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Starcom int'l CEO moves to New Zealand

[new york] Starcom MediaVest Group International CEO Kevin Malloy will relocate to his native New Zealand later this month and conduct new international business activities for the Publicis Groupe unit out of Auckland. Mr. Malloy, 38, said the change will let him be closer to his family and would not affect his ability to carry out his CEO job. He joined D'Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles' media division in New York in 1996, and was instrumental in the launch of MediaVest as a media agency independent of D'Arcy.

Nissan `Z' mini-film gets cinema debut

[gardena, calif.] Nissan North America, the latest auto marketer in the U.S. to sponsor a short film, launched "The Run," a 6.5-minute mini-feature promoting its 350Z sports car, online at and on DVD. A two-minute version broke on 5,500 screens in 450 theaters Nov. 29. Omnicom Group's Designory, Long Beach, Calif., and Creative Domain, Hollywood, Calif., handled the project, directed by Academy Award-winner John Bruno. The film shows the 2003 Z zooming through the streets of Prague. The DVD version will be available at Nissan dealers in January.

Spending wasn't disclosed. Omnicom's TBWA/Chiat/Day, Playa del Rey, Calif., handles Nissan.

Matz returns to work for PhD on Chrysler

[troy. Mich.] Former senior media executive Phil Matz is coming out of retirement to consult with Omnicom media agency PhD Detroit, Troy, Mich., on its sole client, DaimlerChrysler's Chrysler Group, a spokeswoman for the carmaker said. Before retiring two years ago, Mr. Matz was exec VP-managing director at PentaCom, Troy, then Omnicom's dedicated media buying and planning unit for Chrysler Group. PentaCom subsequently was renamed PhD.

Merrill analyst bullish on advertising outlook

[new york] Merrill Lynch analyst Lauren Fine expressed greater confidence that ad spending will recover in 2003. In a report issued last week, her growth estimate for the ad sector remained 4% for next year but she also disclosed results of a survey Merrill Lynch conducted of top U.S. national advertisers. For 2003, she wrote, "70% of respondents planned to increase their ad budgets, 18% expect to spend the same amount and 12% plan to lower budgets. "

Diageo wine brands reviewing agencies

[san francisco] Beaulieu Vineyards, Sterling Vineyard Wines and a third Diageo-owned wine label are reviewing ad agencies, an executive familiar with the situation said. Beaulieu spent $1.8 million in 2001, according to Taylor Nelson Sofres' CMR. Recent changes in marketing may herald an increase in ad spending for the three brands to a combined $5 million, it was said.

Used car shoppers are target of Kia Web ads

[irvine, calif.] Kia Motors America is advertising on car-shopping Web sites for two months. Pop-up and skyscraper ads for Kia's entry-level new Rio and Spectra small cars appear when used-car shoppers ask for information on vehicles priced in the $10,000 range. Independent Davidandgoliath, Los Angeles, handles. Spending was not disclosed. Separately, Kia plans to launch a new, yet-unnamed car that will be larger than its mid-size Optima sedan in late 2003, a spokesman said.

Mott's IBC niche brand gets new fruit flavors

[stamford, conn.] Mott's aims to boost its leading share in gourmet carbonated soft drinks with the January launch of two new fruit varieties, Tangerine Cream and Cherry Limeade, for its IBC brand. The niche brand, while not advertised, will be supported with promotions, including its official sponsorship of the Long Drivers Association.

Kreskin to predict for Aflac in '03 ads

[columbus, ga.] America Family Life Assurance Co. (Aflac) has signed The Amazing Kreskin, a popular figure known for accuracy in predicting future events, to appear in national TV ads next year. Spending was not disclosed. The insurer will continue to use its famous Aflac duck in advertisements as well. Publicis Groupe's Kaplan Thaler Group, New York, handles Aflac.

GM's Saturn gets turn as `Survivor' sponsor

[detroit] General Motors Corp.'s Saturn brand will sponsor the next "Survivor" series on Viacom's CBS early next year and will feature Saturn's new Ion small car line. GM was a leading sponsor of the original "Survivor" episodes, when the winner received a Pontiac Aztek. Saturn is expected to announce sponsorship and product placement deals with at least one other TV reality series this week

FYI . . .

Schering-Plough Corp. said it will have over-the-counter versions of its prescription antihistamine Claritin on store shelves by mid-December following Food and Drug Administration final approval of the OTC product on Nov. 27. A $40 million campaign from WPP Group's Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide, New York, could break in December, a month earlier than originally expected. ... Yum Brands' awarded its estimated $23 million advertising assignment for KFC in the United Kingdom to Publicis Groupe-backed Bartle Bogle Hegarty, London, after a review. Hotshop Clemmow Hornby Inge, London, was the other finalist. The incumbent KFC agency, WPP Group's Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide, London, and Omnicom Group's Abbott Mead Vickers/ BBDO, London, were eliminated earlier. ... Saputo Cheese USA will tie in with Marvel comics next year in ads and promotions linking its Frigo Cheese Heads string cheese to The Incredible Hulk and Spider-Man. ... Prominent French agency executive Eric Tong Cuong left his post atop Havas-owned BETC Euro RSCG, Paris, for the presidency of EMI Music France. Mr. Tong Cuong, 40, was a co-founder of BETC Euro RSCG in 1994. ... Palm Inc. software marketing unit PalmSource, Sunnyvale, Calif., is reviewing agencies, an executive familiar with the situation said. Spending was undetermined. ... Chicago Mercantile Exchange awarded Interpublic's DraftWorldwide, Chicago, its branding account, said a person familiar with the decision. Incumbent Cramer-Krasselt, Chicago, did not participate. The exchange spent $958,000 in measured media in the first eight months of this year, according to Taylor Nelson Sofres' CMR. ... The United Kingdom's self-regulatory Broadcast Advertising Clearance Center rejected a TV commercial for a satirical U.K. TV program after finding that it ridiculed U.S. President George Bush. The animated spot, for the TV show "2DTV," depicted Mr. Bush mistaking a toaster for a video-cassette player. A revised ad for "2DTV," also depicting a Mr. Bush character, began airing Nov. 27.

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