News Wire

Saatchi Launches Camry Solara
LOS ANGELES–Saatchi & Saatchi here said it will employ the theme “It’s for you” in a new campaign supporting the launch of Toyota’s Camry Solara coupe. The strategy behind the estimated $30 million effort breaking this week is to “give people permission to indulge themselves a little,” said executive creative director Joe McDonagh. Toyota is rolling out the new two-door coupe under the Camry umbrella to bolster its position as the nation’s best-selling nameplate.

Kaufman Picks Semifinalists
CHICAGO–Kaufman Footwear will hear presentations from six semifinalists for its $8-10 million account. Incumbent Brandworks, Toronto, is joined by W.B. Doner & Co., Southfield, Mich.; Lippi & Co., Charlotte, N.C.; Lyons Marketing Communications, Wilmington, Del.; and Minneapolis shops Martin/ Williams and Periscope. Carmichael Lynch, Minneapolis, was named a semifinalist but withdrew, citing possible conflicts.

Kovel Kresser Breaks Playboy Work
LOS ANGELES–Kovel Kresser & Partners will break the next phase in its estimated $10 million campaign for Playboy Enterprises under the theme “Life, liberty and the pursuit of dreams.” The new effort from the Venice, Calif., shop includes a print ad showing a young man with a bottle of Viagra sticking out of his rear pocket. “What’s up?” asks the copy. “Plenty these days.” Playboy corporate vice president Cindy Rakowitz said “the message is that everybody’s talking about [Viagra] and probably everybody’s using it,” including younger men. Officials at Pfizer in New York, which markets the drug, could not be reached for comment.

Adidas Narrows Agency Search
SAN FRANCISCO–A short list of three to four agencies made presentations last week to Adidas AG in its review for creative projects in Europe. A decision is expected this week. The list did not include Chris Mendola and Alex Melvin, former Wieden & Kennedy staffers dismissed last month for allegedly working on the Adidas pitch while at Wieden [Adweek, Aug. 24]. Finalists include BMP DDB and Circuit, both in London, and one or two undisclosed shops, sources said.

Burger Giants Kick Off Promotional Blitzes
NEW YORK–Burger King will return to the gridiron next week to try and sack McDonald’s broad-based Big Mac 30th anniversary promotional push with top college football coaches touting a buy-one-get-one deal for its Big King sandwich. TV and radio ads from Ammirati Puris Lintas, New York, feature coaches Bobby Bowden of Florida State and Doug Williams of Grambling as well as ABC’s NCAA football play-by-play man, Keith Jackson. McD’s “Get back to Big Mac” promotion, beginning next week, includes an in-store game that cuts prices on selected food items to 1968 levels–Big Macs for 49 cents and hamburgers for 20 cents. National TV from DDB Needham¸, Chicago, backs the promotion, whose prize cache includes old and new Volkswagen Beetles and Gibson Les Paul guitars.

Mullen Breaks Nextel TV Spots
BOSTON–Mullen, Wenham, Mass., this week will break new TV ads for Nextel Communications, McLean, Va. Part of a $15 million national effort, the ads introduce the themeline, “Makes ordinary cell phones seem ordinary.” Three 30-second spots are running on ESPN, CNN, The Weather Channel and CNBC. Radio, newspaper and outdoor ads support the TV spots.

Sprint Taps Burnett’s Vigilante
CHICAGO–Leo Burnett has gained a foothold with Sprint, which selected Vigilante, New York, to handle advertising for its consumer long-distance division targeting African-American consumers. Vigilante was created in December by Burnett, which resigned as agency of record for Ameritech last year. The Sprint review included Thompson Connect, a New York sister agency of lead Sprint shop J. Walter Thompson, San Francisco; and EnterMedia, also New York.

Newswire Roundup
Five shops have been contacted about handling creative and promotional duties on the $3 million account for Allied Domecq’s Midori melon liqueur, the client confirmed. Square One, Dallas; Steam Advertising and Design, Ann Arbor, Mich.; Flair Communications, Chicago; Lois/EJL, pitching with Vertical Marketing Network, both Chicago; and Lois/EJL, New York, are being considered Merkley Newman Harty, New York, broke five new 30-second TV spots on network and cable last week in its continuing “How money works now” campaign for Travelers Insurance. Each commercial traces the journey of two dollar bills: one used to purchase an everyday item such as coffee, the other invested with Travelers. Merkley won the $15 million corporate and insurance account last year DDB Needham Worldwide has purchased a majority stake in Mexican agency Gilvert Publicidad and will merge it with DDB Needham Mexico to create Gilbert DDB. The new shop will rank as the 11th largest in Mexico The Romann Group in New York won the $10 million ad account of online auction shop Auction Universe, a subsidiary of Times Mirror Fallon McElligott named Richard Flintham and Andy McLeod creative directors in its recently opened London office. Both formerly at BMP DDB, London, they join Robert Senior, Michael Wall and Laurence Green on Fallon’s management team in the U.K. The $20 million Lee Jeans Europe account, won earlier this year, is the agency’s anchor.