SBD/1/Sponsorships Advertising Marketing

AGENCY NEWS: MAJOR MERGER; COLA STRATEGIES; MILLER

     In a transaction that has reportedly been under discussion
for 18 months, Chiat/Day -- one of the "hottest creative
agencies" in the '80s -- has agreed to merge with Omnicom Group's
TBWA Int'l, an agency known more for its print than TV
advertising.  Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but several
industry execs estimated Omnicom is paying in the "tens of
millions" for Chiat/Day, including the agency's debt, which is
said to be "far less" than $50M.  Bill Targos, co-founder and
chair of TBWA, will be the new chair and CEO of the combined
operations called TBWA Chiat/Day, while Jay Chiat will become a
consultant to Omnicom, now the 3rd largest world-wide ad agency
holding company.  Some of Chiat's major clients:  Nissan's
Infiniti division, Eveready Battery, Coca-Cola's Fruitopia and
Quaker State.  TBWA's major clients:  Absolut, Sara Lee's
Wonderbra, Nissan Motor and Evian Water.  One note:  BBDO, an
Omnicom subsidiary, handles Pepsi-Cola and Diet Pepsi, and
Omnicom officials concede it is unlikely Pepsi "will stand for"
another Omnicom agency handling a rival in Coca-Cola's Fruitopia
(Kevin Goldman, WALL STREET JOURNAL, 2/1).   SOFT DRINKS:
Because it appears diet cola sales have "reached a plateau" of
about 26% of the $49B U.S. soft drink market, Coca-Cola will
sponsor, "for the first time," three separate ad campaigns by
three agencies to promote three different diet cola brands around
the world.  The "troika of campaigns is indicative" of the
broadening of Coca-Cola's ad messages and agency relationships
during the '90s.  By contrast, PepsiCo is taking an opposite tack
-- combining campaigns for Diet Pepsi and Pepsi under the theme
"Nothing else is a Pepsi."  The Diet Coke campaign will run in
the four countries where it is sold:  U.S., Australia, Britain
and Canada.  A second campaign will concentrate on Coca-Cola
Light, as Diet Coke is known in 93 countries; the third will help
sell caffeine-free varieties of Diet Coke and Coca-Cola Light
(Stuart Elliott, N.Y. TIMES, 2/1).  The caffeine-free Diet Coke
ads target consumers over 40 (USA TODAY, 2/1).
     MILLER ICES TWO AGENCIES:  Miller Brewing shuffled its
agency lineup again yesterday, "parting ways" with J. Walter
Thompson Chicago and reassigning its Miller Lite Ice beer brand
from Bates USA in New York to the Leap Partnership of Chicago.
Miller moved several smaller brands handled by Thompson Chicago,
including Reserve, Lowenbrau and Sharp's to Young & Rubicam
Chicago (N.Y. TIMES, 2/1).
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Related Topics:

BBDO, Coca-Cola, Nissan, PepsiCo, Sara Lee

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