Nearly two-thirds of CEOs expect the pace of economic growth this year will continue to be strong enough to justify the expansion of their companies' work forces, according to the latest TEC Confidence Index report from TEC International. The index, however, dipped to 109.8 for the first quarter, from 111.8 in the previous quarter. The index is based on a quarterly survey of more than 2,000 CEOs on issues such as the economy and government policies. The latest survey found that 50% of CEOs expect economic conditions to be better than they are today for the remainder of the year. Last quarter, 58% expected conditions to improve for the remainder of the year. Finding qualified job candidates continues to be the top area of concern for CEOs, while health care costs are viewed as critical to future hiring plans.
BMA names HSR Agency of the Year
The Business Marketing Association named HSR Business to Business its 2005 Agency of the Year at the BMA Pro-Comm Awards last month. HSR captured 14 awards, including eight for print advertising, three for direct mail, and two for annual reports, in addition to the Agency of the Year recognition. HSR won awards for clients including Kodak Professional, Hobart Corp., GE Inspection Technologies, Contech Construction Products, Allianz Global Risks U.S., Makino Inc., Pall Corp., Cincinnati Bell and Eclipse Aviation.
Most marketers use branded entertainment
An Association of National Advertisers survey found that 63% of marketers polled had participated in branded entertainment projects in the past year. The survey results were presented during the ANA's annual Television Advertising Forum last month in New York. Forty-two percent of the marketers surveyed said the top benefit of branded entertainment is to make "a stronger emotional connection with the consumer." Eighty-two percent said branded entertainment is funded through a shift from other budgets. Additionally, 79% of respondents indicated branded entertainment deals were overpriced.
Tocquigny lands Caterpillar account
Caterpillar Inc. has selected Tocquigny for several advertising and marketing projects. Tocquigny will provide advertising, interactive and marketing research for several business units at Caterpillar. The agency is one of seven global agencies that handle the Caterpillar account.
Thomson Financial launches PR Online
Thomson Financial, a unit of Thomson Corp., announced the launch of its PR Online service for the North American market. The service is designed to help public relations professionals communicate with journalists, industry analysts, clients and other constituents via their corporate Web sites. PR Online provides tools to help post press releases, breaking news, product information and high-resolution photos and images to corporate Web sites.
AOL adds new mobile services for handhelds
America Online announced a suite of mobile service offerings for its customers. AOL said Research in Motion has joined its Mobile Developer Program. That partnership will enable RIM to support AOL Instant Messenger (AIM) and AOL's ICQ instant messaging application on RIM's BlackBerry device. BlackBerry users will also be able to gain easy access to AOL's mobile e-mail by integrating IMAP (Internet Message Access Protocol).
Silverpop acquires Digital Oxygen
Silverpop, an e-mail marketing company, has acquired Digital Oxygen, a London-based interactive marketing agency. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Digital Oxygen is a former client of Silverpop.
Forbes.com offers more personalization
Forbes.com announced a new personalization feature on its site, called the Forbes.com Attache. Located on every page of Forbes.com, Attache allows users to choose, organize and display news, sports scores, weather, stock prices and other information "at a glance." Enterprise software company Sybase will be the premier corporate sponsor of Attache.