– Group III President Leaves as Shop Closes
ATLANTA–Group III Communications president Chris Taylor has joined Cortani & Morrison as vice president in wake of the agency’s closing. The Virginia Beach, Va., shop’s chief executive officer, Bob Morrison, said he expected “most” of Group III’s non-healthcare accounts to follow Taylor to his new agency. Group III in Norfolk, Va., was the in-house ad arm of First Hospital Corp., but began serving other clients in recent years. Morrison said at least one other Group III employee would join Taylor at the agency, and he expected billings “to increase to about $15 million after the dust settles.”
– ValueLink Awards Account to SmithAgency.com
ATLANTA–SmithAgency.com has been named agency of record for ValueLink, an electronic gift card service for retailers including Sears, Borders and Blockbuster. The Fort Lauderdale, Fla., shop will handle creative, media and public relations. There was no review, with the decision coming after a series of project assignments for the Coral Springs, Fla., client. Client director of marketing Jerry DeWitt said billings would “far exceed” $1 million.
– BBDO South Breaks First Bayer Pursell TV Work
ATLANTA–BBDO South begins a national television campaign for Bayer Pursell’s new garden care products on the West Coast this week. Spot TV, staggered to precede the growing season throughout the rest of the country, will follow. Four TV spots from the Atlanta agency for the Birmingham, Ala., client give personalities to subjects like a rose or Japanese Beetle, then listen to them thinking aloud about the garden products.
– McKinney Introduces Trade Series for Microcast
ATLANTA–McKinney & Silver breaks a new trade advertising campaign today for Microcast, an Internet video delivery network. “We’ve overcome the most common glitches in streaming media online. Like the fact it sucks, for example” headlines one of six print executions from the Raleigh, N.C., agency for the Westport, Conn., client.
– J.C. Penney Looks to New York, True North
DALLAS–J.C. Penney has contacted five agencies to participate in a review following its recent split with Temerlin McClain of Irving, Texas. Invited to the contest are BBDO Worldwide, DDB Worldwide, McCann-Erickson Worldwide and Saatchi & Saatchi, all New York, plus an undetermined agency to represent True North Communications, Chicago.
– First Union Pulls Plug on Television Campaign
ATLANTA–First Union National Bank has cut its advertising budget and will halt its controversial “Financial world” television campaign as it “moves into other channels,” said Sandra Deem, vice president of corporate relations. The Charlotte, N.C., financial institution will continue the “Financial world” theme in print, direct mail, collateral and on-site ads, she said, but will end television advertising, “at least for now.” Deem declined to provide budgetary figures. Competitive Media Reporting cites 1998 advertising expenditures of $42.2 million; $68 million through September 1999.