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Executives see strong marketing M&A activity

More than half of advertising and marketing executives surveyed expect a strong year for M&A in both database marketing/CRM and so-called "experiential marketing," according to a report by media investment banking firm AdMedia Partners. The firm said more than 90% of respondents expect to enter or expand in at least one area of marketing this year. Internet marketing, marketing/strategic consulting and experiential marketing are viewed as among the most popular areas for expansion.

McCurdy to succeed Cobert as Canon CEO

Charles McCurdy, CEO of Apprise Media and chairman of Canon Communications, will add the additional role of CEO of Canon. He will succeed William Cobert, who is leaving to pursue other professional interests. Apprise, which is backed by private equity firm Spectrum Equity Investors, acquired Canon in May 2005 as a springboard for b-to-b investments. Canon serves the medical device, pharmaceutical, nutraceutical, specialty packaging, electronics, semiconductor fabrication, plastics processing and other advanced technology markets. Its key properties include devicelink.com, Medical Device & Diagnostics Industry and the Medical Design & Manufacturing trade show.

Online search grows rapidly year over year

The total number of searches in the U.S. conducted across 60 search engines grew 55% to 5.10 billion in December 2005, compared with 3.30 billion in December 2004, according to Nielsen//NetRatings' MegaView Search report released Thursday. Google rose 5.7 percentage points to a 49% share of all searches. Yahoo! Search and MSN Search each experienced minor declines in share points, down 0.3 to to 21% and 3.1 points to 11%, respectively. The top three search engines experienced double-digit growth year over year. Google Search grew 75% to 2.50 billion searches. Yahoo! Search grew 53% to 1.10 billion searches, and MSN Search increased 20% to 553.0 million.

Visa USA kicks off rebranding campaign

Visa USA launched its first rebranding campaign in 20 years, with the tagline, "Life takes Visa." The campaign was developed by TBWAChiatDay, Los Angeles, which Visa recently selected as its agency of record. It replaces Visa's 20-year campaign, "Visa. It's everywhere you want to be," developed by Visa's previous agency, BBDO New York. The new campaign includes TV, print, online and outdoor. Visa is airing TV spots during the Winter Olympic Games, with print ads running in publications including Newsweek, People, Sports Illustrated and Time. The first phase of the rebranding campaign is a consumer effort. Visa will roll out b-to-b ads in the next few months.

Hewlett-Packard buys archiving software firm

Hewlett-Packard Co. said last week it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire OuterBay, which markets archiving software for enterprise applications and databases. HP expects to complete the deal this month. Financial terms were not disclosed. OuterBay will be integrated into the StorageWorks division of HP's Technology Solutions Group.

Magazine ad pages, revenue fall in January

After ending 2005 on a positive note, magazine ad pages and revenue declined in January, according to the Publishers Information Bureau. Ad pages fell nearly 2% and total magazine rate-card reported ad revenue dropped 0.3%, compared with January 2005. In December, ad page volume had risen 3.4% and revenue was also up 3.4%, compared with the year-earlier period. Seven of the top 12 major advertising categories saw ad page declines in January, with automotive down 25%. Five categories posted positive gains, with drugs and remedies up 18%, and financial, insurance and real estate up 17%.

OgilvyOne, Peppercom create digital units

OgilvyOne Worldwide announced the launch of Neo@OgilvyOne, a digital and direct media network. The new unit will be led by Nasreen Madhany, who was named global CEO. Madhany was previously CEO of mOne Worldwide. Also, strategic communications agency Peppercom announced the launch of PepperDigital, an interactive marketing unit. PepperDigital provides search engine optimization, corporate blog and podcast development, mobile messaging and viral videogames.

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