Hotlines: Late-Breaking Industry News

Nielsen Business Media CEO Krakoff Passes Away at 71

NEW YORK Bob Krakoff, president and CEO of Adweek parent Nielsen Business Media, died suddenly last Thursday in his apartment in Boston. He was 71. Krakoff spent more than 30 years building a distinguished career leading successful publishing and exposition businesses. He joined Nielsen Business Media in August 2006 from his post as chairman and CEO of Blantyre Partners, a strategic management and investment company working in association with The Blackstone Group in the area of business-to-business media. Earlier, he had been the chairman and CEO of Advanstar, which publishes business magazines and professional journals and directories. “Bob was a consummate professional, a valued advisor and a wonderful friend,” said David Calhoun, chairman and CEO of parent The Nielsen Co., in a statement Friday. A Nielsen rep declined to comment about Krakoff’s replacement, but Nielsen Business Media COO Greg Farrar is expected to run the company on an interim basis.

Jeep Hears Final Presentations From Omnicom Shops Friday

NEW YORK DaimlerChrysler executives are scheduled to hear final pitches from five Omnicom agencies on its Jeep business on Saturday, sources said. BBDO in Detroit is the incumbent and is presenting with help from its New York office, sources said. Downtown Partners in Toronto, Element 79 in Chicago, Cutwater (the new venture of ex-TBWA\Chiat\Day North America ecd Chuck McBride) in San Francisco and Martin/Williams in Minneapolis, are the other contenders.

Crispin, Miller Part Ways; Client Confirms Hispanic Shop Change

NEW YORK Crispin Porter + Bogusky and Miller Brewing last week said they had parted ways. The MDC agency in Miami said it had resigned the account, though the client did not specify how the relationship ended. “We appreciate the work Crispin has done for Miller, and we wish them all the best,” the client said in a statement. Representatives did not say if the work would be reassigned or placed into review. “Today we made the difficult decision to resign the Miller business. While we pride ourselves on the longevity of our client relationships, we also believe that we must do what is right for the agency,” said Jeff Hicks, president and CEO of Crispin, in a statement. Miller spent nearly $175 million in combined measured media on its Miller High Life and Miller Lite last year, with about $165 million on ads for the latter, per Nielsen Monitor-Plus. The separation comes as the client confirmed that it had also parted ways with Creative on Demand, its Hispanic agency, and begun working with del Rivero Messianu DDB, Miami, on a project basis.

Smith Barney Talking to Shops About $20 Mil. Media, Creative

NEW YORK Smith Barney, in the midst of meeting with about a half-dozen shops, this week is expected to select a handful of finalists to pitch its estimated $20 million account. Both creative and media duties are in play. The incumbent, IPG’s Hill, Holliday, Connors, Cosmopulos, is not expected to defend due to a conflict with its $25 million Bank of America business. In fact, Hill, Holliday’s January win of creative duties for the global wealth and investment management division of BofA is said to have triggered the Smith Barney search. Smith Barney, a division of Citigroup Global Capital Markets here, provides brokerage, investment banking and asset management services. Source Martin here is managing the review. The consultancy did not return calls, and Smith Barney, which hopes to hire an agency by early May, could not be reached.

Porsche Chooses Consultant In $25 Mil. Creative Review

CHICAGO Porsche Cars North America has hired former A-Team Advertising Advisors’ executives Ann Billock and Russel Wohlwerth to handle the search for its consolidated $25 million advertising account. Creative duties are currently handled by IPG’s Carmichael Lynch in Minneapolis, while media buying is handled by independent shop Kastner & Partners in Los Angeles. CL executives have said they plan to defend the business. The review was spurred by the recent promotion of David Pryor to svp of marketing and the company’s planned launch of a four-door sedan in 2009. CL, which has handled the business since 1999, is expected to defend. The client noted the review was “process driven, and not a reflection of any dissatisfaction with CL’s work.”

Advance Auto Parts Awards $35 Mil. Creative to Richards

BOSTON Advance Auto Parts has selected independent The Richards Group for creative and media chores following a review, the shop said. The client spent nearly $35 million in measured media in 2006, per Nielsen Monitor-Plus. The company has recently used the positioning line “We’re ready in advance.” The client in Roanoke, Va., was impressed by the Dallas agency’s “rich history in retail branding and advertising,” said Bob Fant, director of advertising for Advance Auto Parts, in a statement. Other review contenders were not disclosed. FKM in Houston had handled the business for the past five years. Richards is facing a major automotive category loss following its January split with Hyundai Motor America, which has placed its $600 million account in review.