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[st. louis] Anheuser-Busch Cos., in a new attempt to succeed in the super-premium beer segment, is testing Anheuser World Select in 10 undisclosed U.S. markets to compete with Heineken and other European lagers, said people close to the brewer. Like Heineken, Anheuser World Select is packaged in a green bottle. Little advertising support is expected initially. Anheuser-Busch could not be reached for comment.

XM's $50 mil account to Mullen and Carat

[washington] XM Satellite Radio Holdings selected Interpublic Group of Cos.' Mullen, Wenham, Mass., to handle creative and Aegis Group's Carat North America, New York, for media planning and buying on its $50 million account, according to XM. Others in the creative review were believed to be Interpublic's Hill, Holliday, Connors, Cosmopulos and independent Modernista, both Boston. The media search involved Carat and Publicis Groupe's MediaVest, New York. Creative had previously been handled in-house. Boston's Pile & Co. was the search consultant.

Dentsu profits fall 16%; 2003 outlook is weak

[tokyo] Dentsu said revenue and profits fell in its fiscal year ended March 31 due to weakness in the Japanese ad market and forecast a further profit decline in the current fiscal year. It reported net income of $191.6 million, off 16.4%, for the just ended year on revenue of $14.13 billion, off 5.4%. Dentsu noted ad spending in Japan was down 5.9% in 2002, its second consecutive year-to-year drop.

Expecting continued business weakness in Japan, Dentsu forecast profits for its current fiscal year will fall 3.9% from year ago levels on a 2.5% gain in revenue.

America Online talks to shops about projects

[dulles, va.] AOL Time Warner's America Online is talking to agencies about unspecified future projects, said Exec VP-Brand Marketing Len Short. The agencies and spending involved were not disclosed. A team from Wieden & Kennedy, Portland, Ore., will present to America Online this week. America Online is deciding between Wieden & Kennedy and Omnicom Group's BBDO Worldwide, New York, for its corporate brand assignment. BBDO previously won the assignment for America Online's broadband service.

Amster Yard to become World Creative Group

[new york] Amster Yard, a 10-year-old creative boutique inside Interpublic Group of Cos.' McCann-Erickson Worldwide, will be renamed World Creative Group and operate as a stand-alone unit of the New York office of McCann, effective June 30. Amster Yard clients Bacardi-Martini, Coca-Cola Co. and the Outdoor Life Network will move to World Creative Group. Jeff Weiss, an Amster Yard founder and exec VP-executive creative director, and Simon Pearce, Amster Yard senior VP-group managing director, will run World Creative Group. See AdAge.com QwikFIND aao68l

Pay package disclosed for Interpublic exec

[new york] New Interpublic Group of Cos. Chief Operating Officer Chris Coughlin will receive a yearly base salary of $800,000, according to a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission. Four other Interpublic top executives have higher salaries. In addition, he will get annual deferred compensation of $100,000; a signing bonus of $400,000 in stock; annual management incentive compensation plan awards up to 100% of base salary; long-term incentive-plan bonuses; and options to buy 200,000 shares priced at market price when he starts. Separately, Interpublic disclosed the Internal Revenue Service wants it to pay an additional $41.5 million plus interest for the 1994-to-1996 tax years. Interpublic disputes that amount but said it likely will have to pay some additional taxes.

Yahoo! opens campaign for new Yahoo! Search

[sunnyvale, calif.] Yahoo! supports its revamped Yahoo! Search service with a TV, online, radio and outdoor campaign that breaks May 19. Spending was not disclosed. TV ads run on national network and cable sports and entertainment programming. Outdoor and radio target Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York and San Francisco. Tagline: "Faster. Easier. Bingo." Havas' Black Rocket, San Francisco, handles. Online ads were handled in-house.

Absolut signs as sponsor with CBSMarketWatch

[STOCKHOLM] Absolut Vodka signed a one-year exclusive sponsorship of CBSMarketWatch.com's Friday "Happy Hour" day-part. Terms were not disclosed. Absolut will help usher in the weekend for visitors to the business and financial Web site with skyscraper and other large interactive ad units. The arrangement gives the vodka marketer page takeovers with an eight-to-10-second message on the site on Fridays from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m.

FYI ...

European Travel Commission, New York and Brussels, is seeking a U.S. based advertising agency. The incumbent, independent Donald Martin & Co., New York, is not participating in the review. Consultant AAR Partners, New York, is handling. Spending was not disclosed. ... Liberty Media is interested in acquiring Vivendi Universal's U.S. cable TV interests, theme parks and Hollywood studio, according to president John Malone. Liberty, he said, has $5.3 billion in cash and securities and could raise another $10 billion by selling off investments. ... Crain Communications' BtoB Magazine will publish Media Business with a first issue June 9 and monthly frequency beginning in September. The standard-sized magazine will target business-to-business publishing executives and be distributed to relevant BtoB subscribers. ... KSL Media last week completed its buyback from Interpublic Group of Cos., an all-cash deal negotiated in September 2001. The $400 million media buying and planning agency maintains offices in New York, San Francisco and Los Angeles, where KSL Chairman Kal Liebowitz is now based. ... Del Monte Foods StarKist Seafood Co. broke an estimated $10 million national TV campaign last week backing its Flavor Fresh Pouch with a new Charlie-the-tuna spot from Interpublic's Suissa Miller, Los Angeles. ... Leo Burnett Worldwide Exec VP-General Counsel Carla R. Michelotti was named Advertising Woman of the Year by the Women's Advertising Club of Chicago. She will be honored at a June 25 luncheon. ... Mark McCormack, 72, considered the pioneer of the sports marketing/athlete representation business, died May 16 in New York following a heart attack four months ago. He founded International Management Group in 1960 with Arnold Palmer, his first client.

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