More Clients Confirm Spot Buys As Sales Exceed 80 Percent

NEW YORK CBS Sports & News president Sean McManus confirmed last week that the advertising sellout level for Super Bowl XLI is “above 80 percent,” with a little more than two weeks to go before the Feb. 4 telecast. The network sold at least four new units last week, a CBS rep confirmed, although the buyers were not identified. Clients who did confirm their game buys last week included first-time Super Bowl advertiser Honda, with two 15-second units for its Element brand, and a 30-second spot that will highlight the automaker’s all-around fuel efficiency. Toyota also confirmed it would have one or possibly two spots for its Tundra line of pickup trucks. GM will have two in-game spots (one corporate and one user-generated spot) and a possible third “surprise” ad, confirmed a rep. Current plans also call for three post-game Cadillac ads. Nationwide Insurance confirmed last week it will have one 30-second unit starring Kevin Federline to promote its “Life comes at you fast” campaign. Web domain registrar said it’s in, subject to ad approval, but parted ways with its agency Shine Advertising over “creative differences.”

7 Shops Receive RFPs For 2010 Census Account

NEW YORK Seven agencies received RFPs last week from the U.S. Census Bureau, which will select an agency for the 2010 Census by August, sources said. WPP’s Young & Rubicam created the campaign for the 2000 Census and is said to be participating. The others are WPP’s Ogilvy & Mather and JWT, IPG’s DraftFCB and Campbell-Ewald, Publicis’ Leo Burnett and Omnicom’s GSD&M, said sources. Media spending was undisclosed; the government spent $100 million on media in 2000 for the last campaign, per TNS Media Intelligence. Questionnaires are due back Feb. 28.

Coke’s President of Marketing Will Depart Next Month

NEW YORK Mary Minnick, a 23-year veteran of The Coca-Cola Company, said she would leave the Atlanta soft drink giant next month to pursue personal and professional opportunities in the U.K. As president of Coke’s global marketing, strategy and innovation group since March 2005, Minnick was considered a possible successor to CEO Neville Isdell. But Isdell recently elevated Muhtar Kent to the COO position, putting him more directly in line for the CEO job. Minnick and her team consolidated most of the company’s advertising for Coke and Diet Coke at independent Wieden + Kennedy, which also handles Powerade, in late 2005. Succession plans were not disclosed.

Deutsch Wins Creative, Media On $15 Mil. Olympus Imaging

NEW YORK Deutsch here won creative and media duties for Olympus Imaging of America following a review, the client confirmed. The client spends about $15 million annually on U.S. media. The IPG agency bested two other New York finalists, independent ML Rogers and WPP’s Berlin Cameron United, though the latter shop did not participate in final presentations held last week. The Center Valley, Pa., client’s previous agency was IPG’s The Martin Agency in Richmond, Va. A-Team Advisors managed the review.

IPG, Frank Lowe Settle Year-Long Legal Dispute

NEW YORK IPG, a year after initiating a legal tussle with Frank Lowe, has reached a settlement with the former chairman of the IPG agency that still bears his name. In January 2006, IPG filed a claim with the American Arbitration Association that accused Lowe of using proprietary information to destabilize his ex-agency and former employer. Lowe denied the allegation and responded with a civil lawsuit in New York State Supreme Court that accused IPG of defaming him via “false and injurious statements.” To settle, Lowe dropped his suit and IPG withdrew its claim, IPG confirmed on Friday. The settlement, which sources said did not involve an exchange of money, had been expected [Adweek, Nov. 27].

‘Adweek,’ Nielsen Parent VNU Become Nielsen Company

NEW YORK Media and research company (and Adweek parent) VNU was renamed The Nielsen Company last week. “Nielsen is one of the great names in the information-services industry,” said David Calhoun, chairman and CEO of Nielsen, in a statement. “The Nielsen name is a source of pride for everyone in our organization, and it is now the name under which we all will go to market.” The new identity will be rolled out across all company divisions through 2007. VNU Business Media now becomes Nielsen Business Media.

Macy’s Shifts $1 Bil. Media Biz From Starcom to Mediaedge:cia

NEW YORK Macy’s has shifted its national media planning and buying account from Publicis’ Starcom to WPP’s Mediaedge:cia without a review, the client confirmed. Mediaedge will handle all of Macy’s national ad spending. Local ads will continue to be planned and bought by the seven regional Macy’s divisions. Total Macy’s spending in 2005 was $1 billion, and $600 million from January to September 2006, per TNS Media Intelligence. Starcom, which had won the business just last year, handled planning and buying for the campaign that rolled out the department store as a national brand after its parent Federated bought the May department store chain and rebranded it as Macy’s.

News Roundup

Steve Dworin’s defamation lawsuit against Deutsch Inc., et al., has been moved from New Jersey to New York’s Southern District Court, according to court filings. Both parties must re-submit their arguments some time after Feb. 2 but before the March 2 pre-trial conference. Dworin worked at Deutsch until 1994 and left under a “non-disparagement” agreement, which he claims was violated by principal Donny Deutsch in his 2005 book, Often Wrong, Never in Doubt. … McCann Erickson last week named three execs to lead efforts to increase the ethnic diversity of its workforce: Sallie Mars, director of diversity; Toni Thompson, multicultural program developer/recruiter; and David Hamlin, manager of supplier diversity. Brett Gosper, president of McCann Erickson USA, said the team would “reach beyond the usual sources for minority candidates, and help ensure that McCann meets the needs and expectations of those we recruit.”