Quizno's parts ways with Martin Agency
[Denver] Quizno's Corp. and the Martin Agency, creators of its controversial "spongmonkeys" campaign, have parted ways, citing creative differences. Quizno's spent $32.9 million through August. Quizno's earlier pulled Martin's TV spot featuring the monkeys screeching "We love the Subs!"-while it was popular with young consumers, it turned off its core adult customers. Scott Lippitt, senior VP-marketing for the chain, went out of his way to credit the agency for the last "three very positive quarters" but said the two sides couldn't agree on a new creative direction. Executives close to the marketer said Quizno's already has homed in on another agency, though Mr. Lippitt denied the claim. See AdAge.com QwikFIND aaq16w
CBS thrashes rivals in November sweeps
[New York] The November sweeps wrapped last week with Nielsen Media Research reporting gains for CBS and ABC. Overall, CBS came in tops, drawing 14.3 million viewers; NBC was second with 10.74 million; ABC drew 10.71 million, a more positive showing than last year. Fox Network came in at 7 million. CBS claimed the most significant victory, however, winning in adults aged 18-49 for the first time in a November sweep since 1980.
BPA approves posting of magazine audits
[New York] Audit firm BPA's board of directors late last week approved two key measures aimed at making its work more attractive to both consumer magazine publishers and media buyers. The 32-person board gave final approval to a measure to post what a BPA spokeswoman termed "top-line" audit numbers from all completed audits on BPA's Web site "the day after that audit is complete." Currently, BPA only publishes an audit if its findings vary significantly from the publishers' submitted numbers. The plan also commissions the drafting of a new reporting format which would add a "sponsored-sales" category to BPA's breakout of "qualified paid" and "qualified non-paid" circulation.
Jack Daniel's joins race as Nascar sponsor
[Louisville, Ky.] Brown Forman's Jack Daniel's brand became the second hard-liquor brand to join Nascar, formally announcing it will serve as the primary sponsor for Richard Childress Racing's No. 7 car, driven by Dave Blaney. Crown Royal announced earlier it would be sponsoring Nextel Cup champion Kurt Busch. Both brands came on board less than a month after Nascar lifted its ban on hard liquor sponsors (AA, Nov. 15).
Wal-Mart backtracks on holiday price-cutting
[Bentonville, Ark.] Wal-Mart Stores backtracked on efforts to cut back on holiday price-cutting and took out ads in newspapers promoting price rollbacks on several gift items. The retailer had signaled it would hold the line on discounts, but it showed poor results on Black Friday, as rivals took the opening to undercut its prices. Wal-Mart last week trimmed its outlook for December, partly blaming the dearth of discounts. UBS retail analyst Gary Balter wrote the ads are "more image advertising to remind consumers that Wal-Mart has low prices and to offset the impact of this weekend's circulars (with many more items) from competitors."
Atlantis Paradise Island account goes into review
[New York] Hotelier Kerzner International Bahamas has put its Atlantis Paradise Island resort into review, executives said. A Kerzner spokeswoman declined to comment. Kerzner spent $11 million in measured media on the Bahamas property last year, according to TNS Media Intelligence/CMR, and $6.6 million through the first seven months of this year. Incumbent Ground Zero, Los Angeles, is expected to defend.
Forbes.com removes embedded advertising
[New York] Forbes.com has removed paid advertising links embedded in content from its news pages because of complaints from editorial staff, but will continue to run the links in company profiles and non-news content on the site. "While the general [user] feedback was more positive than negative, our editorial staff was uncomfortable with the concept," said Jim Spanfeller, president-CEO in a statement. Vibrant Media, which markets the ad form, has 330 publishers signed up.
An advisory panel of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration dealt Procter & Gamble Co. and Publicis Groupe a blow Dec. 2, recommending the agency reject P&G's female sex-drive patch Intrinsa. In a unanimous vote, the panel said P&G should continue monitoring women who use the patch to watch for negative long-term health effects. See AdAge.com QwikFIND aaq16q ... The Supreme Court Dec. 8 hears arguments on whether the $1 per-head-of-cattle-sold assessment used to fund Publicis Groupe's Leo Burnett USA campaign amounts to unconstitutional "compelled speech" for beef ranchers who don't feel they benefit. ... Sony Pictures Television Advertiser Sales is forming a new unit to create a cross-platform offering for advertisers encompassing all Sony's business units. The entity, Sony Pictures Television Advertiser Solutions, will enable advertisers to buy across TV, motion pictures and the Web as well as music and electronic products. ... Business-to-business telecom company Avaya, has consolidated its advertising with Interpublic Group of Cos., with McCann Erickson Worldwide handling TV, print and online; MRM doing direct; and R/GA in charge of interactive work. ... Omnicom Group's DDB Worldwide, Chicago, Dec. 3 laid off about 3% of its staff, or approximately 15 people, an agency spokeswoman confirmed.