The Week

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Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal, a lead negotiator of the 1998 state tobacco settlement that launched the American Legacy Foundation's Truth anti-smoking campaign, offered an olive branch to tobacco makers in hopes of getting them to provide funds to keep the campaign running. He said he would be willing to explore new restraints on the foundation's ads if the nation's largest tobacco companies would resume the $300 million a year they had contributed to fund the ad campaign. While the states continue to receive billions from the settlement, four tobacco companies that settled-R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., Brown and Williamson Tobacco Co., Lorillard and Philip Morris USA-only had to fund the foundation's efforts if their market share exceeded 99.05% of cigarettes sold. Most payments ceased last year as discount brands gained market share. Tobacco makers have repeatedly complained that some of the foundation's "Truth" ads vilify them. Last week several said they were unwilling to continue funding. QwikFIND aap46L

Martha off board, still creative muse

Martha Stewart assumed a new title last week at the company she built: founding editorial director. She stepped down as chief creative officer of Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia and as a director of the company, following her conviction on federal charges. Ms. Stewart will work on editorial and TV assignments and new-product design and development; author two upcoming books; and provide input on Omnimedia's brands and strategy. She will report to CEO Sharon Patrick. The company's board will chose a director to replace Ms. Stewart, with her input. Ms. Stewart was convicted March 5 of obstruction of justice, conspiracy and two counts of making false statements to federal investigators probing her sale of shares in biotech company Imclone Systems. QwikFIND aap46c

ZenithOptimedia chooses new CEO

Steve King succeeded John Perriss as CEO of Publicis Groupe's ZenithOptimedia Group. Mr. Perriss will leave the company in several weeks. Mr. King, 44, said he will remain based in London, where he was CEO of ZenithOptimedia for Europe, Middle East and Africa, and will now split his time between Europe, the U.S. and Asia. Mr. King lived in New York for three years, helping set up Zenith Media's U.S. operation and serving as its chief operating officer until he returned to London in 1997. ZenithOptimedia is the sixth largest media specialist group, with worldwide billings of $16 billion in 2002. QwikFIND aap47b

`New Yorker' leads Ellies nominations

Martha Stewart living got a much-needed boost last week when the American Society of Magazine Editors announced the nominees for the National Magazine Awards, known as the "Ellies," on March 17. The flagship title of Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia was given a nod for general excellence. Leading the pack with 11 nominations, including one for general excellence, was Conde Nast Publications' The New Yorker. Hearst Magazines' Esquire received seven nominations and The Atlantic Monthly received six. Perennial favorite Conde Nast's Vanity Fair failed to get any nominations. The winners will be announced May 5. QwikFIND aap46q

Nestle seeks global media `solutions'

Consumer-products marketer Nestle is talking to three agency holding companies about a global review of its media planning and buying businesses, a Nestle spokesman said. "We are looking for solutions," spokesman Marcel Rubin said from the company's headquarters in Vevey, Switzerland. Nestle, the maker of candy, pet food, cereal and other products, is in discussions with Interpublic Group of Cos., WPP Group and Publicis Groupe. Nestle is the world's ninth-largest advertiser and in 2002 spent $1.5 billion globally. In the U.S., Interpublic's Universal McCann handles all media buying for Nestle as well as some planning. A number of other agencies, including Publicis' Optimedia, a unit of Zenith Optimedia Group, handle planning in the U.S. Multiple agencies handle buying and planning outside the U.S. QwikFIND aap46o


Houlihan's Restaurant chose Havas' Arnold Worldwide, St. Louis, to help it distinguish itself as it expands from 78 restaurants to nearly 100 over the next two years. QwikFIND aap46n ... Coca-Cola Co. selected WPP Group's Berlin Cameron/Red Cell, New York, to handle advertising responsibilities for the launch of a "mid-calorie" cola, according to executives familiar with the plan. QwikFIND aap46f

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