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Wider Toyota role in ABC's 'Push, Nevada'

[Torrance, Calif.] Toyota Motor Sales USA is expanding the Toyota division's exclusive auto sponsorship of the new "Push, Nevada" prime-time series on Walt Disney Co.'s ABC. Starting this week, every vehicle depicted in the show will be a Toyota. The show's creators, Ben Affleck and Matt Damon, added an actor to play a Toyota dealer in the program as part of Toyota's estimated $6 million deal with ABC. Zenith Optimedia Group, New York, handled for Toyota.

Philip Morris suit attacks cigarette Web sites

[new york] Philip Morris Cos.' Philip Morris USA said it filed suit in federal courts in California and New York against Web sites selling its cigarettes over the Internet. It said the online vendors illegally use Marlboro and other trademarks in domain names and on their sites. The suits also allege the vendors illegally sell imported cigarettes. The eight defendants include the owners and oper-ators of Web sites such as discount-marlboro-cigarettes.com and dfshop.org. Sean Moriarty, co-owner of dfshop.org, said he was not aware of the lawsuit and declined to comment. Discount-marlboro-cigarettes.com did not reply by deadline.

Havas swings to profit; cautious on ad outlook

[levallois-perret, france] Havas returned to profitability in 2002's first half after a loss in the year-ago period due to restructuring charges. CEO Alain de Pouzilhac said Havas saw little prospect for a second-half rebound in ad spending, save for some tentative signs of revival in the U.S. Havas reported net income of $14.7 million for the first half after a $6.5 million loss a year ago. Revenue fell 3.4% to $1.01 billion. The Havas CEO reaffirmed the company will not seek significant acquisitions this year.

Viacom's MTV buying College TV Network

[new york] Viacom's MTV Networks agreed to purchase College Television Network from CTN Media Group for $15 million in cash. The deal gives youth-oriented MTV an additional outlet onto college campuses. Viacom said CTN reaches 8.2 million students a week and will continue to offer music, news, sports and other programming aimed at the 18-24 demographic.

Microsoft's MSN adds new rich media tools

[redmond, wash.] Microsoft Corp.'s MSN today will announce the incorporation of the Eyeblaster and Point.Roll rich-media technologies across its network. The move will allow advertisers to place an array of interactive ads, including full-page overlays, expanding images, animated images, and interstitial windows more easily on MSN. Microsoft offers the rich-media vendors' technologies on 12 MSN channels, including popular properties such as CNBC on MSN Money, MSNBC on the Internet, MSN Carpoint and MSN eShop.

Kraft's Maxwell House rolls flavored coffees

[tarrytown, n.y.] Kraft Foods will ship its first flavored Maxwell House coffees (vanilla and hazelnut) later this month, supported by radio ads from WPP Group's Ogilvy & Mather, New York, as well as in-store coupons and displays. Spending was not disclosed. Procter & Gamble Co. in August introduced French vanilla and hazelnut versions of Folgers, the first flavored varieties from a major supermarket brand.

BMW revs up online ads for motorcycle

[woodcliff lake, n.j.] BMW of North America's entry-level F 650 CS motorcycle, which went on sale last spring, gets its first major ad support via Omnicom Group's Merkley Newman Harty, New York, which created an online commercial to run on the new Web site bmwf650cs.com. Banner ads from Merkley will appear on sites targeting young men directing them to the BMW site. The agency also created a postcard that drops this week to male subscribers of magazines including Men's Journal, Rolling Stone, Outside and National Geographic Adventurer. Spending was not disclosed.

More choose Spanish for Latin Grammy ads

[new york] Eighteen commercials that aired during CBS's Sept. 16 telecast of the Latin Grammy music awards were in Spanish, Viacom's CBS said, or about four of every 10 network spots aired during the English-language show. Brands advertised in Spanish included Heineken, Anheuser-Busch Co.'s Budweiser, Verizon Wireless, McDonald's Corp. and Chrysler Group cars. Only a few spots were aired in Spanish when the awards show was first broadcast two years ago.

FYI ...

CBS rejected a request by a national women's organization that it cancel its TV coverage of the 2003 Masters golf tournament. The National Council of Women's Organizations had asked CBS to drop the event because the Augusta National Golf Club, organizer of the Masters, does not admit women members. The Augusta club previously canceled contracts with the telecast's sole advertisers. ... McDonald's Corp. board member Andrew McKenna said the burger chain's board supports embattled CEO Jack Greenberg, under pressure due to falling stock price. "Jack's our CEO," said Mr. McKenna, CEO of Schwarz Paper Co. "We have a plan in effect and we're looking forward to its execution."... Legislation that would bring telephone company advertising and marketing under Federal Trade Commission jurisdiction was approved by the Senate commerce committee. ... American Airlines named Daniel P. Garton, 45, to succeed Exec VP-Marketing and Planning Michael W. Gunn, 57, who is retiring. Mr. Garton, whose title will be exec VP-marketing, has been exec VP-customer service at American. ... Public interest groups are planning to urge regulators at the Treasury department's Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms to expand a review of labeling and packaging for alternative malt beverages marketed under familiar liquor brand names to examine whether TV ads for the drinks confuse consumers. ... Match.com this week is expected to narrow the review for its anticipated $25 million account from nine agencies. The incumbent, Launch Partnership, Dallas, owned by Interpublic's Temerlin McClain, is pitching. Select Resources International, West Hollywood, Calif., is the consultant.

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