P&G targets moms with viral-marketing program
[Cincinnati] Procter & Gamble Co. is developing a viral-marketing program it hopes to launch in early 2005 targeting moms ages 30 to 49. The program is modeled on P&G's Tremor teen Web effort, said Ted Woehrle, general manager of the program. Tremor has 280,000 participants, representing 1% of the U.S. teen population screened to include those with the biggest instant-messaging or e-mail lists and a propensity to spread product news. Tremor gets 80% of its revenue from marketers other than P&G.
Soldano joins MindShare, to shore up AmEx account
[New York] Interpublic's MindShare North America, New York, named Steve Soldano to be strategic planning director, worldwide, a new post, and head of its American Express Co. account, which is in review. Mr. Soldano, 43, an independent media consultant, was president-chief operating officer for U.S. operations at Publicis Groupe's Optimedia International from 2000 to 2002. Separately, MindShare Senior Partners Jason Maltby and Shari Cohen were named co-executive directors for the national broadcast group, from managing directors.
Burnett/London pilots U.S. intro of P&G's SK-II
[Cincinnati] Publicis Groupe's Leo Burnett Worldwide, London, will handle the U.S. launch of Procter & Gamble Co.'s high-end SK-II beauty-care brand when it enters 11 Saks Fifth Avenue stores next month, to be backed by a national print campaign in April, according to an executive familiar with the situation. SK-II has quietly become one of P&G's fastest-growing global beauty-care brands in recent years with more than $500 million in sales, most of it in Asia. Burnett also handles the brand in Europe and Asia.
Pizza Hut's `4 for All' in Super Bowl launch
[Louisville, Ky.] Yum Brands' Pizza Hut, in a $50 million Super Bowl bet, is launching the "4 for All," a pizza concept that combines four individually topped 6-inch-by-6-inch square pies in a 16-inch box for $11.99. public relations and direct mail via Omnicom Group's TLP, Dallas, begins today. Teaser TV spots via Omnicom sibling BBDO Worldwide, New York, will break the week of Jan. 26, building up to the pre-kickoff slot during the Feb. 1 Super Bowl. Last week, the chain signed pop ditz-reality TV star Jessica Simpson and the Muppets to star in the Super Bowl effort.
2004 ad spending to jump 7.8%: TNS
[New York] U.S. ad spending was forecast to jump 7.8% in 2004 by TNS Media Intelligence/CMR, helped by the summer Olympics and the national elections. Among specific media, TNS forecast the biggest percentage gains will be seen in Spanish-language network TV (up 15.7%) and the Internet (up 12.1%. Other predictions: network TV (up 9.6%), spot TV (up 10.8%), cable TV (up 8.3%), syndicated TV (up 5.4%), radio (up 9.5%), newspapers (up 5.5%), magazines (up 5.7%) and outdoor (up 5.0%).
Gillette loses a round in Schick Quattro fight
[Boston] A U.S. district court judge denied Gillette Co.'s motion for a preliminary injunction that would have removed rival Schick Quattro from store shelves because of patent infringement. The decision put a damper on Gillette's announcement Jan. 15 that it is launching its Mach 3 M3Power vibrating battery-operated razor in May in an effort to one-up Schick's launch last fall of the first four-bladed razor. The court ruled Gillette had "no reasonable likelihood of success" in proving its infringement claim. Gillette said it will contest the decision. See AdAge.com QwikFIND aap29z
Dannon sets Jan. launch for Carb Control yogurt
[Tarrytown, N.Y.] Dannon Co. this month will launch a low-carbohydrate yogurt line under its Light `n Fit brand dubbed Carb Control. Dannon faces competition from other low-carb yogurt entries, such as a line from Atkins Nutritionals. Dannon's Carb Control line will get ad support beginning in mid-March via WPP Group's Y&R Advertising, New York. Spending was not disclosed.
FYI . . .
Information storage specialist EMC Corp. is expected to name Interpublic's Hill, Holliday, Connors, Cosmopulos, Boston, to handle its estimated $8 million business-to-business account. EMC handled advertising in-house but used Hill Holliday for project work, including print ads that ran in national and international business publications. ... Gap Inc.'s Banana Republic named Omnicom's Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, San Francisco, as agency for branding strategy and creative on its $25 million print and outdoor account after a review. Others in the pitch included Omnicom's TBWA/Chiat/Day, New York; Publicis' Leo Burnett USA, Chicago, and independents Laird & Partners, agency for the Gap chain, and A/R Media, both New York. Goodby's first work breaks in the fall. See AdAge.com QwikFIND aap29p ... Pfizer assigned creative for its migraine-headache medication Relpax to Havas' Arnold Worldwide, New York, from Publicis Groupe's Publicis Worldwide, New York, after a review. Spending is expected to reach $10 million. Spending in measured media was less than $1 million last year, according to TNS Media Intelligence/CMR. See AdAge.com QwikFIND aap29w ... Publicis' Starcom MediaVest Group named Dan Donnelly, 33, director of investments for its Coca-Cola Co. account unit, dubbed internally "Coca-Cola City." He reports to Nancy Mullahy, CEO of the unit. Mr. Donnelly was director of national broadcast for Anheuser-Busch Cos. in New York. ... BBDO, New York, laid off about 20 employees after the loss of about $250 million in billings, according to an executive with knowledge of the matter. BBDO declined to comment. See AdAge.com QwikFIND aap29y ... Publicis Groupe created Publicis Events Worldwide as its global events-based communications unit. Richard Atlas, head of the holding company's Paris-based events operations, was named CEO of the global unit. ... Time Warner's America Online, looking to convey speed in its three Super Bowl spots promoting AOL Top Speed, will feature the father-and-son stars of Discovery Channel's reality series "American Chopper." Wieden & Kennedy, Portland, Ore, handles. ... Lindt & Sprungli USA's Ghirardelli Chocolate Co. split with Interpublic's Suissa Miller following Suissa's merger into sibling Interpublic agency Dailey & Associates, West Hollywood, Calif. Dailey is the agency for Nestle candies. Ghirardelli said the company was happy with a recent TV and direct campaign tagged "A timeless pleasure" and it would not immediately seek a new shop. Spending was not disclosed. ... Levi Strauss & Co. plans to expand its value-oriented Levi Strauss Signature line of jeans, cargo pants and other apparel beyond Wal-Mart Stores to Target Stores nationwide this spring. Signature items are priced at less than $25 and the line will be supported with in-store efforts like those that supported its launch at Wal-Mart last summer.