AND THE WINNER IS: Oscar advertising. News about ads running during ABC's coverage of the Academy Awards generated more media coverage in SPINdex's sample of influential media outlets than any other marketing-related story during the monthlong period leading up to this column. With 179 stories, generating 113,817 words of copy and 21.5 minutes of network news coverage, Oscar-related ads beat the next biggest story -- Volkswagen's marketing of its new Beetle -- by a margin of more than 3 to 1.
Sergio Zyman, the Coca-Cola Co. marketing czar, resigned suddenly, and with 17 news stories he ranked fourth for the month. As for Howard -- Stern, that is -- stories concerning the potential ad implications of his new late-Saturday-night TV show on the CBS stations placed fifth with 15 stories.
Rounding out the month's top five in the No. 3 position was news about the contemporary redesign of venerable Reader's Digest.