news wire

Fort James Taps The Media Edge
NEW YORK–The Media Edge here has been awarded media planning and buying duties on the estimated $40 million U.S. ad account for Fort James, the recently merged paper-products
company based in Deerfield, Ill. The Media Edge bested three other finalists: McCann-Erickson,
TN Media and Zenith Media, all in New York.
DDB Needham here was the incumbent.
Cohen Promoted at Sears; Costello Exits
CHICAGO–Sears, Roebuck and Co. in Hoffman Estates, Ill., named Mark Cohen, the company’s senior vice president, merchandising, as its new executive vice president of marketing, effective Jan. 1. Cohen replaces John Costello, who unexpectedly announced he was leaving Sears to become president of Republic Industries in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., whose portfolio includes Alamo Rent-A-Car and AutoNation USA. Cohen has 28 years of retail experience at Bradlees, Federated Department Stores and Dayton Hudson. Ogilvy & Mather, Chicago, and Young & Rubicam, New York, are Sears’ lead agencies.
Barrett Aims for Impact at Fallon in N.Y.
NEW YORK–Jamie Barrett said he accepted the creative director’s job at Fallon McElligott over other offers because the post will enable him to have more impact and do a little bit of everything, including copywriting, his first love. “I want to keep doing what I got in the business to do years ago, which is to write,” said Barrett, 37, a former creative director at Wieden & Kennedy in Portland, Ore., who helped develop award-winning ads for Nike. Fallon here considered several candidates, including David Droga, who took the top creative job at Saatchi & Saatchi in London. Office president Alison Burns feels lucky to have landed Barrett. “People of this caliber are so rare and they come along so infrequently,” she said.
DDB Discovers Itself in Competition
CHICAGO–DDB Needham will defend its $70 million Discover card business against a handful of contenders selected by the Riverwoods, Ill., division of Morgan Stanley, Dean Witter & Co. Sources said Leo Burnett, which handles Dean Witter’s financial services unit, is among the shops invited. New management at Discover prompted the review, which includes creative and media duties, according to a client representative who declined to name contenders. DDB Needham’s long-running tagline is, “It pays to Discover.”
4 Shops in Jim Beam Pitch
CHICAGO–Four shops will pitch the $15 million global account for Jim Beam bourbon. They are: Wieden & Kennedy, Portland, Ore.; Hill, Holiday/ Altschiller, New York; Young & Rubicam, Chicago; and J. Walter Thompson (whose Sydney, Australia, office handles Beam outside the U.S.). Executives at Jim Beam Brands said additional contenders may be added. Fallon McElligott, Minneapolis, resigned the $8 million U.S. account last month. The Deerfield, Ill.-based client hopes to complete its review by early 1999.
Adweek Calls for Year’s Best TV Spots
NEW YORK–Adweek is accepting entries for the best domestic TV commercials of 1998. The winners, selected by Adweek editors, will be announced Feb. 1. Only spots that first aired in 1998 are eligible. The deadline for entries is Dec. 31. For more information, please call (212) 536-6453.
Newswire Roundup
No co-branding or consolidation plans are in the works following last week’s merger announcement of Exxon and Mobil, sources said last week. Exxon’s roster includes McCann-Erickson Worldwide in New York and Houston and Bright Sun Consulting, New York. Mobil shops are DDB Needham (corporate) and Grace & Rothschild, New York; Arnold Advertising, Boston; Burrell Communications Group, Chicago; and Zubi Advertising Services, Coral Gables, Fla. Exxon spent $12 million on advertising through August 1998, while Mobil, placed $59 million DeVito/Verdi, New York, dropped out of the $45 million review for Midas. Still pitching are Cramer-Krasselt and Euro RSCG Tatham, both Chicago, and Lowe & Partners/SMS, New York. Incumbent Foote, Cone & Belding, Chicago resigned the account Online broker DLJ Direct has selected Kirshenbaum Bond & Partners, New York, to handle creative and media duties, previously handled by The Romann Group in New York, sources said. Billings were estimated at $20 million True North Communications filed a registration with the Securities and Exchange Commission for an initial public offering of stock for digital interactive unit Modem Media.Poppe Tyson, based in Westport, Conn. Leo Burnett, Chicago, reported projected year-end billings of $6.61 billion, a 10.6 percent increase over 1997. International billings rose 17 percent to $3.9 billion; U.S. billings rose 2 percent to
$2.7 billion Wholesome & Hearty Foods, Portland, Ore, is “evaluating” the $10 million account for its Gardenburger meatless patties now at Publicis & Hal Riney in Chicago. The move follows the defections of three Riney executives, including client director Bill Marks who worked on Gardenburger. He will open a Chicago office for Santa Monica, Calif.-based Rubin Postaer and Associates Randall’s Food Markets, Houston, is holding talks with undisclosed Texas agencies about its estimated $10 million broadcast advertising account. Incumbent Fogarty Klein & Partners, Houston, which also handles the client’s Tom Thumb stores, will defend. Other contenders are possible