Coke to run 275 ads on NBC during Olympics
[Atlanta] Coca-Cola Co. is planning a barrage of TV spots for its flagship Coca-Cola, Diet Coke, Dasani and Tab Energy, to break during the Olympic Games, with some 275 ads set to run across all the NBC networks. The cola king also will break its Coca-Cola "Drink Watch Cheer Win" promotion and its "Make Every Drop Count" portfolio diversity campaign beginning Feb. 10.
Universal McCann taps Gerzema for U.S. lead
[New York] Universal McCann CEO Nick Brien has named Mary Gerzema, now exec VP-communications planning director, as president of its U.S. region. Filling that vacant role is another important step for Mr. Brien as he seeks to help the agency recover from a long stretch of client losses and talent defection. Ms. Gerzema joined Universal McCann, part of the Interpublic Group of Cos., in 2003. Before that, she was media director at Publicis Groupe's Fallon, New York.
Miller names Crispin primary agency for Lite
[New York] SAB Miller's Miller Brewing Co. is moving the bulk of its Miller Lite advertising back to Crispin, Porter & Bogusky, naming the ad agency its "primary agency" on the $175 million account. The brand had been holding competitions for creative between Crispin, WPP Group's Ogilvy & Mather and Y&R, Interpublic Group of Cos.' Martin Agency and independent Wieden & Kennedy. Y&R, Chicago, will continue to do project work for Lite. See AdAge.com QwikFIND aar37m
Volkswagen unveils first glimpse of Crispin work
[Auburn Hills, Mich.] "Get to know your fast" is the theme for the first work from Crispin, Porter & Bogusky, Miami, for Volkswagen of America. It is set to break during the Winter Olympics broadcast in mid-February. So far, the shop has created an online blitz at projectfast.com, a spokesman confirmed. A German male voice asks 11 multiple-choice questions exploring respondents' perceptions of fast, such as "What color is fast?" VW already has 40,000 opt-in names from the site, said a VW dealer.
ConAgra to sell off $1.9B refrigerated-meat biz
[Omaha, Neb.] New ConAgra President-CEO Gary Rodkin said last week he will sell off its $1.9 billion refrigerated-meats business as part of a larger plan to focus on the ailing food company's highest-potential brands. ConAgra has spent next to nothing over the last two years in measured media against the on-the-block brands, which include Armour, Butterball and Eckrich.
First full-year sales loss for Wendy's in 18 years
[New York] Wendy's posted its first full- year same-store sales decline in 18 years, ending 2005 with a 3.7% sales slide. The No. 3 burger chain, owned by Wendy's International, blamed "competitive convergence" and the finger-fraud incident in early 2005 as contributing factors. Comparable sales for the fourth quarter fell 2.9%
ABC Radio sued for under-delivery of ads
[New York] As rumors about Citadel Broadcasting officially acquiring ABC Radio circulated Feb. 3, the network side of the Walt Disney Co.-owned radio company was hit with a lawsuit from International Star Registry, charging that the network under-delivered its ads. The lawsuit comes at a critical period for Disney, which is trying to shed its radio business, which includes both a station group and a network. Disney has entered exclusive negotiations with Citadel to acquire ABC Radio, not including Radio Disney and ESPN Radio. ABC didn't respond to requests for comment on the lawsuit.
Jim Lecinski, senior VP-group account director at DDB, Chicago, is leaving the agency to join Google in a senior post in Chicago, according to executives close to the situation. He was in charge of the Home Depot account, among others. Mr. Lecinski had earlier been the Chicago general manager of DDB's interactive unit, Tribal DDB. Mr. Lecinski couldn't be reached for comment. An agency spokeswoman confirmed the move. ... Clear Channel Radio's New York market manager, Andy Rosen, has left Clear Channel to "pursue other opportunities," Clear Channel Radio CEO John Hogan announced in an internal company email last week. ... American Media Inc. named David Leckey exec VP-consumer marketing; he had been senior VP-consumer marketing, Hachette Filipacchi Media U.S. ... James Friedman, 27, to head of cultural insights, Butler, Shine & Stern, Sausalito, Calif., from label manager, record labels !K7 and Output Recordings.
Frey fray fallout by the numbers
167: News references to Oprah Winfrey/James Frey showdown, Jan. 26-30, according to Factiva.
+452%: Increase in Web searches for "James Frey" week of Jan. 14, according to Hitwise
+50%: Increase in SmokingGun.com traffic in January following publication of "The Man Who Conned Oprah."
7.4: Expected household rating of Jan. 26 Oprah show, per syndicator King World
No. 2: Rank of "A Million Little Pieces" on Publishers Weekly's Jan. 30 trade paperback-bestseller list, falling from No. 1 after 17 weeks.
Read more: AdAge.com QwikFIND aar36z