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Subway Restaurants abruptly canceled its review for creative duties on its $250 million to $300 million advertising account and selected Omnicom Group's Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, San Francisco. The sandwich chain, owned by Doctor's Associates, was to name semifinalists but instead canceled the review after a meeting of the board of Subway's Franchisee Advertising Fund Trust, and chose Goodby, the bridesmaid shop in the July 2003 review won by Publicis Groupe's Fallon, Minneapolis. Goodby is expected to keep the chain's spokesman, dieter Jared Fogle. AdAge.com QwikFIND aap88z

Lagani tapped as `H&G' publisher

Ending months of speculation, Conde Nast Publications President-CEO Charles H. "Chuck" Townsend changed publishers at its sagging shelter title House & Garden. Joseph Lagani will become VP-publisher, replacing Lori Burgess, who is leaving Conde Nast. Mr. Lagani had most recently been VP-group publisher at Meredith Corp., but left the company after a realignment of top executives. House & Garden has struggled mightily in recent years, but the hiring of Mr. Lagani may signal the company's commitment to the title. Next year Conde Nast will launch Domino, its shopping magazine for the shelter space. AdAge.com QwikFIND aap89a

Viagra breaks first McCann ads

In what some are calling an effort to keep up with the Joneses-or, in this case rivals Cialis and Levitra-Pfizer last week broke the first Viagra ads from new agency Interpublic Group of Cos.' McCann Erickson, New York. The ads use the tagline "Get back to mischief," and are a marked departure from Viagra's previous conservative efforts. But with Cialis and Levitra both using "sexy" advertising, and having taken a combined 25.5% market share from Viagra since their debuts late last year, Pfizer joined its rivals in changing tack. New print and TV ads show a Viagra logo coming up behind a man's head, making it appear as though he is wearing devil's horns.

Politics powers first-half spending

Ad spending rose 6.4% in the first half of 2004, thanks to increased political spending, according to preliminary figures from Nielsen Media Research's Nielsen Monitor-Plus service. Growth came across all media categories, led by local magazines, which grew 12.7% over 2003, while cable TV rose 12.5%, national newspapers grew 10% and network TV was up 7%. Among other media, national magazines rose 6%, network radio grew 5.5% and spot TV and radio 3.3% and 3%, respectively. Spending among the top 10 advertisers grew 11.3% to $8 billion, led by Procter & Gamble Co., which hiked outlays 10.3%. Auto advertising saw the largest dollar increase, up $50 million to $8.7 billion, but pharmaceuticals saw the fastest growth, up 35.1%.

Viacom renews Arbitron license

Viacom's Infinity Broadcasting reversed course and renewed its license to use Arbitron's radio ratings seven weeks after announcing it planned to drop use of the ratings and a month after losing use of Arbitron's books for its 185 stations. Some media buyers were surprised at the original decision and worried that the $12 million loss of annual revenue in the second half alone could affect pricing, but they speculated it was a negotiating ploy. Arbitron is the main source of radio industry ratings and market definitions and its information is used by marketers, ad agencies and the Federal Communications Commission.

Cropper joins Y&R's Catalyst

Jon Cropper, most recently senior manager-youth and urban communications at Nissan North America, has taken on a new role as creative content and channel strategist and member of the recently formed Catalyst Team within WPP Group's Y&R . Led by John Morris, most recently chief operating officer of Y&R New York, the group is charged with pursuing new business as well as strategizing for existing clients. Other Catalyst Team members are Matt Eastwood, executive creative director, who also started last week from M&C Saatchi; John Gerzema, a veteran of Publicis Groupe's Fallon, Minneapolis, Minnesota, as chief insights officer, who starts this week; and David Yakir, chief digital officer. Mr. Yakir joined Y&R in 2003.

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