Benecol boosts ad budget, drops price on spread
[fort washington, pa.] McNeil Consumer Products is reducing the suggested retail price of Benecol spread below $4, according to an executive with a retailer, while boosting its total marketing budget to $100 million to include support for its Benecol-branded salad dressing, now rolling national. McNeil also is adding two new products
to the Benecol line: a tub margarine and an unidentified product in a new category. Saatchi & Saatchi Healthcare, New York, is the agency for Benecol.
Disney in talks for sale of Fairchild
[new york] Walt Disney Co.'s stock closed up Friday, after reports the company is in talks with Conde Nast Publications and Hearst Magazines to sell its Fairchild Publications unit, which publishes Jane, W and Women's Wear Daily. Disney stock closed up $1.06 at $27.19, a 4.07% gain. Disney has been under pressure from Wall Street analysts and shareholders, who wanted the company to concentrate on its core entertainment businesses. All three companies refused comment on the reports.
WPP Group buys IntelliQuest
[london] WPP Group has agreed to acquire technology information services company IntelliQuest Information Group, Austin, Texas. IntelliQuest will join Millward Brown, a wholly owned WPP subsidiary, once the acquisition is complete. IntelliQuest also will work closely with other companies in the Kantar Group, to which Millward Brown belongs. IntelliQuest had revenue of $26.4 million in 1998.
McDonald's tries new cookies
[oak brook, ill.] In its latest local product introduction, McDonald's Corp. has added fresh-baked cookies in Los Angeles, Hawaii and San Diego restaurants. In Los Angeles, the line is being supported with radio ads from DavisElen Advertising, Los Angeles. There are three flavors-chocolate chip, oatmeal raisin and sugar-offered at 39 cents each, three for $1 or $3.99 for a baker's dozen. One Hawaii franchisee said the cookies are a hit. It is unclear whether they'll be expanded chainwide.
De Beers launches millennium work
[new york] De Beers Consolidated Mines this week breaks a $20 million millennium-theme campaign that for the first time features people instead of silhouettes. The advertising, created by J. Walter Thompson USA, will run in 30- and 60-second versions and features a woman dancing in Times Square.
Bayer launches One-A-Day extensions
[morristown, n.j.] Bayer Consumer Care launches two extensions to its One-A-Day herbal supplement line this week, backed by a $5 million TV campaign from Euro RSCG Tatham, Chicago. The effort will continue to feature actress Annie Potts and centers on new Joint Health; BedTime & Rest is the other new product.
YourPharmacy.com trims review to 6
[st. louis] Online pharmacy yourPharmacy.com, a subsidiary of managed care company Express Scripts, narrowed its search for its first agency of record to six undisclosed shops. The estimated $20 million campaign is expected to include TV, radio, outdoor, print and online advertising. A yourPharmacy.com spokesman said a decision was planned for the end of August.
StoreRunner names DDB to $20 mil account
[san diego] Online shopping portal StoreRunner.com, partly owned by CBS Corp., handed its estimated $10 million to $20 million account to DDB Worldwide, New York, with the bulk of the spending for advertising on CBS properties. Agencies said to have been included in the review included Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide, J. Walter Thompson USA and BBDO Worldwide, all in New York.
Rainbow Media Networks' Bravo Channel is believed to have awarded its $10 million-plus account to Grey Entertainment, New York. . . . Joe Eazor to CEO of interactive businesses, Cordiant Communications Group, New York, a new position, from chief strategist for Electronic Data Systems. . . . APB Multimedia has named Bozell Kamstra, New York, as first agency of record for its $20 million account, which includes online advertising, as well as TV, print and outdoor. APB Multimedia operates the ABPNews news service and a Web site. . . . Avrett, Free & Ginsberg, New York, has picked up the estimated $7 million to $10 million account for LuxuryFinder.com. . . . Newspage.com, an online source for free, personalized news, narrowed its review for the first agency to handle its $10 million to $15 million campaign to three shops: Chadwick Communications and Grey Advertising, both in New York, and TFA/ Leo Burnett, Boston. The branding campaign will include spot TV, radio, print and outdoor. Final presentations are slated for late August. Grey-owned Beyond Interactive, Ann Arbor, Mich., handles Newpage.
com's online media-buying. . . . Furniture.com to Bartle Bogle Hegarty, New York, for a new U.S. brand-building account estimated at more than $5 million. . . . Time Warner and Advance Publications, reportedly citing expense reasons, have decided not to move forward with their proposed Women's Network cable TV channel for now. . . . Downtown Athletic Club today will announce a marketing push from American Suzuki Motor Corp. and a major media company for its Heisman Trophy. Media executives speculated the company is Time Warner or News Corp. Last year, the U.S. Postal Service was the club's marketing partner on the trophy. . . . Living.com, a home products and services site, tapped Leo Burnett USA, Chicago, and Starcom USA, Burnett's media division. Burnett will develop print, TV, outdoor and possibly radio executions. Burnett and Starcom bested