Ford non-traditional efforts rise to 20%
[Dearborn, Mich.] Ford Motor Co.'s Ford Division has increased its spending in non-traditional marketing to 20% of its total marketing budget this year from just 2% a decade ago, said Steve Lyons, president of the division. He said it could go as high as a third in the near future. A prime example, the redone 2005 Mustang will be integrated into several broadcast network TV shows and backed by a 60-second spot arriving in theaters Nov. 1. That spot, from WPP Group's J. Walter Thompson, Detroit, shows late actor Steve McQueen recreating his Frank Bullitt movie role. The late actor also appeared in a Ford Puma spot in Europe from WPP's Y&R.
America Online rolls Netscape dial-up spots
[Dulles, Va.] America Online is launching a national TV campaign for its dial-up Netscape service, pitting it against rival NetZero. Both services cost $9.95 a month. A 30-second ad begins airing on national cable today. It is handled by Omnicom Group's BBDO, New York. Later this month comes a direct-response ad, handled by C Media of Portland, Ore. Both ads will run through the end of the year, and the effort will continue in 2005.
Nestle consolidates with Group M, Zenith
[Vevey, Switzerland] Nestle is consolidating its $1.5 billion global media buying and planning business with WPP's Group M, London, and Publicis Groupe's ZenithOptimedia, Toronto, following a review. The company cut Interpublic Group of Cos.' Universal McCann, out of the business. The move comes as Interpublic plans to restructure its media offerings in coming months, though an executive familiar with the matter said no action was imminent based on the Nestle decision. See AdAge.com QwikFIND aaq05n
Morgan Stanley among Havas' top shareholders
[Paris] Morgan Stanley & Co. International, London, emerged Oct. 15 as one of Havas' top shareholders, disclosing in a French regulatory filing that it owned about 15 million shares or 4.9% of the French holding company. Morgan Stanley joined Vincent Bollore (20%), the Rodes family (5%) and Fidelity Investments (5%) as Havas' top four shareholders. Morgan Stanley wasn't immediately available for comment. It advised WPP on the recent deal to buy Grey Global Group. Morgan Stanley's investment came as Havas works to convince investors of its ability to remain independent. Havas is under pressure as Mr. Bollore, a French corporate raider, continues to buy shares. Havas, meanwhile, Oct. 19 will complete a new share sale, using the $500 million in proceeds to pay debt.
CNN to move Dobbs into Zahn's 8 p.m. spot
[New York] CNN looks all but certain to move its veteran financial analyst, Lou Dobbs, into the 8 p.m. slot opposite Fox News Channel's "O'Reilly Factor." Executives close to the channel confirmed that major schedule changes are afoot, not only at CNN but at sibling service Headline News. A spokesman for CNN, however, said: "With the presidential election less than a month away it's a little silly for people to speculate on programming changes. We certainly aren't."
`Guardian Weekly' preps U.S. subscription push
[London] U.K. news digest Guardian Weekly began its first direct-mail campaign soliciting U.S. subscribers and redesigned its U.S. newsstand editions. A year's subscription is $89 and newsstand copies will be $3.95. The global circulation of the Guardian Weekly, said the spokeswoman, is around 200,000. In the U.S. the Guardian Weekly boasts around 10,5000 subscribers and sells about 1,300 newsstand copies.
Broadway producers set to abandon Gray Lady
[New York] Frustrated with the recent changes in The New York Times' arts and culture section and its high costs of advertising, Broadway producers are taking their marketing dollars elsewhere, Crain's New York Business reports today. This week, the League of American Theatres and Producers is holding a town hall meeting to share ideas on whether or not to advertise with the paper; industry executives estimate that Broadway spends around $40 million a year advertising in the Times. "They redesigned the paper for a focus group of 18-year-olds and killed the theater section in the process," griped one theater executive.
`Radar,' the now-dormant culture magazine founded by former `Talk' editorial director Maer Roshan, is believed to have found a backer, said an individual familiar with the situation, and will begin publishing again in 2005. An announcement is expected early this week. ... Toys `R' Us has handed its media planning and buying in the U.S. and Puerto Rico to WPP's Mediaedge:cia. The toy retailer's media duties were previously handled by Publicis Groupe's Starcom. See AdAge.com QwikFIND aaq05q. ... Wm. Wrigley Jr. Co. VP-U.S. Marketing Kathryn Olson has departed the gum giant to take on the newly created position of chief marketing officer of educational technology company LeapFrog Enterprises. A replacement has yet to be named for Ms. Olson, according to a Wrigley spokeswoman. ... Groupe Danone has tapped Dannon Co. Senior VP-Marketing Eric Leventhal to head up its Evian North America unit as president-general manager. Previous to Dannon, Mr. Leventhal, 38, headed up marketing for beverages at Campbell Soup Co. ... In a pitch to better reach ethnic women, Procter & Gamble Cosmetics has signed a multi-year licensing agreement with supermodel Iman to market and distribute her mass Iman and prestige I-Iman brands across cosmetics, skin care, fragrance and hair care categories.