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[Columbus, Ohio] Filmmaker Robert Greenwald is turning to the United Church of Christ to launch his documentary, "Wal-Mart: The High Cost of Low Price." The progressive Protestant church has 1.3 million members and 6,000 congregations nationwide. The movie, which criticizes the retailer's impact on small-town America and the low wages and minimal health insurance given to workers, will also be screened at universities, community centers and private homes-but not in theaters. A Wal-Mart spokeswoman said of Mr. Greenwald, "It seems his project is better categorized as propaganda than as documentary," adding that his earlier films are sold on Wal-Mart.com. See AdAge.com QwikFIND aar00v

ANA, POPAI undertake in-store marketing study

[New York] The ANA and Point-of-Purchase Advertising International will undertake an extensive, half-million dollar pilot study in 2006 to make in-store marketing as measurable as TV and radio. Organizers of the study said it is the beginning of a long arduous process with one end result in mind: a syndicated ratings product both retailers and marketers can subscribe to that offers metrics as reliable as those of Nielsen or Arbitron. But concerns have been raised about whether Wal-Mart could block the progress of the pilot study and industry efforts to measure in-store marketing overall. Wal-Mart and Target are notably absent from the pilot study for now, along with major package-goods companies, including Procter & Gamble, Unilever and Kimberly-Clark.

Verizon's Test Man expands vocabulary

[Bedminster, N.J.] Verizon Wireless this week evolves its brand message by expanding the role of its Test Man icon. Instead of simply walking and saying "Can you hear me now? Good," the Test Man interacts with consumers using gestures and lines such as "This is awkward," then dutifully follows them with an army of workers, trucks, helicopters and other network support personnel and equipment in tow. Interpublic Group of Cos.' McCann Erickson, New York, handles.

Volkswagen's Hunt joins Kia Motors America

[Irving, Calif.] In a management reshuffling, Len Hunt joins Kia Motors America today as exec VP-chief operating officer from Volkswagen. He'll report to J.H. "James" Lee, who moves from senior exec VP of Kia Motors Corp. to president-CEO of the U.S. arm, succeeding Peter Butterfield, who left after four years. See AdAge.com QwikFIND aar00m

BBH's Robson brought in as partner at Goodby

[San Francisco] In one of its most sweeping management changes since Andy Berlin left the agency in 1992, Goodby, Silverstein & Partners brought in Derek Robson, general manager of BBH, London, as a full agency partner to co-manage the agency with Robert Riccardi, previously director of account services. Partner and general manager Harold Sogard becomes vice chairman, succeeded by Leslie Bee, formerly human resources director. Long-time president Colin Probert is retiring in late 2006.

Dance around Aegis continues to unfold

[New York] Interest in Aegis Group continued throughout last week. On Oct. 7, French investor Vincent Bollore continued his buying spree in the London-based company, bringing his stake to 13.35%. Publicis Groupe is also one of several suitors now in talks with Aegis about a potential offer; WPP Group and San Francisco buyout firm Hellman & Friedman teamed up as a potential acquirer. Aegis last week said it is in talks "with more than one party" about a potential offer.

`NY Times' to launch mag for movie theaters

[New York] The New York Times plans to introduce a digest-sized entertainment magazine called OnMovies on Dec. 16. OnMovies, which will display The Times logo and be divided evenly between advertising and editorial content from The Times, will be distributed to up to 1.25 million ticket-buyers at Loews Cineplex Theaters 18 times a year in cities including New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Boston, Washington, Dallas and Seattle.

Westin re-brand starts with `Apprentice' tie-in

[New York] Starwood Hotel Group's Westin brand will kick off its re-branding campaign on Oct. 12 as part of the NBC show "The Apprentice: Martha Stewart." Competing teams must re-design a Westin hotel room using the theme of "Renewal," which will be Westin's new tagline when Interpublic's Deutsch, New York, introduces the campaign in earnest later this year. Westin CMO Sue Brush said there will no change in the $17 million ad budget.

WB, NBC pull fall shows; both likely to be canceled

[New York] The WB has, for the time being, yanked Jerry Bruckheimer produced drama, "Just Legal." A spokesman for The WB said the future of "Just Legal," is still to be decided. Also, NBC's "Inconceivable" did not air on Oct. 7 at 10 p.m. as scheduled. A spokeswoman said the network was "reassessing the situation." The series, panned by media buyers at the upfront, was replaced by an episode of "Law and Order: Criminal Intent." Both "Just Legal" and "Inconceivable" seem set to follow Fox's "Head Cases" as the first casualties of the new season. "Head Cases" was canceled after two episodes.

FYI ...

Major League Baseball will test live coverage of the playoff games over wireless devices via MobiTV. A MLB spokesman said the launch, initially scheduled for right after the All Star game, had been delayed over technical difficulties in blocking viewing in certain areas to protect local broadcast rights. ... WPP Group is an investor in The Weinstein Co., the movie studio launched by brothers Bob and Harvey Weinstein, according to an executive familiar with the matter. The company's first movie, "Derailed," set to open on Nov. 11, is based on the novel by James Siegel, vice chairman of Omnicom's BBDO Worldwide.

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