Ford touts bullish forecast for 2004
Ford Motor Co. last week announced a return to profitability in calendar 2003 with net income of $495 million vs. a 2002 net loss of $980 million. Steve Lyons, president of its Ford Division, projected his brand's 2004 vehicle sales would rise to 3 million units from 2.8 million in 2003. His 2004 sales will include at least 912,000 full-size pickup truck units, which would be a record. This year's launches include the redone Focus this spring; all-new Ford GT sports car, Five Hundred sedan (Taurus replacement), Freestyle sport utility and the redesigned 2005 Mustang. In an unusual move, Ford will back the GT, with only 1,500 available units this year, with two TV spots that will air during the pre-game of the Super Bowl. WPP Group's J. Walter Thompson, Detroit, handles.
AAF names new inductees
The American Advertising Federation named four executives to its Advertising Hall of Fame. They are: Philip Geier, former chairman-CEO of Interpublic Group of Cos.; Karl Eller, former chairman-CEO of Clear Channel Outdoor; John E. Pepper, former chairman-CEO of Procter & Gamble Co.; and Liener Temerlin, chairman emeritus of ad agency Temerlin McClain. The honorees will be inducted at a lunch March 16, to be held at New York's Waldorf-Astoria.
New Gap ad exec seeks brand `voice'
Gap Inc. tapped Jeff Jones, president of Publicis Groupe's LB Works, to be its exec VP-marketing for its flagship Gap brand, starting in April. Whether Mr. Jones' appointment will have any effect on Gap's creative agency of record, Laird & Partners, remains unclear. Burnett last year conducted a sweeping consumer segmentation study, which Gap has used to direct recent marketing efforts. Mr. Jones said he needs time to get to know the brand and its sub-brands before making any decisions about the future advertising or its partners, but said he wants the brand to have "more dialogue and more voice to allow consumers to have experiences with it in different ways." AdAge.com QwikFIND aap30r
Anti-drug campaign efficacy questioned
The latest official evaluation study of the White House youth anti-drug ad campaign questioned the effectiveness of the long-running ads. The report could hurt future funding for the $150 million annual campaign. Prepared by the Annenberg School of Communications at the University of Pennsylvania and the research firm Westat, the report said "there is little evidence of direct favorable campaign effects on youth," either for the campaign as a whole or the anti-marijuana component. It said messages aimed at parents worked better. A drug office spokesman said a University of Michigan study, that is the official government survey on youth drug and tobacco use, showed drug use declining, but he said the drug office would work with Congress. AdAge.com QwikFIND aap30p
Michael Sands, chief marketing officer of Snapple Beverage Group and Mott's, resigned amid a reorganization of Cadbury Schweppes' Americas Beverages Group. Cadbury is seeking a chief marketing officer for its Americas Beverages Group and Mr. Sands had been a contender. Mr. Sands said he plans to start a food and beverage company. Snapple's senior VP-marketing, Sheryl Adkins-Green, also quit. Ms. Adkins-Green didn't return calls for comment. Interpublic's Deutsch, New York, handles Snapple. AdAge.com QwikFIND aap30m ... Bob Thacker, 56, president-CEO of BBDO Worldwide, Minneapolis, will retire. His duties are being shifted to Denny Haley, chief creative officer. AdAge.com QwikFIND aap31h ... Dreyer's Grand Ice Cream Holdings will put its largest-ever media spending against the launch this May of a better-tasting formulation of its Dreyer's and Edy's Grand Light ice cream brands. Dreyer's, which combined with Nestle's ice cream division last June, spent $4.3 million on media from January through October of last year, according to TNS Media Intelligence/CMR. The effort will include print, radio and national TV, from Omnicom Group's Goodby, Silverstein & Partners. AdAge.com QwikFIND aap31u... Seafood chain Red Lobster is meeting with agencies for its $80 million account, currently at Havas' Euro RSCG Tatham Parthers, Chicago, according to executives that knew of the meetings. Within a week of the Jan. 6 resignation of Dick Rivera, Darden Restaurants' president-chief operating officer and interim president of Red Lobster, Kim Lopdrup, chief marketing officer, was setting up agency meetings, according to the executives. Darden and Tatham did not return calls. AdAge.com QwikFIND aap31c