The Week

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Following weeks of negotiations, Lowe Worldwide announced Ogilvy & Mather executive Tony Wright will join as its new president-CEO. He takes over for Jerry Judge, who will continue as CEO of the Partnership division of Interpublic Group of Cos.

Mr. Wright, 43, was chief strategy officer at Ogilvy, part of WPP Group. He joined Ogilvy in 1995 after stints at Berlin Wright Cameron (now WPP's Berlin Cameron/Red Cell), where he was a partner, and at Chiat Day (now Omnicom Group's TBWA/Chiat/Day), where he worked on the famed Energizer bunny account. An Ogilvy representative declined to comment on a successor.

Mr. Wright's appointment comes at a tough time in the agency's history. Lowe has weathered a series of recent account losses, including HSBC's global work as well as business from Verizon Communications, Unilever and others. Adage.com QwikFIND aap92x

Pfizer gets Rx for movies

Pfizer becomes the first pharmaceutical company looking for Hollywood tie-ins after the drugmaker retained the William Morris Agency to help place its brands within movies and TV shows. Pfizer spokeswoman Michal Fishman called it a six-month explorative project, adding that the company "is always looking for new and creative ways to have people talk to their doctor." She did not comment further. One potential roadblock: Food and Drug Administration guidelines on pharmaceutical advertising that requires fair balance, or the disclosure of side effects. How that will play into paid product placements remains to be seen.

GM retires Harley Earl ads

General Motors Corp. introduces two vehicles in a new Buick campaign from Interpublic Group of Cos.' McCann Erickson, Troy, Mich., breaking on the Emmy Awards Broadcast on ABC. Ads-for the brand's first new sedan in years, the LaCrosse, and the new Terraza crossover sport van-carry a product-focused theme and a new tagline. The campaign comes as the automaker retires ads featuring the ghost of Harley Earl, after a two-year run. GM said the advertising character will disappear as of Sept. 19. Resurrected two years ago to invoke the spirit of Buick's past design prowess, the character was meant to attract younger buyers who tend to view the brand as stodgy. Adage.com QwikFIND aap92v

Olympic ratings beat ad guarantees

NBC's TV coverage of the Athens Olympic Games attracted a total of 203 million viewers, making it the most viewed non-U.S. Summer Games in history. Final numbers exceeded the Games held in Sydney in 2000 by 10%, according to the General Electric Co. network, citing figures from Nielsen Media Research. But while viewership spiked far above the guaranteed rating a number of times during the Games, viewership across the entire event, on average, was only half a point more than the rating guaranteed advertisers. The 17-day games scored an average national TV viewership rating of 15 and a 26 share, up 9% over the Sydney Games and more than the 14.5 ratings guarantee. Adage.com QwikFIND aap92w

FYI . . .

As expected, (Ad Age, July 12) an Audit Bureau of Circulations investigation found that Ziff Davis' PC Magazine erroneously classified over 320,000 subscriptions from 2002 through 2004 as paid when they were non-paid. The restatement of paid circulation means that PC Magazine missed its average rate base by 21% in 2003. ... Ian Birch, TV Guide's new editor in chief, will join the publication Oct 18, replacing Michael Lafavore, who resigned in late April. TV Guide's interim top editing duties will continue to be handled by Los Angeles-based executive editor Vince Cosgrove. John Loughlin, president of TV Guide's publishing operations, said the magazine world would see "something" in terms of a new launch "in the first half of next year." He did not specify if this would be a full-fledged new magazine or merely test issues. Adage.com QwikFIND aap93i ... Dan Rubin, executive VP of Gruner & Jahr Publishing USA, is leaving the company, according to an internal e-mail from new CEO Russell Denson. Mr. Rubin, a former Time Inc. executive, was hired by Mr. Denson's predecessor, Dan Brewster, who was ousted earlier this year after revelations G&J overstated newsstand circulation for certain titles. Adage.com QwikFIND aap93a

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