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[Washington] Novartis was told by the Food and Drug Administration to pull TV ads for its prescription Lamisil product because they were "false and misleading." FDA cited a 60-second TV spot from Interpublic Group of Cos.' Deutsch, New York, for overstating Lamisil's efficacy, minimizing risk information and making an unsubstantiated superiority claim. Novartis has until Sept. 8 to reply to FDA. Novartis did not return calls for comment last week. Lamisil treats toenail infections.

New Outback ads tweak `any excuse' platform

[Tampa, Fla.] Outback Steakhouse today breaks a four-spot package via Davidandgoliath, Los Angeles, that tweaks its "any excuse to go to Outback" creative platform. Creative shows clever ways people get out of situations to go to the high-end casual dinner house. A fourth spot, promoting curbside takeaway, mimics a pro football game-with John Madden providing commentary about an injury on the field. Instead of smelling salts, the player is revived with a "bloomin' onion." Spots continue the "No Rules, Just Right" tag. Spending was not disclosed.

Dowley in talks about his future role at IPG

[New York] Mark Dowley, New York-based chairman-CEO of Interpublic's Sports and Entertainment Group, was said to be in negotiations about his future at Interpublic. Earlier, Mr. Dowley had described as untrue reports that he intended to leave the company. A senior Interpublic executive said talks are underway between Mr. Dowley and Interpublic Chairman-CEO David Bell. Mr. Dowley is said to want to build a more active branded entertainment specialty. His group includes Interpublic's Octagon sports unit, which has struggled financially in the past, as well as major entertainment PR agencies PMK/HBH, New York and Los Angeles, and Bragman Nyman Cafarelli, Los Angeles.

Computer Associates opens global campaign

[Islandia, N.Y.] Management software marketer Computer Associates breaks a four-month, $40 million global print, outdoor, radio and online ad campaign Sept. 4. WPP Group's Y&R Advertising, New York, handles. An eight-page ad will appear in The Wall Street Journal and Financial Times, and ads continue in magazines in 35 nations. The campaign may expand to TV, company executives said. Headlines and illustrations show that "the right management" of computer systems can turn "chaos" into "order."

Gillette asks injunction to halt Schick launch

[BOSTON] Gillette Co. sought a federal injunction Aug. 29 to block the launch of the four-bladed Schick Quattro razor by Energizer Holdings. Gillette on Aug. 12 filed a patent infringement suit alleging the Schick razor infringed on the progressive geometry blade technology used in Gillette's Mach 3 shaving system.

GM said to ask Chevy ideas from IPG shops

[Detroit] General Motors Corp. has invited ideas for an umbrella Chevrolet car and truck campaign from Interpublic agencies beyond Interpublic's Campbell-Ewald, Warren, Mich., the Chevrolet brand agency, said an executive close to the matter. A teleconference to discuss ideas with GM and Chevy executives is set for this week, the executive said. Executives from GM and Chevrolet were unavailable at deadine or declined to comment. Campbell-Ewald, Warren, Mich., declined to comment.

How good was first half? Spending up 6.8%: TNS

[New York] Marketers in the U.S. upped their first-half ad spending by 6.8%, said tracking service TNS Media Intelligence/CMR, the first year-to-year gain for a January-to-June period since boom year 2000, when spending jumped 14.9% over 1999. Spending in the automotive, packaged-goods and entertainment categories led the climb to $61.6 billion for the six months. All but one media category measured by TNS showed increases. Network TV was off 0.4% from 2002's first half, when network TV totals reflected strong spending on the 2002 Winter Olympics. See related story in Turn Signals on P. 8.

F-150 launch features big multicultural push

[Dearborn, Mich.] The crucial F-150 pickup launch from Ford Motor Co.'s Ford Division includes what Ford says is its biggest multicultural ad blitz ever. Ford will spend an estimated $10 million on the multicultural part of the campaign, or roughly a tenth of the $100 million-plus in media slated to back F-150 over the next six months. Zubi Advertising, Coral Gables, Fla., created Spanish-language TV, radio and print ads. Teasers broke Aug. 28; launch ads arrive Sept. 4. An African-American TV spot, by WPP's UniWorld Group, New York, uses a song from Muddy Waters. Pancom International, Los Angeles, created print ads in 17 different languages for the Asian market.

FYI ...

Maureen McGuire, who led IBM Corp.'s "Solutions for a small planet" e-business campaign as VP-worldwide integrated marketing communications, was named VP-marketing and strategy for IBM Global Services. Lisa Baird, IBM Corp. VP-advertising, succeeds Ms. McGuire as VP-worldwide integrated marketing communications. ... Foote, Cone & Belding Worldwide Vice Chairman Charlie Taney is leaving the Interpublic agency. No successor was named. Mr. Taney, a former head of FCB's New York office, returned to FCB in February 2002 to work with key clients and help with new-business efforts. He was said to be joining a startup event-marketing company, Expo America. ... KFC said Chief Marketing Officer John Gilbert, who joined the Yum Brands chain in 2001, is leaving "to pursue a new career direction." In August, KFC named an executive from its international unit, Scott Bergren, to be exec VP-chief marketing and food innovation officer. AdAge.com QwikFIND aao94v ... Penthouse publisher Penthouse International disclosed that the Securities and Exchange Commission has opened a formal investigation of its financial statements for 2002 and for the quarter ending March 31, 2003. Penthouse International filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on Aug. 12. ... Brad Berg, 42, and Scott Larson, 37, were named to head creative at WPP's Y&R Advertising, San Francisco, including the San Francisco office for WPP direct-marketing shop Wunderman. The pair had been working at XL, their own San Francisco startup. ... Rob Quish is leaving Interpublic, where he was the former president of Lowe, New York, to be CEO of Luxury Television Network, which launches in December and has offices in New York. AdAge.com QwikFIND aao95i ... Alan Krinsky, former partner at consultancy Advice & Advisors, New York, has opened Alan Krinsky Associates, also New York.

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