SNET in Talks With Publicis/Bloom

BOSTON–Southern New England Telecommunications in New Haven, Conn., was said to be in late-stage contract negotiations with Publicis/Bloom in New York and is expected to award its creative and media planning assignments to the shop this week, sources said. Billings are $15 million. Media buying is handled by Media Inc. in New York; that portion of the account was never part of the review.

Nokia Shifts Account From Grey to Richards

NEW YORK–Grey Advertising has lost the national ad account of Nokia mobile phones to The Richards Group. Matt Wisk, director of marketing for the Dallas-based company, said he moved the account from Grey here to the Dallas-based Richards after conducting informal discussions with a ‘half-dozen agencies.’ Grey had handled creative as well as media planning and buying for Nokia. According to Competitive Media Reporting, Nokia spent around $3 million in advertising for all its brands in 1996.

Bally Moves Creative Account From Riney

CHICAGO–Bally Total Fitness and Hal Riney & Partners/Heartland here have split. New York production company C&C Films confirmed it is handling all creative development and production. Western International Media in Los Angeles continues to handle media. Bally spent $42 million for its chain of health clubs in 1996, according to Competitive Media Reporting. Bally officials could not be reached for comment.

Agencies Emerge in Aamco Review

NEW YORK–Aamco Transmissions has contacted several shops around the country to participate in its $15-20 million review. Biederman, Kelly & Shaffer; Kirshenbaum Bond & Partners; Korey Kay & Partners; Publicis/Bloom; and Weiss, Whitten, Stagliano, all in New York; The Weightman Group and Tierney & Partners, both Philadelphia; Mars Advertising, Southfield, Mich.; and Cohen/Johnson and DavisElen, both in Los Angeles, are some of the shops contacted. Advertising Agency Register here is conducting the search.

Veryfine, Mullen to Part; Client Initiates Review

BOSTON–Bay State juice maker Veryfine and Mullen, its agency of record for eight years, last week said they would part ways. The client, based in Littleton, Mass., will begin a review in 30-45 days, said Veryfine director of marketing Michael Brandt. Veryfine will consider agencies with ‘strong strategic planning and creative excellence’ and is leaning toward New England shops. The account will likely encompass media planning, creative development and public relations, Brandt said. Veryfine spent $3 million on advertising in 1996, according to Competitive Media Reporting.

Reebok Makes Plans, Looks for Media Buyer

BOSTON–Heater Advertising, a 20-person Boston shop and its spinoff, The Heat, will take leadership roles among the yet unnamed boutiques assuming creative duties on the Reebok account, said client representative Dave Fogelson. Agency president Bill Heater said his shop will contribute to developing a global branding campaign as well as product-specific promotions. Sources said Reebok is focusing on finding a new agency to handle media buying. Leo Burnett in Chicago resigned the footwear maker’s estimated $100 million account two weeks ago, citing philosophical differences and frustration.

Burnett, Service Merchandise Talk

CHICAGO–Leo Burnett is in talks with retailer Service Merchandise, Brentwood, Tenn., about handling a special project assignment, the agency confirmed. SLP & Co., New York, is Service Merchandise’s incumbent agency, according to the company.

Changes in Schwab’s Contenders’ List

LOS ANGELES–Several agencies have withdrawn or been added to the review for a $10 million assignment for Charles Schwab’s electronic trading unit. BBDO West in Los Angeles, Winkler in San Francisco and Cliff Freeman and Partners in New York have opted not to participate. Two shops have been added to the San Francisco-based client’s list: J. Walter Thompson’s San Francisco office and Kovel Kresser and Partners in Santa Monica, Calif. Review consultant Mike Marsak confirmed the changes. Other contenders are: Campbell-Ewald, Dailey & Associates, Grey Advertising and Mendelsohn/Zien, all Los Angeles; Blazing Paradigm in San Francisco; Kirshenbaum Bond & Partners, Lowe & Partners/SMS and Partners & Shevack, all New York; and EvansGroup’s Seattle office.

DMB&B Breaks Gateway 2000 Spot

LOS ANGELES–D’Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles here aired its first TV commercial for client Gateway 2000 last week. The spot, titled ‘Look Alike,’ highlights Intel’s processor, the Pentium II, which will be available in upcoming Gateway computer models.

Saatchi, Bates to Split Overseas Offices

NEW YORK–Saatchi & Saatchi Advertising Worldwide and Bates Worldwide must split up roughly 10 jointly operated offices in Eastern Europe and Asia as a result of parent Cordiant’s ‘demerger.’ Ed Wax, Saatchi’s worldwide chairman and chief executive, worldwide, confirmed that joint offices in markets such as Russia and Hungary will have to be separated. The sole exception will be Japan, where the two agencies will continue to operate jointly. ‘This is a major project that has to be resolved,’ said Wax.

Sprint Awards Grey Branding Duties

NEW YORK–Sprint Corp. enlisted Grey Advertising here to undertake a brand development initiative, which may lead to a print and TV branding campaign for the Kansas City, Mo.-based company. Grey prevailed over Sprint lead agency J. Walter Thompson in San Francisco to win the assignment. Grey handles Sprint’s business-to-business advertising. The budget was undisclosed, but sources estimate the campaign will be worth $20-30 million.

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