SPINDEX;KELLOGG'S PRICE CUT KO'S BULLS IN GENERATING MARKETING BUZZ

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The Chicago Bulls may have the most powerful basketball dynasty since the Boston Celtics, but when it comes to marketing-related media spin, a steep price cut on Kellogg's Frosted Flakes is even greater!

Though media hype surrounding Bulls-related marketing and endorsement deals will likely begin a full-court press this week, Kellogg's announcement that it will slash retail prices 18% to 27% on major brands like Frosted Flakes, Froot Loops and Raisin Bran, dominated last week's marketing news coverage.

Kellogg's move, which followed a previously announced price cut by Kraft Foods' Post cereals, sent newspaper editors and TV news producers into a tizzy over an all-out cereal pricing war.

Combined newspaper and TV coverage of the Kellogg move generated 158 SPINdex points, more than any other marketing event of the week.

In contrast, marketing-related stories (excluding conventional sports news coverage) about the anticipated NBA champion Chicago Bulls generated only 112 points, despite news of a new Rold Gold pretzel campaign set to pair Bulls forward Scottie Pippen with Pretzel Boy Jason Alexander.

The spin was only enough to rank the Bulls third for the week behind second-place SPINdex contender American Airlines/British Airways, whose worldwide marketing alliance generated 115 SPINdex points.

Using Medialink PR Research's proprietary method of valuing editorial coverage in a panel of influential media outlets in five categories-network TV news, major daily newspapers, weekly consumer news and business magazines, wire services and key trade magazines-SPINdex assigns an index value to the ability of a marketing event to generate mass societal impressions, spin.

The SPINdex scores reflect both the number of news stories and their relative weight.

Ranking fourth for the week was the arguably negative spin surrounding R.R. Donnelley & Sons Co.'s selling of a Metromail list of Los Angeles households with children to a TV reporter who used the name of an admitted child killer when buying the data.

Donnelley was chastised by the Direct Marketing Association and the incident scored 40 SPINdex points, including two network newscasts generating 1 minute of national TV exposure.

Finishing last with zero points in last week's SPINdex ranking was Breathe Right nasal strips.

The estate of Alfred Hitchcock filed suit against Breathe Right, claiming it misappropriated Mr. Hitchcock's trademark profile image in its ads.

Joe Mandese is senior VP of Myers Reports. Mark Weiner is VP of Medialink PR Research.

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