Mr. Clean or Mr. Peanut? You decide
Ken Kaess, president-CEO of Omnicom's DDB Worldwide and chairman of Advertising Week last week kicked off the campaign for "America's favorite ad icon." The campaign is a month-long stunt in which actors dressed as famous ad icons, such as Mr. Clean, Mr. Peanut, the Kool-Aid Pitcher, the Jolly Green Giant and 22 other brands, will circulate around New York asking people to vote for them to be placed on the Madison Avenue Advertising Walk of Fame. The campaign also includes voting for a favorite ad slogan among 26 nominees, such as the U.S. Army's "Be all you can be" and Budweiser's "Whassup?" Voting for icons and slogans is open to the public, and can be done at promotions.yahoo.com/ advertisingweek_2004. The winners will be announced at Advertising Week's opening event on Sept. 20 on the corner of East 50 St. and Madison Ave. AdAge.com QwikFIND aap86r
MediaCom exec gets boost as sale looms
MediaCom's voluble co-CEO Jon Mandel was named to the new position of chairman of the U.S. office and chief global buying officer. The change leaves his colleague Dene Callas as sole CEO of the U.S. office. Alexander Schmidt-Vogel, CEO of Grey Global Group's MediaCom Worldwide, said Mr. Mandel's focus would now be international business. Mr. Schmidt-Vogel said to expect more management changes around the world as part of a new company positioning that emphasizes the strength of MediaCom's people. He declined to comment on the length of Mr. Mandel's new contract, but said all parties were happy with the terms. The contract changes come as the parent company continues to discuss a potential sale. Both WPP Group and Havas have been named as possible buyers with Publicis Groupe remaining interested only in certain assets. Mr. Mandel did not return calls. Also, Grey Worldwide North America hired Chris Shumaker, 44, as exec VP-director of development. He was director-business development for Interpublic Group of Cos.' Martin Agency, Richmond, Va. AdAge.com QwikFIND aap86b, aap86i
Tyson pushes beef, pork in new ads
Tyson Foods last week unveiled to analysts a $75 million ad campaign centered around showing consumers the strength and energy its beef, chicken and pork products can offer. The marketer also revealed tie-ins to USA Gymnastics and Nascar. But analysts are skeptical that the punchy "Powered by Tyson" theme and partnerships will alone move the needle. In a note following the announcement, Credit Suisse First Boston analyst Dave Nelson said new products are likely what will drive consumption of Tyson meats while the campaign, expected to rally excitement from the trade and internal staff, has yet to be tested with consumers. Tyson will kick off the effort, the first from new agency Havas' Arnold Worldwide, Boston, Aug. 30.
Keyword links to ads irk journalists
Forbes.com's recent adoption of Vibrant Media's IntelliTXT system, which sells advertisers keyword links in Web articles, has attracted a swarm of media attention but a more "muted" response from users and advertisers, said Forbes.com CEO James Spanfeller. The keyword ads have prompted ire from journalistic-ethics authorities. Mr. Spanfeller said the company would continue to "test" IntelliTXT through the end of the summer. Forbes.com is the most prominent media organization to employ IntelliTXT, which is also used by Popular Mechanics and Autochannel.com. (To read the April 5 AA story examining the debate around this technology, see AdAge.com QwikFIND aap51c). Mr. Spanfeller conceded internal reaction to IntelliTXT was "mixed." Tom Lynch, head of brand strategy and advertising at financial player ING, which advertises via IntelliTXT on Forbes.com, said "we haven't received any backlash."
Online brokerage service E-Trade chose Omnicom Group's BBDO Worldwide, New York, and its interactive unit, Atmosphere BBDO, for a project during the fourth quarter. AdAge.com QwikFIND aap85y