WASHINGTON-As congressional Republicans and President Clinton continued wrangling over the budget, at press time it was unclear whether the Federal Communications Commission would be back in session for its regularly scheduled open meeting today. The Food & Drug Administration reported it was operating as usual, while the Federal Trade Commission will hold a second round of hearings this week to explore ways the agency can monitor advertisements in the expanding cable, broadcast and online industries.
WASHINGTON-Procter & Gamble Co.'s 25-year-old battle to bring its no-calorie fat replacer, olestra, to market took a significant leap forward late last week when a Food & Drug Administration advisory committee gave its initial approval. Despite opposition by the Center for Science in the Public Interest, the FDA is expected to give full approval by next January.
TROY, Mich.-Despite poor third-quarter results, Kmart Corp. will still hold off on an image campaign until the first quarter of 1996 (AA, Oct. 16). The troubled retailer reported a net loss of $69 million for the third quarter, compared with a net gain of $26 million for the same period in 1994. Total sales in the third quarter increased 2.5% to $7.98 billion over the same period in 1994.
NEW YORK-The number of hours the average household spends viewing nationally televised sports has risen more than 14% over the past 10 years to 183 hours per year in 1994, according to a BJK&E Media Group analysis of data from Nielsen Media Research. While more of those hours are on cable TV (up 119% to 79 hours per year) and fewer are spent watching broadcast networks (down 13% to 97 hours per year), overall viewership of nationally televised sports has grown. NHL and NBA coverage generated the youngest viewers of any sports, with more than half their audience under the age of 35, while horse racing, golf, bowling and Major League Baseball were the oldest skewing, with half their viewers approaching or over the age of 50.
WASHINGTON-U.S. Rep. Jack Fields (R., Texas) said last week he was confident that the wide-ranging deregulatory telecommunications bill would be forwarded to the White House by Christmas, Electronic Media reported.
CINCINNATI-Federated Department Stores' planned consolidation of its California retail stores could hurt the state's major newspapers, which will receive ads from fewer brand name chains in the near future. Federated last week named 40 stores operating in California under the Broadway, Emporium and Weinstock's names that it will convert to Macy's next year. Federated said it also will convert its own Bullock's stores in Southern California into Macy's. The 82-unit Broadway Stores, acquired by Federated in October, last year spent $100 million on newspaper ads for its three chains. Both Broadway and Federated ads are handled in-house.
WASHINGTON-Representatives from advertising and marketing agencies and associations, including the Coalition for Advertiser Supported Information & Entertainment, encouraged the Federal Trade Commission to work with the ad community to create guidelines that will enforce truthful advertising on the Internet and in the global marketplace. The input came during the first round of hearings on how the FTC can monitor advertisements in the expanding cable, broadcast and online industries.
NEW YORK-CBS shareholders overwhelmingly approved its acquisition by Westinghouse Electric Corp. at a special shareholders meeting here. Westinghouse Chairman-CEO Michael Jordan said the company will wait until the FCC has ruled on the deal, before it announces the structure and leadership of the new broadcasting unit, which will continue to use the CBS name and the "eye" logo. CBS insiders expect several top managers, including CBS News President Eric Ober and several CBS owned station managers, to get the axe, though CBS Broadcast Group President Peter Lund is expected to remain.
ROCHESTER, N.Y.-Sources here say Jay Inc., a small ad agency with $24 million in billings that does work for the local Buick dealers association, has held discussions regarding the sale of the agency with McCann-Erickson Worldwide. McCann's Troy, Mich., office handles Buick corporately and works with Jay on certain projects for Buick and other clients. Both McCann and McCann parent Interpublic Group of Cos. said they weren't considering buying Jay. Interpublic has talked with Jay in the past, a spokesman confirmed.
SAN FRANCISCO-The Internet hits a new high note this week when intouch group launches World Wide Music (www.WorldWideMusic.com), one of the largest catalogs of music samples on the World Wide Web with more than 200,000 30-second music samples from more than 40,000 CDs.
Pharmacia & Upjohn Consumer Products received FDA advisory committee initial approval to take Rogaine Topical Solution for hair regrowth, which had $96 million in U.S. sales in 1994, over-the-counter... DowBrands has sold its personal care division, including haircare brands Salon Style and Perma Soft, to Electronic Hair Styling. Campbell Mithun Esty, Minneapolis, is expected to continue to handle the estimated $15 million account... Revlon filed its preliminary prospectus for an initial public offering with the Securities & Exchange Commission late Nov. 17...Euro Disney's cost-cutting paid off as the company posted its first profit, totaling $23 million for the year ended Sept. 30. Last year's losses were $369 million...ernstein-Rein, Kansas City, Mo., which handled Blockbuster Video's $140 million ad account prior to December 1993, is participating in a review on the account, Blockbuster said. The review includes incumbent D'Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles and Young & Rubicam, both New York, and Foote, Cone & Belding and Leo Burnett Co., both Chicago... Wolfgang Puck Food Co., Santa Monica, Calif., to Deutsch from Kovel/Kresser & Partners for its $5 million account... Cracker Barrel Old Country Store, Lebanon, Tenn., to Cramer-Krasselt, Chicago, from Buntin Group, Nashville, for the restaurant chain's $10 million accoun.... Advanced Micro Devices, Sunnyvale, Calif., to Hill, Holliday, Connors, Cosmopulos, Boston, from GSD&M, Austin, Texas, for its $10 million to $12 million ad account...Ameritech New Media Enterprises, Chicago, to DDB Needham Worldwide to launch the americast package of cable programming. ...Doug Morris to chairman-CEO, MCA Music Entertainment Group, Universal City, Calif., from Rising Tide Entertainment. Mr. Morris replaces Al Teller, who resigned because of philosophical differences with management. ...Leonard Simons, 91, a long-time Detroit advertising executive and co-founder of Simons Michelson Zieve, Troy, died Nov. 16 in Southfield.