Cheadle stars and directs NFL spots
Buoyed by the success it had last year promoting its postseason, the National Football League has again turned to actor Don Cheadle to star in a series of spots to tout the upcoming playoffs. This time, Mr. Cheadle will not only appear in the 30-second commercials but is also directing them. The league's longtime agency, WPP Group's Y&R Advertising, New York, was responsible for the creative and NFL Films handled the production. Last year, one of the playoff spots, "Crazy," won a Cannes Silver Lion. Mr. Cheadle last week filmed seven spots at the Los Angeles Coliseum for this year's playoffs, which begin Jan. 3 and end with the Super Bowl on Feb.1. Current players Dante Hall of the Kansas City Chiefs and Chad Brown of the Seattle Seahawks, as well as retired Denver Broncos quarterback John Elway will appear in some of the spots.
MediaVest's Grant, Berning exit agency
Mel Berning, MediaVest's U.S .broadcast president and Jeff Grant, president- worldwide programming, will exit the company. Mr. Berning is leaving to take a senior sales position at A&E Network. It is not known if Mr. Grant has another position. MediaVest, part of Publicis Groupe, has hired Donna Speciale to replace Mr. Berning. Mr. Grant and Mr. Berning could not be reached for comment, though a MediaVest spokeswoman said clients were told. Ms. Speciale is exec VP-director of national broadcast for Grey Global Group's MediaCom. Brian Terkelson has been hired to take on some of Mr. Grant's duties. Mr. Terkelson joins as senior VP-director of entertainment marketing. AdAge.com QwikFIND aap20h
BBDO gets Saatchi's Silver, replaces Graf
The New York flagship office of Omnicom Group's BBDO Worldwide named a new executive creative director, moving quickly to fill a vacancy created by the departure of one of its executives to sibling TBWA Worldwide. Eric Silver, who joins BBDO from Publicis' Saatchi & Saatchi, New York, on Dec. 15, will be exec VP-executive creative director. He replaces Gerry Graf, who moved to TBWA/Chiat/Day. Mr. Silver will work on a number of accounts, including FedEx, a BBDO spokesman said. Mr. Silver, 36, was a group creative director with Saatchi, where he created advertising for Old Spice and Wheaties. He joined Saatchi in June from New York independent Cliff Freeman & Partners. AdAge.com QwikFIND aap20L
McDonald's taps Burnett for Big Mac
McDonald's Corp. selected Publicis Groupe's Leo Burnett USA to create a worldwide advertising campaign for the Big Mac following a roster agency shootout. That creative is expected to break in the late second quarter. A decision on a global french fry campaign is still pending in a shootout said to be between Burnett and Omnicom Group's DDB Worldwide, Chicago. Separately, McDonald's named Kay Napier senior VP-chief marketing officer for McDonald's Europe, a new post, from senior VP-marketing to women in the U.S. division. She joined McDonald's in November 2002 and helped launch the chain's premium salad line and led the successful Indiana market test of the "Go Active" adult meal. That product is expected to roll out nationally in June.
ESPN to launch Hispanic network
Veinte y cuatro/siete. That's Spanish for 24/7, which is what Walt Disney Co.'s ESPN Deportes will be. The Spanish-language sports station debuts Jan. 7. "Somos ESPN Deportes," a show that will preview key programming and feature an array of Latino sports stars, kicks off the station's debut at 8 p.m. eastern time, followed by the inaugural edition of the new Spanish-language production of SportsCenter at 8:30 p.m. and by full, on-site coverage of a National Basketball Association game featuring the Dallas Mavericks and Golden State Warriors. Following the Jan. 7 launch, ESPN Deportes plans to showcase more than 200 live events in its first year, including NBA, National Football League and Major League Baseball games. ESPN plans to announce its advertiser lineup for ESPN Deportes later this week or early next week. AdAge.com QwikFIND aap19v
As the Food and Drug Administration readied to revise its guidelines for direct-to-consumer prescription drug ads, the Federal Trade Commission urged it to drop the extensive side effects listings required for print ads and to make print requirements closer to broadcast ads. The FTC suggested the listings are basically unreadable, require a second page of ads and make print buys uncompetitive. The Magazine Publishers of America said the problem isn't the second page of ads, but the unreadable information. The MPA suggestion is to make the warnings more consumer friendly. The FTC also warned that if the FDA banned DTC ads, it would hurt consumers. AdAge.com QwikFIND aap20g