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Muris says FTC wants to police phone ads

[washington] Regulation of phone company advertising should switch to the Federal Trade Commission from the Federal Communications Commission, FTC Chairman Timothy Muris said in a speech to the Consumer Federation of America March 15. Mr. Muris said existing federal law that exempts phone ads from FTC jurisdiction no longer makes sense.

Isuzu raises finance, warranty offerings

[cerritos, calif.] American Isuzu Motors this month boosts the financing/warranty claims battle in new "Joe Isuzu" ads from Omnicom Group's Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, San Francisco, that tout five-year 0% financing and "America's longest" (120,000-mile) warranty. Creative has Joe Isuzu poking fun at ads for rivals. Spending in support of the new ads was not disclosed but is expected to be as high as $30 million. March TV buys include cable TV, top local TV markets and NCAA broadcasts. General Motors Corp. owns 49% of Isuzu's Japanese parent, Isuzu Motors Ltd.

Maytag opens review to consolidate media

[newton, iowa] Maytag Corp. said it has opened a review to consolidate $130 million-plus in media buying and planning for its Maytag, Hoover, Jenn-Air and Amana brands. Bcom3 Group's Starcom Worldwide, Chicago, handles Maytag media buying. Starcom sibling Leo Burnett USA, Chicago, handles planning. Hoover media buying is at Interpublic Group of Cos.' Initiative Media Worldwide, Chicago, and planning at Interpublic's Foote, Cone & Belding Worldwide, Chicago. Interpublic's Carmichael Lynch, Minneapolis, handles buying and planning for Amana. Jones-Lundin Beals, Chicago, handles the review.

McDonald's to preview new items at convention

[oak brook, Ill.] At its worldwide franchisee convention to be held April 23-25 in Las Vegas, McDonald's Corp. will outline quality, service, cleanliness and value initiatives; strategies to avoid raising prices; and new products and advertising, according to an internal memo distributed last week and obtained by Advertising Age. It will exhibit an All-American Burger, a 1/3 pound Steak Burger and a Grilled Chicken Flat Bread as possible New Taste Menu items and Tabasco Wings as a less costly replacement for Mighty Wings.

FDA to reorganize, enlarge drug ad staffs

[washington] The U.S. Food & Drug Administration said it will create separate units to review direct-to-consumer drug advertising and marketing aimed at physicians. One unit now does both. FDA said it also plans an unspecified expansion in the size of the staffs assigned to both duties.

Volvo SUV uses AOL for online program

[new york] AOL Time Warner's America Online will promote Volvo Cars of North America's new XC90 sport utility vehicle across the AOL network of brands, expanding its digital marketing relationship with the luxury auto marketer. Spending was not disclosed. Due out in November, the XC90, Volvo's first SUV, will be featured on a "My Volvo" page, where current and prospective Volvo owners can get information, access MyAOL and link to special AOL/Volvo promotions. Volvo also does interactive marketing and media programs with Microsoft Corp.'s MSN. Havas Advertising's Messner Vetere Berger McNamee Schmetterer Euro RSCG, New York, handles Volvo. Messner's Fuel, New York, handles Volvo interactive marketing and media.

Island ECN targets new ads at traders

[new york] Island ECN, which provides an electronic securities marketplace, breaks a $15 million campaign, dubbed "You, The Trader" this week via DiMassimo Brand Advertising, New York. The campaign includes print ads and three TV spots directed by Tony Scott. Details on the media buy were not disclosed. "The campaign revolves around powerful insights into the workday of our core audience of professional traders," said Thorsten Schmidt, director-brand marketing for Island ECN.

FYI ...

Georgia-Pacific Corp. will relocate marketing, administration and sales offices for its Dixie tabletop products brand to Atlanta from Norwalk, Conn., by September, affecting 72 employees. ... Viacom named MTV Group President Judy McGrath president of a new MTV Networks Music Group, where she will add responsibility for Viacom's struggling VH-1 network and for its CMT: Country Music Television. VH-1 and CMT previously reported to John Sykes, now president of Viacom's Infinity Radio. VH-1 has endured a significant ratings fall-off. ... Reebok International consolidated its Reebok brand work at Omnicom Group's Arnell Group, New York, moving the brand's women's business and its licensing partnerships with the National Football League and the National Basketball Association from WPP Group's Berlin Cameron/Red Cell, New York. Reebok spent $66 million in advertising last year, according to Taylor Nelson Sofres' CMR. ... Pharmacia awarded advertising for its Nasalcrom allergy relief product to Interpublic Group of Cos.' Avrett Free & Ginsberg, New York, according to the agency. The incumbent was Havas Advertising's Arnold McGrath Worldwide, New York. Avrett handles five other Pharmacia brands. Measured media ad support for Nasalcrom dwindled to $4.1 million last year from $18.2 million in 1999, according to Taylor Nelson Sofres' CMR. ... Former Goodby, Silverstein & Partners Creative Jeff Huggins was named to head creative at WPP Group's JWT & Tonic, San Francisco. His title was not disclosed at deadline.

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