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GM invites consumers to create ads
General Motors Corp.'s Chevrolet is inviting consumers to create their own online commercials for the 2007 Tahoe in a contest advertised last week during NBC's "The Apprentice" after the SUV was integrated into a task. Visitors to can win trips and cash for creating the winning 30-second online Tahoe spot by picking music and clips on the site and adding their own copy. GM's best-selling brand said it will evaluate the submissions based on how well they communicate Tahoe's brand promise of "more capable, more responsible and more refined." QwikFIND aar50v

ASME announces mag-award nominations
National Magazine Award nominations were announced March 15, putting The Atlantic Monthly at the head of the pack with eight nominations across seven categories-and giving Conde Nast Publications' Glamour a chance to repeat last year's win for general excellence. On behalf of the American Society of Magazine Editors, 215 judges cut 1,643 entries from 356 print and Web publications down to 115 finalists for the prizes known as Ellies and considered top honors for the consumer magazines. Glamour, National Geographic, Hearst's O, The Oprah Magazine, Rodale's Prevention and Time Inc.'s Time all nabbed nominations for general excellence among magazines with circulation above 2 million. Winners will be named at a ceremony May 9 in New York. QwikFIND aar51j

'Housewives' holds its own in turf war with Tony
Advertisers breathed a sigh of relief last week after Nielsen Media Research revealed that the return of "The Sopranos" did not significantly dent ABC's monopoly on Sunday-night viewing. The first episode of the last season of the mob drama was seen as a potential threat to ABC's Sunday-night dominance, particularly now as the broadcast upfront TV market is two months away. On ABC, in the 9 p.m. slot "Desperate Housewives" attracted 22.2 million viewers, beating the competition, but it was still down from its season average. In the ad-friendly 18-to-49 demo, "Housewives" garnered an 8.8 rating and 19 share, while "Sopranos" drew 9.5 million viewers and a 4.5 share and a 10 rating in the advertiser friendly 18-to-49 demographic. QwikFIND aar51b

Arbitron deploys radio people meter
Even while radio giant Clear Channel mulls three finalists in its search for an electronics ratings service, Arbitron is forging ahead with its portable people meter in Houston in July and plans to roll it out to the top 10 U.S. markets by 2008. The PPM is a pager-like device that picks up audible codes embedded in an audio signal. So far 48 ad agencies, two broadcasters and a marketer, Wendy's, have signed on to use the service. The results of two trials indicated fewer total radio ratings points but that radio had a far greater reach than expected. QwikFIND aar50z

Coke, Monster among first to advertise on Windows Live
Coca-Cola Brazil, JC Penney Co. and Monster Worldwide are the first advertisers in last week's beta-test debut of Microsoft's Windows Live, having bought digital media across Windows Live Mail and Messenger properties. The consumer-directed Windows Live products and Microsoft Office Live small-business suite allow consumers to customize their Web programming with software that helps them build Web pages, receive RSS feeds and do personalized searches, among other things. QwikFIND aar51e

Sara Lee puts brands into review in consolidation effort
Sara Lee Corp. has put its Sara Lee and Hillshire Farm brands up for review as part of a plan to consolidate creative duties for its North American food and beverage unit, for which billings totaled $80 million last year. Participating are Omnicom Group's Element 79, Chicago, incumbent for the Hillshire Farm account; Publicis Groupe's Publicis, New York, which has handled the Sara Lee deli and bakery account; Omnicom's TBWA/Chiat/Day, Playa del Rey, Calif., which handles Ball Park,; and Omnicom sibling Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, San Francisco. A Sara Lee spokesman said the consolidation is "part of an overall strategy to optimize service partnerships." QwikFIND aar51n

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