American Legacy in Talks With Pile for Review

BOSTON—American Legacy Foundation evp, marketing Chris Cullen this week meets in Boston with executives of Pile and Co. Cullen said he expects to hire the consultancy to oversee an upcoming review. Legacy must place the account’s creative duties, now handled by Havas’ Arnold in Boston and Maxxcom’s Crispin Porter + Bogusky in Miami, in review next year due to an arrangement with the group’s board to conduct an evaluation every five years. The incumbents will be invited to defend, Cullen said. It will be determined this week whether media duties, now with Havas’ Arnold MPG, will also go into review, he said. Legacy spent about $100 million on ads in 2000, but spending dropped to $60 million last year, according to CMR.

3 Execs Shift Roles at SMG

LOS ANGELES—Publicis Groupe’s Starcom MediaVest Group has made a change at the top of its MediaVest network. Laura Desmond, CEO of SMG Latin America, was named CEO of MediaVest USA. She replaces Donna Salvatore, who was named chief investment strategist at MediaVest, a new post. Nancy Mullahy, president of SMG Mexico, replaces Desmond. The trio take on their new roles Jan. 3.

Arnold in N.Y. Drops McGrath From Name

NEW YORK—Arnold McGrath has changed its name to Arnold Worldwide/New York, effective immediately, the agency said. The change came just days after the agency lost Procter & Gamble, the shop’s second largest account (worth about $65 million in billings), following a realignment of the Cincinnati-based company’s brands. The packaged-goods business was long associated with the agency’s namesake, chairman and CEO Pat McGrath, whom sources said is expected to retire by year’s end. An agency representative said there is “no correlation” between the two events, and that the moniker change had been “planned for a while.” In October 2001, the shop changed its name to Arnold McGrath from Jordan McGrath Case & Partners after being moved from Havas’ Euro RSCG network to its Arnold network.

Batman Abandoned in New OnStar Effort

DETROIT—Campbell-Ewald in Warren, Mich., is working on a new campaign for OnStar that will not employ the Batman theme used in ads for the past two years, according to a representative for the General Motors unit. New TV spots set to break early next year are intended to give potential OnStar subscribers a better idea of what services are available. Troy, Mich.-based OnStar spent about $30 million on ads in 2001, according to CMR.

BMW Begins Multicultural Search

CHICAGO—BMW of North America will spend the next few weeks winnowing submissions for its multicultural review. The Woodcliff Lake, N.J., client announced the search last week and has invited incumbent Washington Daniel in Chicago to defend. The search, for which there is no consultant, is expected to be completed by the end of the first quarter of 2003. The company’s relationships with lead agency Fallon in Minneapolis and regional agencies Publicis in New York and Mendelsohn/Zien in Los Angeles will not be affected, according to a company representative. Billings were undisclosed. BMW spent about $60 million on ads last year, according to CMR.

EDS Marketing Chief to Start Consultancy

DALLAS—Electronic Data Systems marketing chief Don Uzzi is leaving the computer-services company to launch a marketing and communications consultancy. His responsibilities at EDS will be assumed by evp Chuck Griffith.

Incorporating the Greek word for “center of knowledge and wisdom,” Uzzi is calling his Dallas company Atheneum Associates. Uzzi has been credited with revitalizing the marketing operations and image of EDS in Plano, Texas, over the nearly four years he has served as svp of global advertising, marketing and communications.

Merrill Lynch Predicts Adspend Rise in 2003

NEW YORK—Merrill Lynch issued a survey earlier this month, of 17 unnamed national advertisers, that expects a rise of 4 percent in ad spending next year over 2002. For 2003, 70 percent of respondents expect to increase their ad budgets, 18 percent expect their budgets to remain flat, and only 12 percent expect their budgets to decline. Forty-seven percent of respondents set their ad budgets as percentages of sales; 18 percent base their budgets on volume forecasts; 12 percent, on corporate goals; and the rest, on a variety of metrics.

Newswire Roundup

The Omnicom Group team of Lyons Lavey Nickel Swift and TBWA\Chiat\Day has landed Bayer Corp.’s estimated $20 million diabetes-products account. Other contenders were Interpublic Group’s Torre Lazur McCann Healthcare in New York; the Omnicom team of KPR and Merkley Newman Harty & Partners, both in New York; and Gerbig, Snell/Weisheimer & Associates in Columbus, Ohio, said sources. … Four shops have advanced in the estimated $5-10 million creative and media review for the Food Network, sources said. They are CMG Communications, Margeotes|Fertitta + Partners, Ziccardi Partners Frierson Mee and incumbent GWhiz! Entertainment, all in New York. Linda Ong of New York consultancy Truth Consulting is managing the review. Ong and the client declined comment. … Campbell-Ewald’s failure to sell a campaign to Sea World led the Busch Entertainment unit to move its estimated $10-15 million account to DDB in Chicago, agency officials said. … Recreational Equipment Inc. has ended its relationship with Sedgwick Rd. in Seattle and turned to its previous agency, Copacino, also in Seattle, for advertising support. REI spends $10 million annually on ads, according to CMR.