Visa/Disney promotion plans a May 1 sendoff
[san francisco] Visa International's Visa USA breaks a campaign May 1 to support its marketing alliance with the Walt Disney Co. Spending was not disclosed but a Visa USA executive called it a "major initiative." Omnicom's BBDO Worldwide, New York, handles. The centerpiece is an "Unlock the Magic" sweepstakes offering Visa card holders a chance to win Disney World vacations every time they use their card in May and June. Visa spent $277.5 million in U.S. measured media last year, according to Taylor Nelson Sofres' CMR.
Dell adds two shops for catalogs, direct
[round rock, texas] Dell Computer Corp. added two shops to its roster for catalog and direct-marketing work, after a review. Joining incumbent T3, Austin, Texas, on direct marketing and catalog work for Dell's small- and mid-sized business customers is Interpublic Group of Cos.' Hill, Holliday, Connors, Cosmopulos, Boston. Haggin Marketing, Sausalito, Calif., was assigned Dell's consumer catalog and its associated direct mail work, previously at Omnicom's Rapp Collins Worldwide, Dallas. Spending was not disclosed. Dell and Mitchell & McCue Dallas, handled the review. The business portion of Dell's catalog work is believed to be worth about $12 million, with the consumer element slightly larger.
AOL picks ex-BK exec as promotion strategist
[DULLES, VA.] Former Burger King Corp. VP-USA Marketing Richard Taylor was named senior VP-brand promotion at AOL Time Warner's America Online, a new post. In addition to brand promotion strategy for AOL's broadband services, Mr. Taylor will be responsible for all national promotional marketing programs and special events, with broadband content unique to AOL, he said. Mr. Taylor will move to Dulles from Miami and report to America Online Exec VP-Brand Marketing Len Short. He left Burger King in March 2002 in a management shakeup.
Test-drive tour backs new Pacifica, Crossfire
[auburn hills, mich.] Chrysler Group's Chrysler brand, which wants to move up-market to premier-brand status, starts an 11-city "Art of Driving" test-drive tour May 3 as part of its launch program for the new Pacifica and Crossfire models. Several publishers are among those sponsoring 12 tents at the test drive events, offering massages, fashions, wine and golf help. Omnicom's BBDO Worldwide, Troy, Mich., created 1 million direct-mail invitations. Chrysler hopes a total of 33,000 people attend the free events.
States press `rules' on SUV ad claims
[tallahasse, fla.] Auto companies were warned last week in a letter from 40 state attorneys general, led by Florida, that the states would challenge as deceptive any future ad claims that suggested sport utility vehicles handle like cars or that encouraged overloading. An official in the Florida attorney general's office said the states were seeking compliance with "new rules" for SUV ads that Ford Motor Co. accepted last year.
IBM touts ThinkPad as tool for success
[armonk, n.y.] IBM Corp.'s Personal Computing Division today launches a print and online campaign for its ThinkPad notebook and desktop PCs. Creative positions ThinkPad as the leading PC brand for successful business people who expect more of themselves and the tools they choose. Spread ads break in Dow Jones & Co.'s Wall Street Journal and other newspapers. The media buy also includes business magazines and Web sites. WPP Group's Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide, New York, handles. Spending was not disclosed.
FYI . . .
Former Mercedes-Benz marketing executive Rich Anderman left Omnicom's Merkley Newman Harty, New York, where he was a senior account executive on Mercedes-Benz, and is expected to take a top post at the Torrance, Calif., office of Publicis' Saatchi & Saatchi, the agency for Toyota Motor Sales USA, according to executives close to the situation. Merkley Newman Managing Director Alex Gellert said Mr. Anderman had left and he "wished him well." Mr. Anderman did not return calls. Toyota and Saatchi declined to comment. Saatchi is seeking a replacement in Torrance for Scott Gilbert, the former CEO who is now overseeing Saatchi's New York office as managing partner. At Mercedes-Benz, Mr. Anderman had been general manager-marketing and communications. ... NBC on April 24 easily won the first night of the May sweeps, posting a Nielsen Media Research 9.7 rating in adults 18-49 over CBS's 6.6 . Fox was a distant third at 3.2. ABC was next at a 3.0, featuring a "Primetime Thursday" segment with controversial country group The Dixie Chicks. NBC also won with total viewers, with 19.71 million. ... Reader's Digest Association reported a loss of $4.6 million for its fiscal third quarter ended March 30 and predicted a "difficult" fourth quarter. Though third quarter revenue grew 4% to $563.8 million, RDA cited $16.1 million in third-quarter restructuring costs and an $11 million loss from its international operations. It said it is trimming staff, closing businesses and cutting expenses to save at least $70 million over the next two years. ... Richard Wallace was named group creative director and lead creative on the Verizon Wireless account at Interpublic's Lowe, New York. Mr. Wallace was a group creative director at Interpublic's Bozell, New York, which is being merged into Lowe. ... The anti-smoking American Legacy Foundation said five PR agencies advanced to the semifinals of its review: Omnicom's Fleishman-Hillard, Havas' Magnet Communications, both New York; Interpublic's MWW Group, East Rutherford, N.J.; Interpublic's Golin/Harris, Washington, and the incumbent, Omnicom's Porter Novelli, Washington. Pile & Co., Boston, is the consultant. ... TMP Worldwide, New York, parent of job site Monster.com, will be renamed Monster Worldwide on April 30, executives close to the situation said.