News Wire

DMB&B Renews With NBC for $50 Mil. Account
LOS ANGELES–NBC Television has signed a new two-year contract with D’Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles’ Los Angeles office. The agency, which has worked with the network for 10 years, will continue to handle media planning and placement, as well marketing and promotional programs to support NBC’s prime-time schedule. Most of the network’s creative duties are handled in-house. NBC spends about $50 million on advertising.

Bell Atlantic Delays Media Decision
BOSTON–Bell Atlantic last week failed to name a winner in its long-running review to consolidate the telecommunications giant’s estimated $125 million media account. A decision had been expected on June 1. A client representative declined to say why a winner was not named and would not discuss the timetable. Contenders are Arnold Communications, Boston, which is pitching with DraftWorldwide, New York; TBWA Chiat/Day, TN Media and Zenith Media, pitching with Media Direct Partners, all in New York.

FDA Outlines Details of Agency Search
NEW YORK–The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has mailed requests for proposals to more than 60 agencies interested in creating advertising for the government agency over the next five years. The prevailing shop will handle creative and media chores for FDA marketing initiatives through 2003, said John Speer, senior contract specialist for the Rockville, Md.-based agency. Billings are estimated at $20-30 million. The proposals are due back by June 15, Speer said, and a decision is not expected before August.

New Marketing Exec at GM’s Onstar Unit
DETROIT–Jeffrey B. Cohen has been named executive director for sales and marketing at General Motors’ OnStar unit. His responsibilities will include advertising, marketing services and marketing development. Cohen had been brand manager for Pontiac-GMC’s Jimmy brand since January 1996 and most recently led the launch of the GMC Envoy. Cohen replaces Jeffrey Depew, who left the automaker. Ammirati Puris Lintas, New York, is the agency for both OnStar and General Motors’ GMC brand.

DMB&B Files Suit Against Former Client
NEW YORK–D’Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles last week filed a breach of contract suit against former client Gateway 2000, alleging the computer maker owes $9 million in payments. The document, filed in U.S. District Court for the southern district of New York, alleges “improper termination” of DMB&B, among other claims. Gateway shifted its $70-90 million account to McCann-Erickson here in March from DMB&B, Los Angeles. “This is really an issue of compensation called for that isn’t being paid,” said DMB&B chairman and chief executive Arty Selkowitz. “The client has a right to terminate an agency relationship, but they don’t have the right to unilaterally walk away from an agreement.” Gateway declined comment.

BBDO, M&M/Mars Share Top Effie
NEW YORK–BBDO here and client M&M/Mars claimed the the Grand Effie for their humorous Snickers campaign at last week’s Effie Awards. The shop also won a Gold Effie for its Visa check card work. The offices of McCann-Erickson Worldwide collected the most Effies–14, including seven for its New York office. The awards are presented by the New York chapter of the American Marketing Association.

Messner Taps Ex-Wells Media Director
NEW YORK–Mike Haggarty, formerly executive vice president and media director at the now-defunct Wells BDDP, has joined Messner Vetere Berger McNamee Schmetterer/Euro RSCG here as a media director, overseeing a portion of the MCI business. Haggarty manages a staff of 20 and reports directly to Larry Dexheimer, partner.

Compaq Shifts Account to DDB
NEW YORK–Compaq Computer has shifted creative and media duties on its $200 million global account to DDB Needham from Ammirati Puris Lintas, both New York. Ammirati was favored by industry sources to win the consolidated Compaq and Digital Equipment account following Compaq’s impending acquisition of Digital, which is handled by DDB. According to Andrew Salzman, vice president of advertising and brand strategy for Compaq, DDB pitched an unsolicited speculative campaign for the consolidated business one month ago. Sources said DDB is producing a 12-page insert to run this month that answers questions consumers may have regarding the merger of Compaq and Digital, and the former’s earlier acquisition of Tandem. Ammirati retains direct marketing and interactive duties, but sources said the agency was unlikely to continue in that role for long.

Newswire Roundup
June 30 is the deadline for both traditional and interactive entries for the 1998 London International Advertising Awards competition. Agencies can contact the New York office at 212-681-8844. The LIAA awards will be held Monday, Nov. 16, at London’s Royal Lancaster Hotel Deckers Outdoor Corp. in Goleta, Calif., has awarded the estimated $3-5 million creative and media account for its Teva line to Odiorne Wilde Narraway & Partners, San Francisco Harris Drury Cohen of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., has won Dallas-based Wyndham Resorts’ $10 million-plus ad account.