FDA orders halt to Allegra spots
The Food and Drug Administration sent a cease-and-desist letter to Aventis, telling the pharmaceutical company to stop advertising its blockbuster allergy drug Allegra. The FDA cited two TV spots, a print ad and a fulfillment letter that it said contained false or misleading statements. Aventis had until Jan. 14 to respond with a plan of action. Interpublic's McCann-Erickson, New York, handles the account. A representative from Aventis did not return calls by press time. Aventis spent $98.5 million in measured media on Allegra through October of 2003, according to TNS Media Intelligence/CMR. The prescription medication is Aventis' biggest-selling drug with $2 billion in sales last year according to IMS Health. AdAge.com QwikFIND aap29e
PGA Tour starts $20 million effort
The PGA Tour last week launched a $20 million campaign to highlight its 2004 season. While maintaining its "These Guys Are Good" tagline from longtime Omnicom Group agency GSD&M, Austin, Texas, the four spots that began airing also highlight the PGA Tour's charitable giving program. The spots aired on the National Football League's conference championship games on Jan.18, and will also air on NCAA basketball telecasts as well as its own golf events. AdAge.com QwikFIND aap28w
Eight agencies vie for Calif. Lottery
After a weeklong delay related once again to issues of disclosure, all eight contenders are back in the race for the California Lottery's four-year, $100 million general market advertising account. They are incumbent Grey Global Group's Grey Worldwide, Los Angeles; Omnicom Group's BBDO West, San Francisco and Los Angeles, and DDB, Los Angeles, with its sibling shops OMD and Alcone; Interpublic's Dailey & Associates, West Hollywood, Calif.; Foote Cone & Belding, San Francisco, and McCann-Erickson, Los Angeles; independents Ground Zero, Los Angeles, and Triple Play, a consortium of Ruynon, Saltzman & Einhorn, Sacramento, Horizon Media, and WongDoody, Los Angeles. AdAge.com QwikFIND aap29g
BBDO to replace NY president-CEO
BBDO Worldwide is searching for a leader for its New York office after last week's announcement that President-CEO Bill Katz would leave, first reported on AdAge.com. Mr. Katz, a 23-year veteran of BBDO, said he wants to pursue something different and will leave the industry. North American President-CEO Andrew Robertson said Mr. Katz would work with the agency and assist with the transition to a new chief executive. Mr. Robertson said he would assume Mr. Katz's day-to-day responsibilities for the agency. Though there is no timeframe, Mr. Katz said he expects to leave by summer. AdAge.com QwikFIND aap28p
Diamond unveils new brand of nuts
Diamond of California, long a dominant force in the supermarket's bakery aisle, moves into the estimated $2 billion snack nut section with Emerald Nuts, a new super premium 14-product line in a patented portable package designed to fit in a car cup holder. "We want to define that segment," said Michael Mendes, president-CEO, Diamond of California. The estimated $5 million oddball campaign plays off the letters "e" and "n" breaking this week in California from Omnicom's Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, San Francisco.
Starbucks to hear pitches for $20M biz
Starbucks Coffee Co. formally put its retail advertising account into review, tapping Mercer Island Group to handle the pitch after Publicis' LB Works, Chicago, resigned the account last month in anticipation of being folded into parent Leo Burnett, which handles rival McDonald's Corp. A handful of finalists across the nation will participate in final presentations yet to be scheduled, according to an executive close to the situation. The coffee giant is expected to continue using print and outdoor and viral marketing for its $20 million account. AdAge.com QwikFIND aap28x.
Michael J. Kelly is to move to America Online as president of a newly created division AOL Networks Sales and Solutions. The division will encompass ad sales, commerce and search inventory across broadband, dialup, messaging, wireless, new content and Web-based properties. Mr. Kelly is currently president global marketing at Time Warner.