to “meet Ellen and her animals.” In addition to watching AmEx ads featuring the comedian, users can create their own comedy bits with her. The site, hosted by a DeGeneres avatar, has six different animated stories to choose from, featuring a range of her animal friends in different settings, such as the ski slopes and a karaoke bar. New York tech firm Oddcast created the storytelling application, having created avatar-based marketing programs for brands such as Purina and CareerBuilder.

DraftFCB Fashions Starbucks Supermarket Beans Campaign

NEW YORK DraftFCB here is launching the first campaign in three years for Starbucks whole bean coffee sold in supermarkets, the client confirmed. Tagged “Think earlier,” the first leg of the work will break in newspapers such as The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal early next month, each of which will feature an “engagement” component. For example, one will feature an unfinished comic strip that consumers will be encouraged to complete as a means to enhance their at-home coffee experience, a client rep said. The chain has an alliance with Kraft Foods to distribute its whole bean coffee in supermarkets. Media spending for this effort was undisclosed, but past spends have been less than $5 million, per Nielsen Monitor-Plus.

Celebrity Cruises Under Review, Incumbent Arnold Defends

BOSTON Celebrity Cruises is reviewing its estimated $30 million ad account, which has been held by Havas’ Arnold here since 2002, the client confirmed. A rep for the cruise line offered no further information, and Arnold execs declined comment. Sources said the agency is defending. Other contenders could not be determined. Celebrity spent $15 million on ads through September after an outlay of slightly less than $30 million last year, per Nielsen Monitor-Plus. The review has entered the final stages, and a decision is expected within two weeks, said sources. Arnold’s most recent work included broadcast and print ads touting the cruise line’s ability to make passengers feel like celebrities. Sources cited creative dissatisfaction as a key driver of the review. Celebrity is a unit of Miami-based Royal Caribbean, which also works with Arnold. The Royal Caribbean brand spent $75 million in measured media in 2005 and more than $60 million in the first three quarters of this year, per Nielsen.