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[New York] Publicis Groupe's Saatchi & Saatchi, the long-time agency for Johnson & Johnson's Tylenol, was eliminated from the review for the $110 million assignment, executives close to the situation said. Remaining in the pitch are Interpublic Group of Cos. shops: Deutsch, New York; Martin Agency, Richmond, Va.; and Hill, Holliday, Connors, Cosmopulos, Boston. A spokeswoman for Johnson & Johnson's McNeil Consumer and Specialty Pharmaceuticals division said Saatchi is still the brand's agency of record and that a decision will not be made until Thanksgiving. See QwikFIND aap16m

U.K. executive eyed for U.S. role at Initiative

[New York] Interpublic's Initiative Media last week continued its search for new senior managers in the U.S. by reaching out to one of its top European executives, Mike Tunnicliffe, exec-VP and worldwide account director on Unilever at Initiative in the U.K., executives close to the situation said. It is believed Initiative's U.S. CEO, Alec Gerster, wants Mr. Tunnicliffe to join the American operation in a chief-operating-officer role. Mr. Tunnicliffe could not be reached for comment by press time. A spokeswoman confirmed that Initiative has been talking to Mr. Tunnicliffe about his "career development" in the U.S., but said no specific job was discussed.

Publicis units target entertainment marketing

[New York] Publicis Groupe's Starcom MediaVest Group and Zenith Optimedia Group are discussing creation of a mega-entertainment marketing company, said several executives at the Paris-based conglomerate. Referred to as Publicis Entertainment, the new unit would fall under the aegis of Publicis Media, a projected parent group for Zenith, Starcom and the new entertainment marketing agency. Acquiring or developing a joint-venture relationship with an existing entertainment marketing company based in Los Angeles is possible, as is creating one from scratch within Publicis. The new unit could fashion product placements, sponsorships and other opportunities for such Publicis clients as Coca-Cola Co., General Motors Corp. and Toyota Motor Co, and for entertainment entities such as Walt Disney Co., a Starcom client, and Disney's Miramax, a Zenith client.

Coca-Cola media shop choice likely this week

[Atlanta] Coca-Cola Co. may name a winner in its $350 million domestic media buying and planning consolidation review this week after it holds a third round of talks with agencies, said executives close to the company. Following a second round of meetings last week to clarify costs, four shops-Interpublic's Universal McCann, the incumbent for national media buying, Publicis Groupe's Starcom MediaVest Group, Aegis Group's Carat and WPP Group's MindShare-were asked to answer additional questions. Coca-Cola and the agencies declined to comment.

Yahoo! execs to review new creative concepts

[Sunnyvale, Calif.] Yahoo! will review a presentation of creative concepts and new brand positioning at a meeting Nov. 19, executives familiar with the situation said. Among the ideas: a strategy positioning Yahoo! as an empowering force that lets people get more than they ever thought possible from the Internet-and, by extension, get more out of life. The ubiquitous Yahoo! yodel is expected to remain in advertising; no new campaign is expected before March. Soho Square, New York, a unit of WPP, handles.

Katz Radio execs said to bolt to rival Interep

[New York] The staffs of two divisions of Clear Channel Communications national radio rep Katz Radio Group, New York, resigned to join smaller rival Interep, Ad Age sibling Crain's New York Business reported, citing company executives who requested anonymity. As many as 160 employees of Katz Radio Group's Katz Radio and Christal Radio in New York and elsewhere were said to be involved, including Katz Radio Group President Steve Shaw. A Katz spokeswoman told CNYB that Katz had yet to confirm which employees have left and if any clients will follow them, but said Katz Radio Group will remain open for business as usual.

Senate bill ousts Ogilvy from anti-drug account

[Washington] WPP's Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide, New York, would be bounced as ad agency for the White House youth anti-drug ad program and the Partnership for A Drug-Free America would get greater control over ads under legislation reauthorizing the program that was introduced Nov. 14 in the Senate. The bill would also effectively end PR and Web activities in support of the ad program, mandating that 89% of money appropriated be used "for the purchase of advertising time and space." No action on the legislation is expected before next year. Ogilvy declined to comment.

Gillette builds campaign with Nascar sponsorship

[Boston] Gillette Co. said it signed a $20 million sponsorship with Nascar and six of its drivers for the 2004 season. Gillette will receive official Nascar sponsorship status in shaving products, alkaline batteries and oral care. The six drivers will be dubbed the "Gillette Young Guns" and sponsorship with them will include advertising, in-store visits and promotions and sweepstakes. A Nascar-related campaign is to debut in February. Spending was not disclosed. Omnicom Group's BBDO Worldwide, New York, handles. See QwikFIND aap16g

Nissan rolls Titan with $60 mil launch

[Gardena, Calif.] Five national TV commercials will back the launch of Nissan North America's Titan, its first full-size pickup truck, starting with a spot breaking during a Thanksgiving Day National Football League game on Fox. Ad spending for Titan, via Omnicom's TBWA/Chiat/Day, Playa del Rey, Calif., is expected to reach at least $60 million. Nissan did not disclose spending plans. See QwikFIND aap15y

FYI . . .

Coca-Cola Co. will announce plans today to limit marketing of its soft drinks in schools. Coke will forgo sales of sodas in elementary schools during the day, offer more fruit juice, tea, water and milk products in middle and high schools, eliminate marketing on book covers and use its signage to encourage physical activity. ... Gerry Graf, one of six executive creative directors at BBDO, New York, is believed to have accepted a post as executive creative director at Omnicom sibling TBWA Worldwide, New York. A TBWA spokesman declined to comment. A BBDO spokesman confirmed the departure. No successor was immediately named. ... Burger King Corp. said Rick Brown, senior VP-product and field marketing, is leaving the company by the end of the year to pursue other interests. No successor was immediately named. ... Ad pages at consumer magazines tracked by Publishers Information Bureau declined 3.2% in October. Year-to-date ad page performance sank to a 0.2% ad page loss, after having stayed in positive territory all year. ... Mitchell Mosallem, former exec VP-director of graphic services at Grey Global Group's Grey Worldwide, was sentenced to serve 70 months in prison last week for his role in a bribery and fraud scheme in the advertising agency and printing/graphic services industries. See QwikFIND aap16a ... A federal judge has granted class action status to plaintiffs suing Interpublic and several of its former and current executives for allegedly misleading investors by overstating net income and earnings per share from 1997 through 2000. See QwikFIND aap16e ... Stepping up pressure on marketers, Center for Science in the Public Interest last week urged that ads for high-fat foods be limited on media seen by kids and that colleges take steps to remove alcohol ads from TV broadcasts of college sports events.

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