News Wire

Uniden Calls an Agency Search
NEW YORK–Uniden America Corp., a division of Uniden Corp. in Tokyo, is seeking a shop to handle its $10-15 million ad account. The Fort Worth, Texas-based client, which markets phones and other communication devices, currently creates trade ads in-house. The winning agency will develop a campaign aimed at consumers.
N.Y.’s MTA Issues Request for Proposal
NEW YORK–The Metropolitan Transportation Authority here is contacting shops with offices in Manhattan to pitch the creative and media portions of its account, which by law comes up for review every three or four years. Korey, Kay & Partners, New York, is the incumbent. The request for proposal said the 1998 ad budget will be about $10 million.
N.Y. State Utility Conducts Review
NEW YORK–The New York State Department of Public Service, Albany, N.Y., is seeking an agency to handle the communications program of a consumer education initiative that introduces the deregulation of the electric industry. A prebid meeting was held last Friday, and requests for proposals must be submitted by Jan. 8. The budget was undisclosed. The agency selected will assist in communicating the benefits of a competitive electric industry.
3 in Contest for Levi’s Footwear
NEW YORK–Stride Rite Corp., Lexington, Mass., which is planning to introduce Levi’s Footwear next year, heard presentations last week from three New York shops. Cliff Freeman and Partners, Mad Dogs & Englishmen and Merkley Newman Harty are vying for the estimated $5 million account, according to sources.
Michelin Reviews for Goodrich Assignment
CHICAGO–Michelin North America, Akron, Ohio, is reviewing shops for an assignment for its B.F. Goodrich tire brand, sources said. W.B. Doner & Co., Southfield, Mich., which handles the $10 million Goodrich national account, D’Arcy Masius Benton
& Bowles, St. Louis, and Rubin Postaer & Associates, Santa Monica, Calif., are competing, said sources.
Merkley Tapped for Banking Initiative
NEW YORK–Merkley Newman Harty here has been awarded strategic and creative duties for a new initiative from The Bankers Roundtable, a consortium comprised of the largest U.S. banking institutions, sources said. Billings were undisclosed, but sources said the budget could reach $50 million. The shop is charged with helping to convince consumers and governmental regulators that electronic services offered by traditional banks are secure and private.
GSD&M Lands SBC, More Wireless Work
DALLAS–SBC Communications last week consolidated media buying for all of its Southwestern Bell and Pacific Bell advertising at GSD&M, Austin, Texas. The company also awarded the shop creative duties for Pac Bell Mobile Services. The combined accounts are worth more than $250 million.
Merkley Unveils NTRA Strategy
NEW YORK–For its new client, the National Thoroughbred Racing Association, Merkley Newman Harty here will position a day at the track as an event where “everyone lets loose.” The tagline for the national TV campaign, breaking in the second quarter of 1998, will be: “Go baby go.” The NTRA has set aside $12-15 million for advertising.
Burnett Considers Deals Beyond BBH
CHICAGO–Leo Burnett chairman Rick Fizdale said his agency’s investment last week of about $50 million for up to a 49 percent stake in London’s Bartle Bogle Hegarty likely will not be its last such deal. The shops will “touch only in media,” he said, with Burnett providing media buying services for BBH where needed. The Chicago shop, in turn, gets revenues from a second brand without the management complications of having to run another network.
Burnett Loses Goodyear Account
CHICAGO–Goodyear Tire & Rubber, Akron, Ohio, has pulled the estimated $25 million account for Latin America and Asia from Leo Burnett here in the wake of controversy over a racially offensive TV spot produced by affiliate Causa Publicidad, Lima, Peru. Goodyear, which last week apologized to the NAACP, said it has not decided where it will reassign the business. Burnett said it has ended its affiliation with Causa Publicidad.
Newswire Roundup
America West Airlines awarded its estimated $20 million account to Hal Riney & Partners, San Francisco . . . General Motors’ Cadillac division named DraftWorldwide, Chicago, its direct marketing agency of record for all its brands. Billings were not disclosed . . . Lois/USA, New York, last week agreed to acquire Fogarty Klein & Partners, Houston, for an undisclosed amount of cash and stock. The agency name remains the same . . . According to sources, Young & Rubicam, San Francisco, will handle the agency’s first work for Sony Corp. in the U.S. Sources said Y&R, which creates ads for the Tokyo-based client in Asia, met with Sony officials in Japan a month ago about expanding the relationship to the U.S. [Adweek, Nov. 24]. New York-based Lowe & Partners/SMS is Sony’s lead agency in the U.S. . . . Omnicom Group has reached an agreement to acquire a 20 percent interest in I&S Corp., the eighth-largest advertising company in Japan.