[ann arbor, mich.] Grey Global Group's Beyond Interactive on Jan. 26 laid off about 100 people, or 30% of its worldwide workforce. "We're experiencing a reorganization," said a Beyond spokeswoman, citing the "softening advertising market" for the layoffs. This is the second major round of layoffs for Beyond, which cut about 60 people, or 15% of its staff, in October 2000. Beyond services numerous dot-com clients, including PlanetRx, job site Kforce.com, giftpoint.com, ClassMates.com and ThirdAge.com.
GM may slash its $600 mil commitment to networks
[detroit] General Motors Corp., the nation's biggest advertiser, may be trying to cut up to 50% of its estimated $600 million ad commitment to broadcast networks made in last year's upfront marketplace, ad industry execs told Electronic Media. GM, facing sluggish sales, may shift much of the money to local scatter, where more targeted regional buys would cost less and prove more effective, execs said. NBC was said to be doing damage control with the advertiser, trying to reduce GM's upfront cuts. GM and NBC weren't available for comment.
Fergus will vacate his post at Burnett
[london] Jeff Fergus, Leo Burnett Worldwide's group president for Europe/Middle East/Africa, is leaving the company this week after declining to move to Chicago headquarters as Burnett prepares to further centralize management control in Chicago. With job cuts pending at Burnett, the post will not be filled. Steve Gatfield, Burnett's Chicago-based chief operating officer, is taking strategic responsibility for Europe, working with London-based execs.
Cadillac drops tagline, seeks younger buyers
[detroit] General Motors Corp.'s Cadillac is dropping "The power of &" from its tagline, Automotive News reports today, as part of an ad overhaul to interest younger buyers. Cadillac also will dump magazines aimed at older audiences in favor of tech titles like Wired, but a spokeswoman would not specify which magazines would be cut. Kim Kosak, Cadillac's director of advertising and promotion, said the brand is dropping "The power of &" because "confusion was high, likability was low." Bcom3 Group's D'Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles, Troy, Mich., is creating a new campaign for 2002, which Ms. Kosak said "will be about likability, American life, warmth."
Prices drop sharply for late Super Bowl ads
[new york] Super Bowl advertising on CBS was in fire-sale mode late last week, according to marketers who bought into the game at the 11th hour. Prices dropped so much that Universal Pictures made a last-minute decision to buy a 30-second post-game spot for action film "The Fast and the Furious." "It wouldn't surprise me if these last-minute buys were significantly below the $2 million mark," said one media agency executive. Warner-Lambert Co.'s Dentyne and IBM Corp. are said to have snapped up bargain spots. A CBS spokesman acknowledged that advertisers were getting better prices closer to game day. "The remaining inventory was in the fourth quarter," he said, although he denied pricing was as low as advertisers were saying. "We're very satisfied with the outcome."
Gap keeps Modernista! for spring campaign
[san francisco] Gap will continue working with Modernista!, Boston, on an assignment basis for a spring campaign for its Gap stores, the retailer said. Modernista! previously produced Gap holiday spots, although the retailer continues to maintain its in-house agency.
Agency merger speculation swirls
[new york] A published report of merger talks between True North Communications and Havas Advertising sparked a week of industry speculation. Observers say Havas isn't True North's only suitor-Publics Groupe, which owns a 10% stake in True North, also is said to be courting True North and Grey Global Group. Separately, DDB Worldwide reportedly has an eye on True North agency Temerlin McClain, with which it shares clients Nortel Networks and American Airlines. None of the holding companies or agencies involved would confirm the talks.
Kohler hands creative account to GSD&M
[kohler, wis.] GSD&M, Austin, Texas, will be awarded the estimated $25 million-plus creative account for sink and faucet manufacturer Kohler Company, pending finalization of the contract,executives close to the company said. The Omnicom Group shop won the account after a shootout with sibling shop Merkley Newman, Harty, New York. GSD&M declined comment; Merkley Newman and Kohler did not return calls seeking comment. Grey Worldwide, New York, previously handled the account.
Mullen to handle Sol beer for Labatt USA
[norwalk, conn.] Labatt USA chose Interpublic Group of Cos.' Mullen, Wenham, Mass., to handle its estimated $5 million Sol beer account in the U.S. without a review. The incumbent was Kirshenbaum Bond & Partners, New York.
Software firm Ariba, Mountain View, Calif., handed its anticipated $4 million account to Leagas Delaney, San Francisco, from Fallon Worldwide, New York. ... Juniper Networks, Sunnyvale, Calif., is in the early stages of a review for its first ad agency of record to handle its estimated $10 million account. ... Net travel-loyalty program WebMiles, Salt Lake City, parted with GMO/Hill Holliday, San Francisco. ... Interpublic Group of Cos.' Campbell Mithun elevated Les Mouser, 48, to president-CEO from president-chief operating officer, succeeding chairman-CEO Bill Dunlap, effective March 1. Mr. Dunlap, 60, will remain as chairman until the end of 2002. ... Wendy Lurrie will join Draft Worldwide, New York, as exec VP-director new business development. She recently resigned as VP-new business at Grey Worldwide, New York. ... Rodale named Elizabeth Crow VP-editorial director of its Women's Health Group, which consists of Prevention magazine, Prevention-branded books, and other book titles targeted to women. ... `The Sophisticated Traveler,' the quarterly supplement to the New York Times Magazine, will be redesigned for its March 4 issue. That issue will feature photos on its cover for the first time in the supplement's 17-year history. ... Donato's Pizza launched its new branding campaign in three spot markets during the Super Bowl via Martin/Williams, Minneapolis; it's the agency's first work for the McDonald's brand.