JWT Back in Telecom Business With McLeod

NEW YORK—J. Walter Thompson in New York has returned to the telecommunications category, landing ad duties for McLeod USA, a local and long-distance phone-service provider in the Midwest and West, the agency confirmed. Billings are estimated at $30-40 million. The shop landed the business following a review, which included other, undisclosed agencies. JWT’s past experience in the category includes work for Qwest and Sprint. McLeod, which is based in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, has restructured since emerging from bankruptcy in April, shedding cable operations and a publishing unit. Its last known agency was Peterson Milla Hooks in Minneapolis, which produced a print and outdoor effort in 1999.

2 Join Omnicom Board, Foy Steps Down

NEW YORK—One member of Omnicom Group’s board of directors has resigned, and two others have joined, the company said. Peter Foy, chairman of Whitehead Mann, left the board. Michael Henning, who retired as deputy chairman of Ernst & Young in 2000, and Errol Cook, who retired from his position as managing director and partner of Warburg Pincus & Co. in 1999, joined the Omnicom board. As a result of the changes, the Omnicom board now has 11 members, including non-executive chairman Bruce Crawford, nine other independent directors, and president and CEO John Wren.

United Names Marketing Exec; UAL Taps Grey Direct

CHICAGO—United Airlines named Scott Praven svp of marketing, responsible for advertising, promotions, brand management and marketing programs. Praven reports to Doug Hacker, who recently was named evp-strategy. Praven had been chief operating officer of UAL Loyalty Services, overseeing the Elk Grove Village, Ill., air carrier’s Web site and Mileage Plus program. That division last month hired Grey Direct Marketing Group in New York to handle its estimated $50 million account. United’s lead ad agency is Fallon in Minneapolis.

Chrysler Tweaks Tagline in New Dion Ads

DETROIT—A campaign for DaimlerChrysler AG’s Chrysler Group that stars Celine Dion and breaks this month is tagged, “Drive & Love”; it’s a slight tweak of the previous tagline, “Drive = Love,” which has been in use since September 2001. BBDO in Troy, Mich., is Chrysler Group’s lead agency. The Arnell Group in New York helped orchestrate the Dion deal. Both are Omnicom shops.

Bally Pushes ‘Beautiful Pain’

CHICAGO—Bally Total Fitness is making its annual post-holiday membership push with a campaign from Foote, Cone & Belding in Chicago tagged, “The beautiful pain.” TV spots that broke on Dec. 26 show people sore from working out, followed by gym shots and membership offers. FCB was awarded the estimated $35 million business in August. Colby Effler & Partners in Santa Monica, Calif., handled the account previously.

Jordan Returns for Gatorade

CHICAGO—A spot for Gatorade that broke on New Year’s Day features Michael Jordan at three stages of his career. The spot, created by Element 79 Partners in Chicago and directed by Joe Pytka, marks Jordan’s return to Gatorade ads after a three-year absence. Jordan has pitched Gatorade, owned by Quaker Oats Co., since 1991.

New VW Salvo Hits Airwaves

BOSTON—Arnold continues to combine lifestyle themes and playful visuals in its latest spots for Volkswagen. One ad that broke late last month contrasts visual depictions of “squares”—desktop PCs, office buildings, doors—with the smooth arch shape of the New Beetle. The commercial is thematically similar to Arnold’s earlier spots for the Beetle convertible that showed an office worker seeking escape through a VW. Other new dealer-focused spots feature two men trading banter on a sales lot. The ads retain the “Drivers wanted” tagline. The client spends about $450 million on ads per year, according to CMR.

Stones Standard Backs Ford in JWT Spot

DETROIT—JWT trots out the opening chords of “Start Me Up,” by the Rolling Stones, in a spot for Ford Motor Co.’s Ford division that broke on Jan. 1. Six versions of the spot, which focuses on vehicle features and customer incentives, will air regionally in spot buys.

Burnett Commercial to Back Pop-Tart Contest

CHICAGO—In advance of the 40th anniversary of Pop-Tarts in 2004, Kellogg Co. is set to break a campaign touting a contest for consumers to design their own Pop-Tarts. TV spots breaking Jan. 13 from Leo Burnett in Chicago will direct kids to a Web site where they can create Pop-Tarts. Three winners will be awarded $10,000 each in February. Kellogg spent $20 million on ads for the brand in 2002 through September, according to CMR.

Newswire Roundup

Sawyer Riley Compton has recruited former marchFirst creative director Minsoo Pak to head the agency’s interactive unit. Pak, 36, will report to executive cd Bart Cleveland at the Atlanta shop. Pak’s resume includes stints at Ogilvy & Mather in Atlanta; Price/McNabb in Charlotte, N.C.; Crawford Intermedia and USWeb/CKS, both in Atlanta. … Doner won Home & Garden Television’s estimated $10-12 million ad account, sources said. The Southfield, Mich., agency bested Fitzgerald & Co. in Atlanta and MARC USA in Chicago. Incumbent Lewis Communications in Birmingham, Ala., did not defend. Consultancy AAR Partners in New York handled the search. HGTV and Doner could not be reached. … Hampton Inn and Hampton Inn & Suites awarded its $5-10 million account to FCB in Chicago, following a review. Contenders included incumbent DDB in Dallas and Martin/Williams in Minneapolis.