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Omnicom balks at NBC's J. Lo pricetag

[new york] Omnicom Group could be backing out of a special ad/programming deal around NBC's Jennifer Lopez special this fall, according to executives close to the companies. Omnicom-which had planned to put a number of clients into the show, including PepsiCo-is balking at a 10% premium over NBC's average commercial primetime unit price, executives said. NBC's average unit commercial price this season was $198,864, according to Ad Age's network pricing survey. If Omnicom pulls out, NBC will focus on finding two sponsors that would buy four units each, and will look to sell 12 units in the hour-long musical show to others.

AT&T Broadband confirms a brand-project review

[denver] AT&T Corp.'s AT&T Broadband unit confirmed a review for a corporate brand project that could be derailed if Comcast Corp.'s $58 billion bid for the broadband company goes through. WPP Group's Y&R Advertising, New York; Havas Advertising's Arnold Worldwide, Boston; and Kirshenbaum Bond & Partners and 1919, New York, are participating, according to an AT&T Broadband employee. A Y&R spokeswoman had no knowledge of the agency's participation. Other agencies did not immediately return calls. Former Burger King Corp. executive Gary Langstaff, a 1919 partner, is an AT&T Broadband consultant. Billings could not be determined.

D'Arcy to double New York staff of Masius

[new york] Bcom3 Group's D'Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles will double the staff of Masius, New York, to 35. D'Arcy will transfer Clarion, the business-to-business unit of its general marketing-services agency, from Greenwich, Conn., to Masius, New York. Masius, New York, is the year-old U.S. partner of Masius, London.

Media spending down for April

[chicago] Media spending continued on a downward trend in April for the fifth month in a row, according to Taylor Nelson Sofres' CMR. Spending on the 10 major TV, radio and print media was down 6.8% to $8.07 billion, from $8.66 billion in April 2000. Preliminary totals did not include outdoor advertising. (See TurnSignals, p. 44.)

Kimberly-Clark breaks new flight of ads

[irving, texas] Kimberly-Clark Corp. today breaks a revised flight of "Thank Goodness for Kleenex" global TV ads from WPP's J. Walter Thompson USA, New York, with spending expected to reach $35 million in the U.S., according to people familiar with the effort. For the first time the campaign, which began in the U.S. and Europe in late 1999, will extend to Australia and Asia later this year. The campaign was the first developed by a global brand team at K-C and has been updated with animated branding graphics and new story lines, including portrayals of how colds intrude on romance. In all, the campaign has 43 permutations that can be customized for use in more than a dozen countries.

Rev. Jackson criticizes Nissan on financing

[detroit] Rev. Jesse Jackson, founder and president of the Rainbow/Push Coalition, blasted Nissan North America at a press conference on July 12 in the wake of a study that showed the marketer was charging African-Americans higher finance charges than whites. Separately, Peter Goodwin, Nissan's ad director, said the automaker isn't planning any multicultural ads to address the study's claims because of pending litigation. Nissan is in focus-group testing of 2002 model year ads from African-American agency of record, Carol H. Williams Advertising, Oakland, Calif.

FYI

Fruit of the Loom this week will launch its first TV campaign from Richards Group, Dallas, that will use the tagline "Good Days Start with Fruit of the Loom." ... Electronic financial marketplace Island ECN is looking for an agency for its $10 million-to-$15 million business. Interpublic's Bozell, the incumbent, is not participating. ... Privacy legislation could have major effects on direct marketers' use of the U.S. Postal Service and on postal profits, the Direct Marketing Association said in a study. ... The Academy for Educational Development named National Media, Alexandria, Va., Stevens Reed Curcio & Co. and Gavin Anderson/ GSD&M, New York and Austin, Texas, as finalists in its search for an agency for a $35 million campaign. ... Veritas Software Corp. confirmed that finalists in its review for an agency of record are: Grey Global Group, JumboShrimp and Interpublic Group of Cos.' GMO/Hill Holliday and Doremus, all San Francisco, and Bcom3's Leo Burnett Technology Group, Chicago. Incumbent DaynerHall, Orlando, Fla., is not participating.

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