News Wire

MRM Expands in Pacific, Europe
NEW YORK–McCann Relationship Marketing here has enlarged its global network through the acquisition of three agencies with about $60 million in combined billings. Stan Rapp, MRM’s worldwide chief executive, did not disclose terms for ISD in Japan, The Direct Response Co. in Sydney, Australia, and Common Sense in Madrid, Spain.
Kaplan Thaler Bows Toys R Us Ads
NEW YORK–The Kaplan Thaler Group broke new tactical TV ads for Toys R Us, in Paramus, N.J. One spot commemorates the chain’s 50th anniversary and shows kids playing with toys. A voiceover compares childhood to adult life. Toys R Us spends $50 million annually on ads.
GM Credits Mullen
BOSTON–Mullen in Wenham, Mass., is working on a direct marketing assignment for the relaunch of the GM MasterCard, the client said. A direct mail effort is expected later this month. Spending was not disclosed. The shop also handles General Motors’ Certified Used Vehicles program.
Saatchi Lauds First Innovator
SAN FRANCISCO–Saatchi & Saatchi gave its first $100,000 Innovation in Communication Award to Leslie Kay of New Zealand, creator of SonicVision, a personal sonar system that helps the blind. “We want to do everything we can to celebrate and assist ‘imagineers’ of the world who create world-changing ideas,” said Saatchi & Saatchi chief executive Kevin Roberts. Judges included astronaut Buzz Aldrin and novelist William Gibson.
Bates Breaks New Hyundai Work
LOS ANGELES–Hyundai Motor America plans to spend an estimated $25 million over the next six weeks for its new “Hyundai Advantage” warranty campaign, breaking today. The two similar 30-second spots, created by Bates USA West in Irvine, Calif., show the 1999 Tiburon model with text and a voiceover describing “America’s best warranty.” The spots retain the tagline, “Driving is believing.”
Shops Emerge in Hunt for Royal Caribbean
NEW YORK–At least 10 agencies are pitching Miami-based Royal Caribbean Cruises’ $10 million direct marketing account, sources said. They are: Blau Marketing Technologies and DraftWorldwide, both Chicago; Targetbase Marketing, Irving, Texas; Holland Mark Martin Edmund, Boston; and FCB Direct, Grey Direct, McCann Relationship Marketing, Rapp Collins Worldwide and Wunderman Cato Johnson, all New York. The review may also include undisclosed others. Consultant Jan Apple in Minnetonka, Minn., is assisting with the search. CF2GS, recently incorporated into Bozell Worldwide, Seattle, was the incumbent.
Grey Pulls Out of Borden Review
NEW YORK–Grey Advertising withdrew from the review to consolidate Borden Foods’ brands–an account estimated at $15 million–at one agency. Grey cited a potential conflict with its Barilla pasta and sauces client. Bozell Worldwide here and Campbell Mithun Esty in Minneapolis are the other contenders.
Long Island Hospital System Seeks Agency
NEW YORK–The North Shore-Long Island Jewish Health System is talking to four shops about its $3-5 million account. Consultant Dennis Zolnierzak said the four New York contenders are incumbent Della Femina/Jeary and Partners, Grybauskas Beatrice, Margeotes/Fertitta & Partners and Seiter & Miller Advertising. A decision is expected by Thanksgiving.
Newswire Roundup
McCann-Erickson Worldwide has hired Tim Carlisle, director of client services at M&C Saatchi in New York, as an executive vice president, group account director Lisle, Ill.-based Budget Rent a Car selected Leo Burnett’s Starcom media unit to handle buying for its $40 million account Lowe & Partners/SMS, New York, will unveil a $30 million TV campaign in February for the launch of Oral-B Laboratories’ new premium CrossAction toothbrush, which will retail at $4.99. The themeline: “More angles. More action. More effective.” The William Cook Agency has called off its search for a media shop to handle $60 million in buying for Jacksonville, Fla.-based client Winn-Dixie Stores, sources said Maris, West & Baker was selected to handle the $13 million account of the Partnership for a Healthy Mississippi, which aims to curb underage smoking. The Jackson, Miss., agency won the account in an alliance with Crispin Porter & Bogusky in Miami, Porter Novelli in Washington, D.C., and Roy Communications in Atlanta. Other finalists: The Ramey Agency (partnering with Spike/DDB in New York) and GodwinGroup, both of Jackson; and Slaughter Hanson Advertising of Birmingham, Ala.
ITT Sheraton Corp., White Plains, N.Y., consolidated its $10-12 million local marketing account with MMG Worldwide in Kansas City, Mo. The Interpublic Group of Cos. posted net income of $45 million in the third quarter, a 45 percent increase from the same period the year before. IPG’s net income for the first nine months of 1998 rose 28 percent, to $197 million The Leap Group’s sale of the bulk of its One World Communications subsidiary to Young & Rubicam has been completed. Chicago-based Leap unloads Kang & Lee Communications, New York, and AT&T business from YAR Communications, New York. Sources placed the deal, which had been tied up in legal wrangling, at $10-15 million.
BCA Advertising, New York, is a participant in the $4 million review for Regus Business Center Corp.’s ad account [Adweek, Oct. 26].