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Dairy Management plans to appeal a decision by the 3rd Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in Pennsylvania last week that ruled in favor of dairy farmers who object to paying ad assessments for fluid milk marketing efforts. The ruling cited the forced payments are a violation of dairy farmers Joseph and Brenda Cochran's First Amendment free speech and association rights. Dairy Management collects roughly $44 million in farmer funds, and a spokesman for the group said marketing, including ads from Lowe, New York, will not be disrupted as a result of the recent decision. Meanwhile, the Milk Processors Education Program's Milk Mustache effort, funded by milk processors, was not named in the suit though the ruling has possible ramifications for all agricultural programs that fund marketing initiatives. AdAge.com QwikFIND aap41c

DirecTV shifts account to BBDO

DirecTV, in which News Corp. bought a controlling 34% stake in December, is consolidating what it says will be a $115 million U.S. advertising account with Omnicom Group's BBDO Worldwide, New York with sibling OMD picking up media. The company informed incumbent agencies Deutsch, Los Angeles, part of Interpublic Group of Cos., and MediaVest, New York, part of Publicis Groupe, of the decision last week. DirecTV spent $137 million in 2002 and $91.3 million in the first 11 months of 2003, according to TNS Media Intelligence/CMR. The move follows the appointment of former Fox Sports executive Neil Tiles as exec VP-marketing. AdAge.com QwikFIND aap41L

Boniva DTC work awarded to Saatchi

In anticipation of Food and Drug Administration approval later this year or in early 2005, pharmaceutical giants Roche and GlaxoSmith- Kline have given creative duties on its co-marketed osteoporosis drug Boniva to Publicis' Saatchi & Saatchi Consumer Healthcare, New York, AdAge.com reported first last week. Roche did not return a call seeking comment, and Saatchi referred calls to the client. Executives said the business was worth between $25 million and $40 million. Saatchi beat out WPP Group's Ogilvy & Mather, Interpublic's McCann-Erickson and Havas' Euro RSCG Life Becker, all New York. The FDA approved a once-daily dose of Boniva in May, 2003, but the companies have explored a once-monthly dose before launching the product. Phase III clinical trials for the monthly version came back positive. AdAge.com QwikFIND aap40j

Circuit City seeks fresh creative ideas

Circuit City stores, faced with sliding sales and a robust rival in Best Buy, has placed its creative account in review. A company spokesman said Circuit City is seeking "new ideas and new thinking," but added its incumbent, Interpublic's Foote Cone & Belding, Chicago, has been invited to pitch. Hasan & Co., Raleigh, N.C. is handling the review, which is expected to wrap up by summer, said the spokesman. The retailer spent $345 million in media during the fiscal year, which ends Feb. 29, but the account in review is estimated at $80 million to $100 million in billings. The media portion of the account will remain in-house. AdAge.com QwikFIND aap40x

FYI...

Ending its investigation into KFC's much-derided claims that fried chicken is a healthy alternative, the National Advertising Division of the Council of Better Business Bureaus last week said the fast-food chain agreed to discontinue making those statements in its ads. On Nov. 20, KFC dropped ads created by Interpublic's Foote Cone & Belding, Chicago, launched in October in which the marketer promotes eating fried chicken as part of a healthy, balanced diet. AdAge.com QwikFIND aap40r ... Boot maker Timberland Co. made a strategic decision to move away from a "retainer-based relationship" with its ad agency, Publicis' Fallon, New York, according to Ken Pucker, chief marketing officer. Timberland will now work with agencies only on a project basis. Fallon was agency of record since August 2001. Timberland spent $7.2 million for the first 11 months of 2003, according to TNS Media Intelligence/CMR. AdAge.com QwikFIND aap40s

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