McD's, Timberlake near deal for 'Lovin' it' push
[oak brook, Ill.] McDonald's Corp. is close to signing pop-music idol Justin Timberlake for a role related to its global "I'm Lovin' It" campaign, said several executives close to the situation. Specifics were not disclosed, but one person pegged the deal to be worth well under $1 million. The European leg of the singer's "Justified" world tour is in synch with the McDonald's branding effort's post-Labor Day timing, and one executive speculated the deal could include partial sponsorship of that tour. Others said Mr. Timberlake could possibly provide the vocals for the campaign jingle. He earlier has worked with McDonald's for a 2000 compact disc promotion with N' Sync and McDonald's World Children's Day. Omnicom Group's Heye & Partner, Munich, is handling the campaign. A McDonald's spokeswoman said it is "not ready to announce our plans yet, but we are on schedule to unveil our new campaign in September."
Marketing post cut as Clorox restructures
[oakland, calif.] Clorox Co. eliminated the position of VP-marketing, formerly held by David Matz, who left Clorox July 1 as part of a restructuring. Clorox VP-Growth and Strategy George Roeth, VP-marketing at Clorox until last year, resumes oversight of Clorox marketing services. Nick Feimer, Clorox VP-worldwide consumer insights, became VP-marketing services, reporting to Mr. Roeth. Omnicom Group's DDB Worldwide, San Francisco, handles Clorox.
Napster 'kitty' is back as Roxio plans relaunch
[santa clara, calif.] Roxio, which plans to relaunch Napster as a for-pay online music service, has started running a series of edgy animated Web cartoons featuring the Napster brand "kitty" logo. The first Web short shows the kitty breaking out of prison and donning headphones (only to be shot dead). New episodes will appear later on napsterbits.com. Venables, Bell & Partners, San Francisco, handles Napster.
Chemistri hires lead creative for Cadillac
[troy, mich.] Rob Palmer, 35, a creative director at Wieden & Kennedy, Portland, Ore., was named executive creative director, a new post, and lead creative on the Cadillac account at Publicis Groupe's Chemistri, Troy, Mich. He will report to Chemistri Chief Creative Officer Gary Topolewski.
Absolut sets U.S. launch of Danzka vodka
[new york] Absolut Spirits Co. is launching Danish vodka Danzka in the U.S., backed by a $5 million marketing budget and national ads in September issues of magazines, including Conde Nast Publications' Wired, Time Inc.'s Sports Illustrated and In Style and Dennis Publishing's Maxim and Stuff. Ads for Danzka, which is packaged in an aluminum bottle, carry a "Made to Chill" tagline. WPP Group's Y&R Advertising, New York, handles.
AARP urges tighter control of DTC ads
[WASHINGTON] AARP wrote Republican congressional leaders considering Medicare drug coverage and urged tighter Food and Drug Administration policing of direct-to-consumer prescription drug ads, including pre-approval of ads and tougher penalties for misleading ads. "Marketing that unnecessarily drives demand for higher cost drugs or that does not appropriately address risks should be minimized," said AARP.
Super Bowl nearly half sold, says CBS
[new york] Viacom's CBS said it has sold nearly half its commercial inventory in next February's Super Bowl telecast and the average price is now under $2.4 million for a 30-second spot. CBS said it has yet to do deals with Omnicom Group's OMD USA, the biggest Super Bowl media buying agency (and a buyer that is usually the first to purchase). An OMD USA executive said the agency was working on its deal. CBS did not disclose which advertisers have bought time.
FYI . . .
Veterinary Pet Insurance, Brea, Calif., is reviewing its estimated $5 million to $10 million advertising account and considering three unnamed agencies, executives close to the situation said. The company did not return calls by presstime. ... Cordiant Communications Group's Bates Worldwide, sold to WPP Group last week, brings a host of car conflicts to WPP, whose largest global client is Ford Motor Co. Bates handles Volkswagen's SEAT in Europe, Mercedes-Benz in Latin America, Hyundai in Korea and Shanghai General Motors in China. WPP is likely to try to minimize the car conflicts by aligning or merging Bates offices in Europe and Asia with Red Cell, the only WPP network with no Ford business. In the U.S., Bates will merge with J. Walter Thompson Co. (See World, P. 19.) ... Nielsen Media Research signed with DirecTV to measure and publish ratings data for advertiser-supported networks delivered on the satellite TV carrier. The agreement marks the first time Nielsen will monitor a digital multi-channel provider, or DMS. . ... Capitol Hill's battle over new Federal Communications Commission media ownership limits shifts to the Senate in September. Sen. Bryan Dorgan, D-N.D., is expected to bypass committee hearings and press for a quick Senate floor vote on a "resolution of disapproval" that would roll back the entire package of media rule changes enacted by FCC in June. The House last week, acting on an FCC funding bill, voted to bar one FCC change, which allows a single media company to own TV stations reaching 45% of U.S. TV homes, reinstating the previous 35% ceiling. ... Restaurant chain Buffets Inc. put its $25 million creative and media advertising account into review. AAR Partners is handling. Omnicom's BBDO Worldwide, Minneapolis, the incumbent, declined to comment. AdAge.com QwikFIND aao87v ... Microsoft Corp.'s MSN narrowed the review for its $15 million to $20 million customer retention and loyalty account to Brierley & Partners and Interpublic's directDeutsch, both Los Angeles, said an executive familiar with the matter. Select Resources International, West Hollywood, Calif., is handling the review. ... Executive recruitment firm Gundersen Partners, New York, is searching for a senior VP-advertising at AOL Time Warner's America Online, reporting to Len Short, America Online exec VP -brand marketing.