Newspapers must become more efficient delivery vehicles to keep the 61% share of the national ad budget at Toys "R" Us they now receive, Lee Richardson, VP-advertising/U.S. for the toy retailing giant, told attendees at the Newspaper Association of America annual convention. "Fifty-four percent of my target customers are not being reached or driven by the ads I'm currently placing in newspapers," Ms. Richardson said. She also emphasized that those newspapers that continue to get Toys "R" Us business will be the ones that can get delivery down to the ZIP code level. "We are interested in working with anyone who can help us go address-specific," she said.
JWT DROPS OUT OF MASTERCARD REVIEW
The competition for the estimated $80 million MasterCard International domestic creative business will be without J. Walter Thompson USA, which said it was withdrawing to concentrate on client Citibank. Ammirati Puris Lintas, New York, previously handled the advertising. A decision is expected by the end of the year; there reportedly are five agencies in the running.
SEGA TAPS FCB FOR `LESS SILLY' ADS
Sega of America selected Foote, Cone & Belding, San Francisco, to handle its account, expected to be about $15 million to $20 million in 1997. Print ads supporting new software will break this summer. A TV and print branding push is due this fall; it will target sophisticated videogame aficionados with ads that are edgy but decidedly less silly than previous Sega advertising, said a company spokesman. Ingalls Moranville, San Francisco, the incumbent, didn't participate in the review.
CHIAT RESIGNS AFTER AOL ADDS GOTHAM
TBWA Chiat/Day resigned its America Online business following the client's addition of Gotham, also New York, to its roster for 1997 branding ads. The resignation was not a surprise, as sources close to the situation said when Gotham won AOL business that TBWA Chiat/Day and the online service would likely separate by summer (AA, April 14). Gotham's first AOL work is expected to break this week.
NAA PREVIEWS MEDIA USAGE RESEARCH
Preliminary results of a new-media usage study released at the Newspaper Association of America annual meeting showed that Sunday newspapers were surpassed only by local and talk radio when survey respondents were asked what medium they would miss most if it were no longer available. The research involved a telephone survey of 3,000 adults and was sponsored by NAA and American Society of Newspaper Editors. The study also found that local weekday newspapers reach approximately six of 10 adults (59%) on an average weekday, while local TV news reaches seven of 10 adults on an average weekday. On Sunday, local newspapers reach about seven of 10 adults (67%). One in 10 (9%) uses the Internet or an online service for news or other information while half (51%) listen to news on the radio.
SPORTS NET SERVES RESTAURANT LINK
Classic Sports Network has inked a deal with Choice Hotels to launch a chain of suburban family restaurants bearing the network's name within Choice Hotels' properties. The first Classic Sports' Food, Drink & Memories location opened in Richardson, Texas; three more are slated to open within 60 days. Choice Hotels will operate the restaurants independently.
O&M UNIT GETS DURACELL EUROPEAN WORK
Gillette Co.'s Duracell International centralized its $30 million European media budget with Ogilvy & Mather's The Network. Media was previously handled by 10 different media companies across 14 western European markets, including The Network in the U.K., Germany and Holland.
NATIONAL MEDIA SHAKE-UP PUTS VERRATTI IN CHARGE
Infomercials company National Media Corp. replaced its president-CEO and said it expects to report an operating loss for the year ended March 31 and for its fourth quarter. It also said it retained Lehman Bros. to advise on "strategic business alternatives." Robert N. Verratti was named president-CEO, succeeding Mark P. Hershorn, who resigned; Mr. Verratti was special adviser for acquisitions to Warren V. "Pete" Musser, chairman-CEO, Safeguard Scientifics, and a member of the National Media board.
LOIS/EJL COLLECTS LAS VEGAS ACCOUNT
Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino, Las Vegas, assigned its $12 million account to Lois/EJL, New York. Rio's advertising was formerly handled in-house. PR and event marketing will be handled by Lois/EJL subsidiary Yeak 2K Communications.
`VANITY FAIR' HEADS MAGAZINE AWARD WINNERS
The 1997 National Magazine Awards for general excellence were presented to Conde Nast Publications' Vanity Fair (for magazines with more than 1 million circulation), Mariah Media's Outside (400,000 to 1 million circulation), Wired (100,000 to 400,000 circulation) and I.D. (for less than 100,000 circulation). There were three double winners: Outside, which also won for reporting; I.D., which also won for design, and The New Yorker for fiction and for essays/criticism. Two Time Inc. titles picked up awards: Sports Illustrated for feature writing and Fortune for public interest. A new award, for general excellence in new media, was presented to Time Inc.'s Money Online. The awards were given by the American Society of Magazine Editors.