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$100 million-plus push seen for Gillette razors

[boston] New ads for Gillette Co.'s Mach III Turbo men's shaving system break April 25 from Omnicom Group's BBDO Worldwide, New York. Copy touts improvements that make the razor more comfortable for shaving and an improved lubricating strip next to the blades. Later this summer, three BBDO TV ads for Gillette's Venus women's razor will tout a new "Crystal Clear" handle. The tactic could produce results for Venus similar to last year's "Cool Blue" extension of Mach III, said Gillette Chairman-CEO James M. Kilts. Spending was not disclosed but retailers expect Gillette' s 2002 shaving push to include more than $100 million in media spending overall. Also in April, Gillette plans to launch a "power stripe" improvement in deodorant protection across all three of its antiperspirant/deodorant brands: Right Guard, the Gillette series and Soft & Dri.

Nat'l ads cut for Olds; funds shift to dealers

[detroit] General Motors Corp., preparing for the 2004 termination of its Oldsmobile division, cut the brand's national ad budget, handled by Bcom3 Group's Leo Burnett USA, Chicago, by 55% for this year to about $70 million, according to Ad Age sibling publication Automotive News. To compensate, GM is allocating to individual Oldsmobile dealers an extra $117 million in co-op ad funds. Oldsmobile vehicle sales have fallen dramatically since GM's late 2000 announcement that it would cease Oldsmobile production.

Hyundai names exec to watch Carat's work

[fountain valley, calif.] Hyundai Motor America and sibling Kia Motors America have formed World Marketing Group here. It will monitor the performance of Aegis Group's Carat North America, New York, recently named to handle media planning and buying for the two auto marketers, a Hyundai Motor America spokesman said. Named to head the unit was Kenny Han, previously marketing coordinator for parent Hyundai Motor Co. He most recently served as liaison with the South Korean parent company during the media review that ended with Carat's selection.

Rate base and frequency cut at `Working Mother'

[new york] Working Mother Media's Working Mother is cutting its rate base to 750,000 from 925,000 with its June-July issue. In addition, its frequency will be reduced to 10 issues this year from 11 in 2001. A redesign by its new editor, Jill Kirschenbaum, will make its debut with its August-September issue.

Quaker, Novartis shut Altus venture

[chicago] PepsiCo's Quaker Foods & Beverages unit and pharmaceuticals marketer Novartis disclosed they terminated Altus Food Co., their joint venture to create and market food products with added health benefits, at the end of last year. Altus was created two years ago. Quaker was acquired by PepsiCo last year. A Quaker spokesman said it's not been determined what will be done with products developed under the Altus banner, including the cholesterol-reducing Take Heart line and Women's Individual Nutrition (W.I.N.), both launched into test market last summer. The story was reported in the Chicago Tribune Friday.

NAB says music royalties threaten Internet radio

[washington] A royalty rate proposed last week by the Copyright Arbitration Royalty Panel could make it difficult for the Internet radio industry to stay in business as a free service to consumers, the National Association of Broadcasters warned. If approved, terrestrial radio stations streaming over the Web would have to pay 7 cents per 100 songs played, while Internet-only broadcasters would pay 14 cents per hundred songs played. Viewed as a victory for record labels and music artists, NAB and radio companies such as Clear Channel Communications said streaming strategies would be re-evaluated.

Quaker revamps Quakes tagline

[chicago] A month after its debut, PepsiCo's Quaker Foods & Beverages unit pulled the "Snack your butt off" ad tagline used for its Quakes rice snacks in favor of a new theme: "Go ahead. Snack away." A company spokeswoman said the original tagline received "under 50 complaints" but the shift was made to be more in keeping with the brand and its gatekeeper mom target. Interpublic Group of Cos.' Foote, Cone & Belding Worldwide, Chicago, handles Quakes.

FYI

Mike's Hard Lemonade marketer Mark Anthony International complained that packaging and labeling for rival malt alternative beverage Smirnoff Ice deceptively suggest the Diageo brand contains vodka. Diageo declined to participate in a review of the complaint at the National Advertising Division of the Council of Better Business Bureaus, saying federal regulators had already approved its labeling. NAD referred the Mark Anthony complaint to federal authorities for further review. ... Bankrupt Kmart Corp. broke a new branding campaign, tagged "Kmart: The Stuff of Life," during the NBC telecast of the Winter Olympics closing ceremony Feb. 24. The opening spot was directed by Spike Lee, via Omnicom Group's TBWA/Chiat/Day, New York. A multicultural effort, from Don Coleman Advertising, Southfield, Mich., and an effort for a new Disney product line , from TBWA/Chiat/Day, follow. ... Technical education company DeVry is seeking an agency for an estimated $35 million to $40 million TV and direct marketing account, currently at Brown Marketing Communications, Chicago. Jones Lundin Beals, Chicago, is handling the review. ... Little Caesar Enterprises next week introduces a new deep-dish pizza, its first new menu item in two years, Crain's Detroit Business reports. Regional TV, radio and print support. Mars Advertising, Southfield, Mich., handles. Spending was not disclosed. ... EarthLink said it expects to name the winner of the review for its $40 million-to-$50 million account within a week or two. Seven agencies are believed to be competing for the business (see Account Action, P. 10). ... Claggett Creative Consulting, St. Louis, is handling an agency review to select a direct and interactive agency for a packaged goods product targeting young mothers, said an executive familiar with the review. Further details were not disclosed. Separately, Roth Associates, New York, is seeking a direct and interactive agency, possibly for a financial services company. Roth did not return calls at press time.

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