NEWS: HOTLINE

Hamish Pringle, K Advertising’s chief executive, and Mike Parker, the chief executive at Team Saatchi, have denied that the two agencies are on the brink of merging, despite speculation that major clients, including Carlsberg, have already been informed. K Advertising, formerly KHBB, moved into Cordiant’s Whitfield Street headquarters, shared with Team Saatchi, earlier this year. .TX.- Speculation was mounting this week that the Mirror Group is set to sell its stake in the Independent to Tony O’Reilly, the title’s joint-largest shareholder and the owner of the Dublin-based Independent Newspapers. On Wednesday, Independent Newspapers earmarked pounds 250 million for acquisitions, which, according to O’Reilly, could include the ‘purchase of nationals in the UK’. O’Reilly was recently installed as the chairman of Newspaper Publishing, owner of the Independent.

Hamish Pringle, K Advertising’s chief executive, and Mike Parker, the

chief executive at Team Saatchi, have denied that the two agencies are

on the brink of merging, despite speculation that major clients,

including Carlsberg, have already been informed. K Advertising,

formerly KHBB, moved into Cordiant’s Whitfield Street headquarters,

shared with Team Saatchi, earlier this year.

.TX.-

Speculation was mounting this week that the Mirror Group is set to sell

its stake in the Independent to Tony O’Reilly, the title’s joint-largest

shareholder and the owner of the Dublin-based Independent Newspapers. On

Wednesday, Independent Newspapers earmarked pounds 250 million for

acquisitions, which, according to O’Reilly, could include the ‘purchase

of nationals in the UK’. O’Reilly was recently installed as the chairman

of Newspaper Publishing, owner of the Independent.



TBWA has promoted its managing director, Jonathan Hoare, to chairman of

the company as the current chairman, Alasdair Ritchie, immerses himself

in the role of president of TBWA Europe. Graham Arkell, currently the

deputy managing director of TBWA, replaces Hoare as the managing

director. Hoare said: ‘Alasdair only spends a minimum amount of time in

the UK’.



Native Productions has signed Stephan Elliott, the director and writer

of the film, the Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert. Elliott,

who has moved to the UK from the US, will be represented by Native for

ads. The agency has also signed the former Spots director, David

Gilston, and the special effects expert, Ian Moar.



MAI, the media group controlled by Lord Hollick, which joined forces

with United Newspapers earlier this year, is renaming its MAI Media

interests under the umbrella brand, United Broadcasting and

Entertainment. Malcolm Wall, the former managing director of Anglia

television, has been appointed as the deputy director of broadcasting

for the new division.



Paul Richards, the newly appointed managing director of Mellors Reay and

Partners, has hired Nick Webb from his former agency, Leagas Shafron

Davis, to take charge of the Ross Young and Jersey tourism accounts.



A High Court judge this week reserved judgment on Vodafone’s legal

action against its mobile phone rival, Orange, over what it claims were

malicious falsehoods in its TV, magazine and newspaper advertising.

Richard Hartley, counsel for Vodafone, described Orange’s claim of a

pounds 20 monthly saving for customers as ‘false and reckless’. John

Baldwin, representing Orange, claimed it was ‘just a simple recognition

of a better service’.



The House of Commons committee examining the Broadcasting Bill voted 12

to nine against allowing voluntary groups such as Amnesty International

to advertise on TV and radio (Campaign, 14 June). Meanwhile, the ITC and

the Radio Authority refused to relax their codes of practice, saying

Parliament should decide.



British Airways has lined up four specialist agencies to pitch for the

task of developing its World Wide Website, which opened in January and

currently has 15,000 hits a week. Optimedia Interactive, Xplora, AKQA

and KBW will compete for the business along with Agency.Com, a US-based

company.



Granada Sky Broadcasting, the satellite TV joint venture between Granada

Television and BSkyB, has appointed Zenith Media to handle media buying

for the ad campaign to launch seven channels this autumn. Lansdown

Conquest, which last week scooped the creative account, will handle

media planning.



SMI has scooped the new ad account of the US Internet company, PSINet,

which launches in the UK on Monday, backed by a pounds 1 million

adspend. The IT specialist agency, which represented Compuserve for four

years, will run ads in the national and computer press. In May, PSINet

bought the UK Internet access provider, EUNet. It has upgraded the

network and is chasing corporate and consumer users.