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[norcross, ga.] Saab Cars USA breaks its first U.S. brand campaign in two years on national broadcast and cable TV May 5 and introduces a new tagline: "Welcome to the state of independence." Interpublic Group of Cos.' Lowe, New York, handles. U.S. ad spending on Saab, a General Motors Corp. unit, is increasing 20% this year to about $100 million. The two-month long opening flight of the new campaign also includes print and spot radio.

DDB lands Nokia job; Richards remains AOR

[irving, texas] Wireless handset marketer Nokia, saying its marketing needs have expanded, tapped Omnicom Group's DDB Worldwide, Chicago and Dallas, to handle an unspecified consumer marketing project. Spending was not disclosed. Independent agency Richards Group, Dallas, remains Nokia's agency of record for its consumer business and for media buying and planning, Nokia said, adding it will look to other shops on projects as needed.

Profit slump prompts Darden marketing audit

[ORLANDO] Darden Restaurants said last week that it will review its marketing effectiveness after making its third profit warning in as many months. The parent of the Red Lobster and Olive Garden casual dining chains plans to do an internal audit of its marketing, including creative effectiveness, food news, media weight vs. peers and competitive actions, said a spokesman. Euro RSCG Tatham Partners, Chicago, handles Red Lobster. Grey Global Group's Grey

Worldwide, New York, handles Olive Garden. The two restaurant chains received about $160 million in measured media support last year, according to TNS Media Intelligence/CMR.

Ad spending to grow 5%, says McCann's Coen

[new york] Universal McCann Director of Forecasting Robert Coen, who last December forecast 5% ad spending growth for 2003, said the present outlook for the year remains "good" and that his June revision to his 2003 forecast is likely to be "slight." Mr. Coen, releasing final data for 2002, said ad spending last year climbed 2.4% from 2001, to $236.8 billion. Most marketer budgets were static last year, he said, with growth generated by spending related to the Olympics, political campaign ads and a stronger fourth quarter. Universal McCann is a unit of Interpublic's McCann-Erickson Worldwide.

Nestle picks Good Start for formula relaunch

[glendale, calif.] Nestle USA will relaunch its infant formula line this July, eliminating the Carnation brand name in favor of Good Start, previously used as a sub-brand. The new line will include Nestle's first premium brand, Good Start Supreme. McCann-Erickson Worldwide, Los Angeles, handles. Spending is expected to exceed last year's estimated $20 million..

Three BBDO offices pitch Doritos ideas

[plano, texas] PepsiCo's Frito-Lay, unhappy with recent creative ideas for Doritos, heard presentations last week from BBDO Worldwide offices in Chicago and San Francisco as well as from BBDO in New York, which currently handles the $40 million account. The multiple-office presentations by Omnicom Group's BBDO signaled the New York BBDO office may be in trouble on the account. Frito-Lay did not return calls. BBDO in New York declined to comment.

A new Tylenol targets muscle aches, sprains

[ft. washington, pa.] Tylenol 8-hour Geltabs, the first new Tylenol product in more than a decade from Johnson & Johnson's McNeil Consumer & Specialty Pharmaceuticals, was launched last week. The sub-brand targets a younger, more physically active demographic and is promoted for treatment of muscle aches and sprains. TV and print ads from Publicis Groupe's Saatchi & Saatchi, New York, support. Spending was not disclosed. Tagline: "Not playing is not an option."

NY upfront is stage for MSN ad push

[redmond, wash.] Microsoft Corp.'s MSN breaks an outdoor campaign in New York City May 5, coinciding with the network TV upfront buying season. Creative was handled in-house. McCann-Erickson Worldwide, San Francisco, handled media. Spending was not disclosed.

Siegelgale acquired by Omnicom Group

[new york] Omnicom Group acquired branding firm Siegelgale, backed by Vestar Capital Partners, for an undisclosed price and will restore its original name, Siegel & Gale. It will become part of Omnicom's Diversified Agency Services division. See AdAge QwikFIND aao65b

FYI . . .

State regulators, consumer groups and marketing groups at a three-day Federal Trade Commission meeting supported federal action to control Internet spam but disagreed on what it should cover. Marketers argued legislation should target only fraudulent spam; some consumer groups suggested it should allow all e-mail ads to be stopped. ... Australian Susan Barclay, an award winning creative exec formerly at BBDO Worldwide, New York, has joined Saatchi & Saatchi, New York, as international creative director for Procter & Gamble Co.'s Tide, Ariel and Dash laundry detergent brands. ... Midas said it invited proposals from 12 agencies in its previously announced creative review. Incumbent Cliff Freeman & Partners, New York, said it will not defend the account. Midas spent an estimated $40 million in measured media in 2002, according to TNS Media Intelligence/CMR. ... Sara Lee Corp. moved media planning for its bakery group to Publicis' Starcom Media Worldwide, Chicago, from Publicis sibling Optimedia, Dallas, said executives with knowledge of the move. Starcom already handles planning for other Sara Lee brands as well as all media buying for the company. ... Steve Gough, Mitsubishi Motors North America senior VP-sales and marketing since 1986, resigned to "pursue other opportunities," the company said. Mr. Gough and Mitsubishi President Greg O'Neil did not return calls. ... Roger Adams to general manager of General Motors Corp.'s Buick-Pontiac-GMC division from general manager of GM's Customer Network relationship marketing unit, succeeding Kurt Ritter, who joined Toyota Motors Sales USA agency Saatchi & Saatchi Los Angeles, Torrance, Calif., a Publicis agency, as CEO (see P. 10).

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