news wire

Visa to Break New Spots From BBDO
NEW YORK–Linda Evangelista will appear in a 30-second Visa check card spot in late August, while San Francisco 49ers teammates Steve Young and Jerry Rice will appear in two 30-second spots on Aug. 23 during the preseason football game between the 49ers and the Miami Dolphins. Interspersed throughout a series of black-and-white clips simulating fashion ads, Evangelista ponders her “identity” asking, “Who am I?” The Young and Rice spots poke fun at the too-close-for-comfort friendships that can develop between teammates. BBDO, New York, is the agency.
Saatchi Reports First-Half Gains
NEW YORK–Saatchi & Saatchi PLC reported worldwide revenue of $302.4 million for the first half of 1998, a slight increase from last year. And North America showed the biggest gain–9 percent, from $126.3 million to $137.6 million. Also last week, Saatchi & Saatchi announced that Kevin Roberts, the agency’s worldwide chief executive, would succeed Robert Seelert as chief executive of the holding company next year. At the same time, Seelert will become chairman, succeeding Charles Scott, who will remain chairman of Cordiant Communications Group PLC.
HH/A Snaps Up $20 Mil. Minolta Business
As expected, Hill, Holliday/Altschiller in New York has been awarded the $20 million ad account for Minolta, in Ramsey, N.J. [Adweek, Aug. 3]. HH/A will create new campaigns for both Minolta’s Consumer Products Group and its Office Systems Division. Lois/EJL in New York, which handled the account since 1994, did not participate in the six-month review. TBWA Chiat/Day, New York, was the other finalist.
Olds Begining Minority Programs
DETROIT–General Motors’ Oldsmobile division intends to increase targeted minority marketing efforts for all its models beginning in late October with a Hispanic-directed campaign for its new Alero. The effort, from Leo Burnett Hispanic will include TV, print and point-of-sale. Similar efforts for other Olds brands are being developed by E. Morris Communications, Chicago, assigned Olds’ African American account last year. Olds and Burnett are also in final negotiations with ABC for an on-air promotion with the network next month as part of the $80 million general-market Alero launch, sources said. Bob Clark, Alero brand manager, would “neither confirm or deny” plans for a joint promotion with ABC.
Nuveen Narrowed to Semi-Finalists
CHICAGO–Investment firm John Nuveen & Co. here narrowed its search for an agency to 12 shops, with a cut expected near the end of the month. Those in contention are Chicago shops Arian, Lowe & Travis, Cramer-Krasselt, Bender, Browning, Dolby & Sanderson, Keroff & Rosenberg, Lighton Coleman Inc., Jack Levy Associates, Mobium Creative Group, McConnaughy Stein Schmidt Brown, Rapp Collins and Rhea & Kaiser; plus Minneapolis agency Fallon McElligott; and Straightline International, New York. Incumbent Publicis & Hal Riney, Chicago, is not participating. A decision on the $5 million account is expected by the end of September.
FDA Pitch Enters New Round
BOSTON–The Food and Drug Administration in Rockville, Md., is in negotiations to award a five-year agency-of-record contract now estimated at $10 million. Because Congress failed to reach a settlement with the tobacco companies, the first year budget was reduced from an estimated $20-30 million to $10 million, said FDA representative John Speer. In light of the reduction, shops competing for the business were “required to submit a reduced technical and budgetary approach,” he said. Arnold Communications in Boston is among the contenders. A decision is expected in October.
Boston Shop Folds in Casino Review
BOSTON–Holland Mark Martin Edmund here has withdrawn from the review for the creative portion of Foxwoods Resort Casino’s $10 million ad account. Agency chairman Bill Davis would not comment. Ingalls Advertising, Boston, Della Femina/Jeary & Partners, New York, and several undisclosed shops have been identified as contenders.
Agencies Await BP-Amoco Fallout
CHICAGO–Leo Burnett here and W.B. Doner & Co., Southfield, Mich., are awaiting word on thier ad assignments from British Petroleum and Amoco Corp. following BP’s proposed $48 billion acquisition of Amoco. Burnett handles Amoco’s $30 million account, Doner handles BP’s $12 million U.S. account and corporate work for the London company. Both clients said no advertising decisions have been made.
Newswire Roundup
Progress Software, Bedford, Mass., has begun a review to consolidate media and creative duties on its $3-5 million its ad account. Boston management consulting firm Pile and Co. has been hired to assist Square One, Dallas, has been hired by Home Box Office to handle Southwest promotional efforts. Sources estimated initial billings at $3-5 million. An HBO representative said the cable service is considering undisclosed shops to handle similar efforts in other markets. BBDO, New York, is HBO’s lead agency Kirshenbaum Bond & Partners, New York, has hired Deliah Lee, former network supervisor at McCann-Erickson, New York, as group supervisor, media buying, a new post. Previously, KBP’s media planners handled all buying tasks DraftWorldwide, Chicago, has acquired M & V Gmbh, a direct marketing agency with offices in Munich and Hamburg, Germany, and billings of $78 million. Draft already owns Wolff & Partner, Peter Reincke and Mailpool–direct and promotional shops–in Germany The Richards Group, Dallas; Campbell-Ewald, Warren, Mich.; and Carmichael Lynch, Minneapolis, have been named finalists in the review for Trex Co.’s $3-5 million ad account. The manufacturer of high-end artificial lumber elimated Mullen, Wenham, Mass., while HBRA & Partners in New York and Campbell Mithun Esty in Minneapolis did not advance After a review of undisclosed agencies, TLP here was hired to launch the first concerted consumer branding campaign for Advo, which distributes coupons and other promotional offers to more than 60 million households weekly. Spending was undisclosed.