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[Springdale, Ark.] Tyson Foods has named Havas' Arnold Worldwide advertising agency of record, dismissing Omnicom Group's DDB Worldwide. The account is estimated at more than $40 million. Arnold will handle promotions, PR and interactive along with media planning and buying, working with Tyson's other agencies. DDB's Chicago office had handled Tyson since 1995. Tyson spent $39.8 million on measured media from January through November 2003 and $25.6 million in 2002, according to TNS Media Intelligence/CMR. See QwikFIND aap43t

CMR figures show `03 ad spending up 6%

[New York] Advertising spending rose 6.1% to $128.3 billion in 2003, led by a recovery in print media and continued growth on cable TV, according to year-end figures from TNS Media Intelligence/CMR. Internet advertising was the fastest growing sector, with a 15.7% growth, followed by cable TV (15.6%), syndicated TV (15.3%) and local newspapers (13.4%). All media showed growth except spot TV, which dropped 5.4%, due to comparisons to spending on last year's elections. Network TV was up only 1.8%.

Ikea drops Crispin Porter in Los Angeles market

[Plymouth Meeting, Pa.] Ikea Systems selected Santa Monica, Calif.-independent Secret Weapon to handle creative in Los Angeles and is in the market for a media shop. The work had been handled by Miami-based Crispin, Porter & Bogusky. The furniture store said it is happy with Crispin, which does its national media and creative, but that it wanted to use a smaller agency in Los Angeles. An Ikea spokesman said the retailer likely will tap more local agencies as it expands into new markets but that it will have one lead agency. Crispin said Los Angeles represented about 10% of the retailer's North American operations. Ikea received $39 million in measured media in the first 11 months of last year, according to TNS' Media Intelligence/CMR. Last month, Ikea dismissed Crispin from its Canadian duties, saying it wanted Canadian shops for the business.

P&G breaks another `Cat in the Hat' ad

[Cincinnati] Procter & Gamble Co.'s home-care brands look to get more mileage from their tie-in with Universal's "Cat in the Hat" with a 60-second direct-response TV ad breaking March 8, linked to the movie's March 16 DVD release. The ad from Concept One, Westport, Conn., incorporates such P&G brands as Mr. Clean and Cascade into the film action in a longer version of ads tied to the November theatrical release. P&G offers respondents to its a storybook and $2 coupon for the DVD.

General Mills rolls out low-carb Yoplait Ultra

[Minneapolis] General Mills will introduce a low-carb version of its Yoplait yogurt dubbed Ultra this spring backed by a TV campaign that begins in June from Publicis Groupe's Saatchi & Saatchi, New York. The launch of the four-variety line, which features half the carbs and sugar of Yoplait Light, follows competitor Dannon Co.'s own carb-conscious entry. Dannon's Light `n Fit Carb Control (AA, Jan. 26) will get advertising this month from WPP Group's Y&R Advertising, New York. General Mills will tout Yoplait Ultra as "Great Yoplaiti taste for your low-carb lifestyle!" in ads, in-store efforts and newspaper inserts.

Gillespie wins Flexeril, Medicare accounts

[Princeton, N.J.] Gillespie Advertising, a unit of Interpublic Group of Co.'s McCann-Erickson, has won two new pharmaceutical accounts totaling $15 million. Gillespie has been charged with developing the first DTC campaign for McNeil Laboratories' Flexeril, a medication for acute back pain. Gillespie also won the account for Medco Health Solutions' new Medicare prescription discount card. The card, set to launch in early May, will offer significant discounts to Medicare-eligible Americans and is part of the recently passed Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act of 2003.

Interpublic folds Lowe unit into Hill, Holliday

[New York] Interpublic is shifting Lowe Grob Health and Science, a life science and biomedical communications shop that caters to professionals, to Hill, Holliday, Connors, Cosmopulos in Boston. Lowe Grob aims to expand to consumers in healthcare, life science, diagnostics and biomedical technologies. It will be take Hill, Holliday's name and be based in Boston.

Avis breaks first print campaign in a decade

[Parsippany, N.J.] Cendant Corp.'s Avis rental car unit breaks its first print brand campaign in a decade in April airline titles. The estimated $20-million brand push in 2004 includes a :30 TV spot that broke March 8 on national broadcast and cable networks. It touts the availability of XM Satellite Radio (it's the only rental company to carry XM). Interpublic's McCann-Erickson, New York, handles. Avis spent $19 million in measured media through November 2003; of that $6 million was in print, according to TNS Media Intelligence/CMR. An Avis spokeswoman said print ads over the past decade were for promotions or deals, not for branding. The push retains its longstanding "We Try Harder" tag line.

FYI ...

Merisant, maker of Equal Sweetener, is talking to three undisclosed agencies about taking on the creative and media responsibilities of its $11 million advertising account. The company parted with Wolf Group, New York, following the shop's closure in January. A decision is expected in early April, according to a Merisant spokeswoman. ... William Kolb, chief operating officer of Momentum, the experiential marketing unit of Interpublic's McCann Erickson WorldGroup, takes on additional responsibilities within the agency network. Mr. Kolb, 40, retains his post and adds the title of chief operating officer at the WorldGroup's direct marketing operation, MRM Partners. He's also been named an exec VP of McCann WorldGroup. ... Becky Saeger has stepped down as exec VP-brand marketing at Visa USA to join Charles Schwab & Co. as exec VP-brand management and branding communications. ... ... Nike's Converse brand is in the final stages of a review for an agency to handle marketing and communications, according to two people close to the situation. The brand received $4 million in measured media in 2002. The apparel maker did not return calls. ... PetsMart has begun a review for an advertising agency to handle creative for its nearly $30 million advertising account. The review, being handled by Select Resources International, Santa Monica, Calif., is for creative only and does not include media which remains at Mediaedge CIA. PetsMart spent $28.5 million on advertising in 2002, and $21.6 million for the first eleven months of 2003.

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