Hotlines: Late-Breaking Industry News

Jenny Craig Hears Final Pitches In $70 Mil. Creative Review

LOS ANGELES Jenny Craig last week concluded final presentations in its review of creative chores on its $70 million ad account, sources said. The finalists include Omnicom’s DDB in San Francisco (with Venice, Calif.), Publicis’ Publicis & Hal Riney in San Francisco and WPP’s Y&R in Irvine, Calif., said sources. In addition, one other West Coast-based shop that could not be ascertained may be involved. The incumbent, WPP’s JWT in New York, did not defend. Consultancy Blank and Associates, Laguna Niguel, Calif., is managing the process for the Carlsbad, Calif.-based weight management company.

$150 Mil. Kao Media Planning Business Shifts to Initiative

NEW YORK Kao Brands, the marketer of the Jergens skin-care line, among other products, last week shifted media planning chores from MDC’s The Media Kitchen to IPG’s Initiative, the client’s media buying agency. Kao spent $150 million on domestic ads in 2006 and $100 million through the first eight months of 2007, according to Nielsen Monitor-Plus. Another MDC shop, Kirshenbaum Bond + Partners here, remains lead creative agency; those chores were not part of the review. Digital advertising duties, both creative and media, remain with Enlighten. Melissa Gordon will lead the account at Initiative, sources said. She joined the shop here last month as svp, business director from Havas’ MPG.

Omnicom to Build Redurban Digital Creative Network

NEW YORK Omnicom has begun building a new digital creative network called Redurban, according to sources. The holding company is forming the network around Amsterdam-based digital creative agency Redurban, which it purchased in the first quarter of this year. It is adding in Dallas Web agency Virion, and is in the midst of opening offices in London and New York. The agency is starting with about 200 employees. The goal, sources said, is a global digital shop along the lines of AKQA, with strong expertise in marketing and creative. Redurban will begin with a series of Dutch clients, including the national lottery, and Virion clients Arby’s, the U.S. Air Force, Chili’s and Guinness. When it first purchased Redurban, Omnicom planned to fold it into Tribal DDB. It is reversing course by augmenting Redurban with Virion, a conflict shop Tribal set up last year in the midst of winning the Arby’s business. McDonald’s is a major Tribal DDB client.

Volkswagen Selects Volvo’s Ellis for Top Marketing Job

NEW YORK Tim Ellis, Volvo’s global advertising director, has become Volkswagen’s new vp of marketing, filling a vacancy left by the January exit of Kerri Martin. Ellis joined Volvo in 2003 from the agency side of the business. He had worked at Forsman & Bodenfors in Sweden for nine years as well as at Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, San Francisco. Ellis was selected from a field that included former Nissan marketer Jan Thompson, among other high-profile names, sources said.

Merkley Lands on Schering Roster With 3 OTC Drug Brands

NEW YORK Schering-Plough Corp. has added Omnicom’s Merkley + Partners to its roster of agencies, awarding the New York shop creative duties on three non-prescription brands: Miralax laxatives, Chlor-Trimeton allergy medicine and Drixoral cold medicine, the client confirmed. Billings on the assignments, which came without a review, were not disclosed. This year, through August, Schering spent more than $20 million in major measured media on Miralax, more than $5 million on Chlor-Trimeton and less than $1 million on Drixoral, according to Nielsen Monitor-Plus. The totals for the first eight months represented upticks from all of last year, when Nielsen Monitor-Plus recorded less than $6 million total for the brands. A Schering representative declined to say who handled the accounts previously.

Omnicom Team Out of Global Royal Caribbean Review

NEW YORK An Omnicom team led by TBWA\Chiat\Day here last week exited Royal Caribbean’s global marketing services review, three weeks before final presentations, confirmed Rojek Consulting Group, the Cleveland consultancy managing the process. TBWA\C\D had partnered with PHD and other sister shops to pitch creative and media duties. The exit, which TBWA\C\D did not explain, leaves three contenders: a WPP team led by JWT and MindShare, a Publicis team led by Saatchi & Saatchi and MediaVest and an IPG team led by DraftFCB and Initiative. The Miami-based client won’t fill the opening and will move forward with the remaining contenders, according to Lorraine Rojek, president of Rojek Consulting Group. On Friday, Rojek acknowledged that Omnicom was “no longer under consideration” and described the decision as “mutual.” Final pitches are slated for Nov. 28 and Nov. 29; a decision is expected shortly thereafter.

5 Finalists Prep Pitches for $150 Mil. PlayStation Creative

LOS ANGELES Five agencies will make final presentations to Sony Computer Entertainment America in Foster City, Calif., this week in pursuit of the $150 million PlayStation creative account, sources said. Contenders include IPG’s Deutsch/LA, Marina del Rey, Calif., Publicis in the West, Seattle, independents RPA, Santa Monica, Calif., Venables Bell & Partners, San Francisco, and the incumbent, TBWA\Chiat\Day, Playa del Rey, Calif. Select Resources International, Santa Monica, conducted the search; evp Jack Tretton and svp of marketing Peter Dille are leading the Sony side.

Wieden + Kennedy Names Partners for India Expansion

LOS ANGELES Wieden + Kennedy has appointed V. Sunil and Mohit Dhar Javal as partners in the newly opened Delhi, India, shop, the agency said. The eighth link in the independent agency’s global chain represents a merger between W+K and Javal and Sunil’s Delhi shop, A. Before A, Sunil had been at Contract and at IPG’s McCann Erickson in India; he’s also a former creative director at WPP’s Ogilvy & Mather. Javal’s did stints at Publicis Groupe’s Leo Burnett, London, and Havas’ Euro RSCG, India, and he participated in a joint venture with the Madison Group.