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Hershey to trim 25% of portfolio

[hershey, pa.] Hershey Co. plans to cut its product portfolio by as much as 25% over the next year, shifting away from an extensive limited-edition strategy retailers have wearied of. During the company's first-quarter earnings call last week, CEO Rick Lenny attributed slower-than-expected first-quarter sales to flagging single-serve and convenience-store sales that he plans to correct with the reduction of limited-edition varieties as well as ``aggressive pursuit of major growth platforms.''

Toyota first carmaker to sponsor `mobisodes'

[torrance, calif.] Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. has become the first marketer to sponsor ad supported ``mobisodes'' on a major wireless service provider. Toyota's youth-oriented Yaris will be integrated into original one- to two-minute mobile video programs based on Fox's ``Prison Break'' program. The mobisode, beamed down to video-enabled Sprint cellphones, will be preceded by a 10-second Yaris spot. The effort is set to start today. Publicis Groupe's Saatchi & Saatchi, Torrance, is the agency.

Johnson & Johnson taps Ogilvy for China, Olympics

[shanghai] Johnson & Johnson has appointed Ogilvy & Mather to handle its corporate branding business in China, with a brief to leverage its position as the official health-care sponsor of the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing. The WPP Group agency's win followed a five-way pitch held in Shanghai on Easter Sunday against two roster agencies, Interpublic Group of Cos.' Lowe Worldwide and McCann Erickson, and non-roster agencies, WPP's JWT and Omnicom Group's TBWA Worldwide. Billings were not disclosed, but participants at the participating agencies predicted it will be ``significant,'' and each network brought heavyweight global executives to China to take part in the review.

Audit finds `Details' missed rate base in `04

[new york] Details failed to achieve its guaranteed paid circulation of 400,000 on 8 of 10 issues back in 2004, according to an audit by the Audit Bureau of Circulations released April 21. Although Details had initially reported meeting its commitments, the audit bureau ruled that 28,574 copies couldn't count toward its average paid total because they derived from circulation agents that didn't pass muster. A Details spokeswoman declined to comment.

Visa turns to CAA for entertainment help

[los angeles] Visa International enlisted Creative Artists Agency to seek out opportunities for the company in all areas of entertainment in an effort to create a more emotional connection with consumers. However, CAA will not exclusively represent Visa. Visa will continue to work with FirstFireworks and OMD, which have brokered Visa's tie-ins with films like ``National Treasure'' and TV shows ``Survivor'' and the upcoming ``Treasure Hunters.'' CAA will collaborate with the two companies on future projects.

Philips files patent for TV commercial lock

[new york] Royal Philips Electronics filed a patent March 30 for a device that would force viewers to watch ads by locking the channel during commercials. It would, according to the U.S. Patent and Trademark office filing, ``prevent a viewer ... from switching channels when an advertisement is displayed,'' or if the show is pre-recorded, prevent viewers from ``fast forwarding ... in order to skip past advertisements.'' Philips swiftly released a statement pointing out that the technology would offer the opposite result as well, allowing viewers to watch TV with no advertising inserted. The company added that it has no intention of forcing viewers to watch ads against their will and no plans to implement the technology in Philips products.

Magazine ad pages up 0.4% in first quarter

[new york] Magazine ad pages improved 0.4% in the first quarter, according to the official tally from the Publishers Information Bureau, presenting an overall picture that was less grim than publishers felt. The titles that hurt the most included Time Inc.'s Parenting, where pages were down 20.5% from first-quarter 2005; Time4 Media's Motor Boating, down 24.2%; and Conde Nast Publishing's The New Yorker, down 14.9%. The best performers included Martha Stewart Living, up 80.9%, and American Media's Muscle & Fitness, up 46.4%.

Coen: Ad spending didn't keep pace with inflation

[new york] U.S. 2005 ad spending totaled $271 billion, up just 2.8%, according to final figures by Universal McCann's Robert Coen. After adjusting for inflation (3.4%), Mr. Coen said, real ad spending declined last year. The final tally is below Mr. Coen's December estimate for `05 growth of 4.6%; he said fourth-quarter spending came in below expectations due to effects of hurricanes, rising fuel prices and continued uncertainty.

Amp'd shifts to Taxi after Carat departs

[los angeles] Amp'd Mobile has shifted media planning to its creative agency, Taxi, and media buying for broadcast and interactive planning to Horizon Media, the companies said. Previous agency Aegis Group's Carat resigned the business due to a potential, undisclosed conflict. Amp'd spent $3.8 million in measured media in 2008, according to TNS Media Intelligence. Prospective billings on the account were not disclosed.

FYI ...

Mitsubishi Motors North America named Jun Asami as VP-marketing. Mr. Asami was general manager-overseas marketing. ... Corbis, the photo rights company, has hired Ross Sutherland, former Y&R, New York, executive creative director, to the newly created position of chief creative officer. ... GlaxoSmithKline opened a pop-up retail store in New York last week for Nicorette, part of a marketing plan to promote the new flavor for its stop-smoking gum. The store was only open for five days; it next moves on to Atlanta, Chicago, Phoenix and Houston.
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