ABC names marketing head
The success of prime-time shows "Desperate Housewives" and "Lost" has prompted Disney-ABC Television Group to create a chief marketing officer position to oversee broadcast and cable. Anne Sweeney, co-chairman of Media Networks at Walt Disney Co. and president of the Disney-ABC TV group, tapped Eleo Hensleigh, who runs marketing at Disney-ABC Cable Networks, as chief marketing officer. Ms. Hensleigh's "efforts with ABC's marketing team to help focus ... the message for ABC's prime-time launch had a tremendous impact on the early success of our premiering series," Ms. Sweeney said in a statement. AdAge.com QwikFIND aaq22n
IBM as help desk is theme of spots
IBM added a half dozen TV spots to its rotation of "on-demand business" work, offering the theme that IBM takes on important business, social and cultural challenges. In each spot, one person sits behind a desk in the middle of a large warehouse-type room while people approach and ask "Is this the help desk?" The help desk offers solutions to, among others, a young Chinese girl who lives on a remote farm but wants to attend school and a woman who plunks a large folder onto the desk and when asked what it is, says "It's me. I'm afraid my identity will be stolen." The spots end with an "IBM helps" tagline.The campaign, created by Ogilvy & Mather, New York, is TV only and U.S.-only for now, but may be expanded globally.
Staples pulls TV ads from Sinclair
The election fallout continues as office retailer Staples pulled some of its advertising off stations owned by Sinclair Broadcast Group. A Staples spokesman confirmed the marketer is no longer running local advertising on Sinclair stations' news programs, but said national advertising may still run on Sinclair stations in non-news programs. He would not elaborate on the decision, but said one factor was the concerns expressed by customers. Staples was one of several advertisers-including Kraft Foods, McDonald's Corp., Geico, Target Stores and Sprint Corp.-mentioned in a campaign by the group Media Matters for America, which claimed Sinclair's newscasts showed right-wing bias. The group asked advertisers to pull ads until Sinclair agrees to air a counterpoint message on its newscasts; a spokeswoman said Staples is the first to react. Sinclair did not respond to requests for comment. AdAge.com QwikFIND aaq22j
Weekly `Inside TV' will roll in spring
TV Guide is launching a weekly, Inside TV, aimed at covering TV celebrities. The debut will surface on newsstands, already crowded with rivals such as Wenner Media's Us Weekly and American Media's Star, late this spring. "This is a magazine aimed fair and square at the TV fan," said Editor Steve LeGrice, a former editor of Bauer Publishing's In Touch and Star. "We are going to cover and talk about the people and shows they are interested in." A publisher search is on, and no details are available on initial rate base. It's expected that Inside TV will be audited by both Audit Bureau of Circulations and rival auditor BPA.
Time Inc. reached a "non-binding" agreement with Essence Communications Partners to purchase the portion of the company it does not already own. In 2000, Time Inc. purchased 49% of Essence. Last year, Essence launched the well-received multi-cultural fashion title Suede. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Following the completion of the transaction, Ed Lewis, Essence's chairman-CEO, will serve as a non-executive chairman of Essence, and Essence Group Publisher Michelle Ebanks will become president of Essence Communications. ... WPP Group's Beth Axelrod, chief talent officer and a director, is leaving for a post at eBay. Ms. Axelrod, co-author of the popular study "The War for Talent," joined WPP in 2002. She will be senior VP-human resources at eBay. ... Investment firm Tweedy, Brown Co., a long-standing investor in Grey Global Group, sold its roughly 4% stake as Grey prepares to merge into WPP Group. Tweedy Brown had been Grey's No. 3 shareholder.