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[Newark, N.J.] New Jersey State Attorney General Peter Harvey filed suit Feb. 18 against Blockbuster, claiming that "The End of Late Fees" ad campaign is "fraudulent and deceptive." According to the suit, ads do not tell consumers that they will be charged for a video if it isn't returned within seven days or that they'll be charged a restocking fee if they return the video within 30 days. Blockbuster, in a statement, said: "The fact is there are no longer late fees at Blockbuster, and we are surprised that the New Jersey State Attorney General never directly contacted us about this."

Moran seeks to curb erectile-dysfunction ads

[Washington] The U.S. House of Representatives Rules Committee turned down Virginia Democrat James Moran's amendment to the Broadcast Indecency Enforcement Act of 2005, which would have banned TV and radio ads for erectile-dysfunction medications between 6 a.m. and 10 p.m. But according to his spokesman, Mr. Moran is seeking otherHouse members to co-sponsor the ban as a standalone bill. QwikFIND: aaq33z

Lufthansa puts $72M global account in review

[Frankfurt] Lufthansa airline is reviewing its $72 million international account, handled by McCann Erickson Communications House M.E.C.H., Frankfurt, part of Interpublic Group of Cos. McCann will re-pitch, along with Omnicom Group's BBDO Campaign, Dusseldorf, and DDB, Berlin; Publicis Groupe's Leo Burnett, Frankfurt; and WPP Group's Young & Rubicam, Frankfurt. Lufthansa is also reviewing its direct-marketing activities. Four agencies are pitching: incumbent Wunderman, Frankfurt, part of WPP and WPP's JWT RMG Connect; Publicis Dialog, Frankfurt; and BBDO subsidiary Interone, Munich.

Agon to assume CEO role at L'Oreal

[New York] L'Oreal USA President Jean-Paul Agon will succeed Lindsay Owen-Jones as CEO in April 2006, the company announced Feb. 17. Mr. Owen-Jones will stay on as non-executive chairman. Mr. Agon, 48, has led the U.S. business since October 2001, leading it to share gains in hair care, hair color and cosmetics despite stepped-up competition from Procter & Gamble Co. Among the biggest successes on his watch has been the launch of Garnier Fructis, which is nearing its goal of an 8% share in U.S. hair care despite stiff opposition from P&G and Unilever. L'Oreal has yet to name a successor for Mr. Agon in the U.S., where top executives below him include Carol Hamilton, president of L'Oreal Paris, and Karen Fondu, president of Maybelline-Garnier.

Burgess to publisher of Jason Binn's Niche Media

[New York] Lori Burgess was named to the newly created position of group publisher at Niche Media, which owns the free upscale titles Gotham, Hamptons, L.A. Confidential and Aspen Peak and which will soon launch titles in Boston and Washington. Ms. Burgess, 45, is charged with assembling a sales network to offer marketers group buys. Insiders said that Niche Media will also launch titles in Chicago and San Francisco. Ms. Burgess was formerly publisher at Conde Nast's House & Garden and Mademoiselle, and Hachette Filipacchi Media US' Elle.

KFC launches 99¢ chicken sandwich

[Louisville, Ky.] Yum Brand's KFC Corp. today is launching a 99¢ chicken sandwich aimed at value-minded core consumers, said Scott Bergren, exec VP-chief marketing and food innovation officer. Called the KFC Snacker, the fried filet is dressed with lettuce and pepper mayonnaise on a sesame seed bun and is positioned for mid-afternoon snack and add-on sales. The sandwich will be added to the permanent menu with advertising via Interpublic Group of Cos.' Foote Cone Belding, Chicago that breaks today.

Yahoo to Webcast `Fat Actress' premiere

[Los Angeles] In the latest move among the big portals to show their site is the hottest spot for video advertising, Yahoo will stream the first episode of "Fat Actress" online at the same time the show airs on Viacom's Showtime Networks. The Webcast will occur during the series premiere on March 7. Some 345 million unique users visit Yahoo each month. This is the first time that Yahoo will premier an entire episode of a TV series. The show, starring Kirstie Alley, will be available on until March 12.

Coty inks fragrance deal with Nautica

[New York] Coty has signed a global licensing agreement with VF Corp.'s Nautica Apparel to market Nautica-branded fragrances and apparel. The deal, which follows the expiration of a six-plus year licensing agreement Nautica had with Unilever, includes the launch by Coty's Lancaster Group of new prestige fragrances for department stores as well as the distribution of existing fragrance brands including Nautica Classic for men and women.

Hershey breaks mint effort with Duff sisters

[Hershey, Pa.] Hershey Foods this week breaks a new TV campaign for its Ice Breakers Liquid Ice mints that features singer/actress sisters Hilary and Haylie Duff. The campaign, from North Castle Partners, Stamford, Connecticut, continues the sibling disagreement - "Is it liquid or is it ice?" -that Hershey first launched for the brand last year featuring sister pairing of Jessica and Ashlee Simpson. Hershey will also sponsor Hilary Duff's upcoming music tour. Spending on Ice Breakers Liquid Ice totaled $10.2 million for the January through October 2004 time period, per TNS Media Intelligence.

FYI ...

Grey Global Group said it expects to complete its sale to WPP Group March 7. Grey shareholders vote on the deal March 3. WPP will buy Grey for a package of cash and stock with a value of $1.68 billion (as of Feb. 18). ... Dow Jones & Co.'s Wall Street Journal awarded advertising responsibilities for its soon-to-launch Weekend Edition to WPP's Berlin Cameron/Red Cell, according to a Dow Jones spokeswoman. Dow Jones' general market agency, independent Trahan, Burden & Charles, Baltimore, remains unchanged. Billings on the account were undisclosed. ... American Suzuki Motor Corp. reorganized its auto marketing department, integrating advertising, public relations, auto shows and Internet from separate units. Thomas Carney, formerly marketing director, was promoted to director of sales and marketing to lead the new unit marketing. ... Lowe & Partners executive Mark Goldstein, who resigned from the Interpublic agency last week, is slated to become chief marketing officer of Omnicom's BBDO, North America, according to an executive familiar with the matter. A BBDO spokesman declined comment. ... Staples, Verizon Wireless and CDW have signed up to sponsor a new CNN show called "The Turnaround," launching Feb. 26. The show features small business owners and their mentors. ... PepsiCo is replacing its Slice fruit-flavored carbonated soft drinks with a line under its Tropicana Twisters brand name. The 1% fruit-juice line will come in orange, strawberry, grape and diet orange for a mid-April launch. ... "Postcards from Buster," the PBS kids show that stirred up controversy with an episode that included mention of lesbians, is looking to advertisers for sponsorship funds, so that producers can guarantee a second series.

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