Mercedes owns luxury. BMW owns performance. So what does Cadillac's little new Catera aspire to own? "The best balance between luxury and performance," says GM marketing czar Ron Zarrella. A big proponent of market segmentation, Zarrella says GM should consider the way aforementioned Nike took control of new segments in the shoe biz in the mid-'80s after the running craze ran out. Zarrella notes how a few cars have singular definitions, including Mercedes, BMW, Volvo (safety) and Lexus (quality). But his proposed definition for Catera sounded copycat. Can't Catera take a cue from GM's Saab and find its own road?
What of the rumor that Gruner & Jahr Publishing is going to bust up its U.S. mag holdings? Not true. What insiders say is true is that German-owned G&J is close to selling some trade titles to Miller Freeman, the U.S. arm of Britain's United Media. Titles on the block include Custom Builder, Best Home Plan Designs and Build It Ultra, all inherited two years ago when G&J bought NYT Co.'s women's group. With the sale, G&J can focus on consumer pubs.
Look for organizational changes this week at Detroit's Campbell-Ewald. The restructuring is tied to GM's year-old brand management setup, one insider whispers. The agency handles Chevrolet, GMAC, parts and some corporate....Timing is everything. Hewlett-Packard is launching its first printer supply campaign, from SF shop Winkler McManus-even as HP 'fesses up how the company failed to disclose previously that it sold millions of defective ink-jet cartridges early this year....Claeys Bahrenburg says his deal to buy Petersen Publishing will close Sept. 30, right on time. Believed price: $430 million. Seller Robert Petersen, meanwhile, throws a big party Sept. 24 at the company's LA headquarters. . . . FCB/Leber Katz in NYC promoted Ted Klauber to sr. VP-director of mind and mood. Say what? Mind & Mood, the agency tells us, "is a simple, straightforward discipline designed to bring our best talent in direct contact with the consumer marketplace on a continuing basis." Isn't that what the subway is for? Come on. This biz is getting too whacko to parody.
Compiled by Bradley Johnson with news from Alice Z. Cuneo, Jean Halliday, Jeff Jensen, Keith J. Kelly, Laura Petrecca and Michael Wilke.
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