Asecond major major management defection at independent agency See Advertising raised questions about the future of its $70 million Electronic Arts account. Harry Cocciolo, partner and creative director, has resigned just two weeks after CEO Eileen Arbues stepped down (AA, Sept. 27). Mr. Cocciolo said he would continue as a consultant at the agency until a successor was found. Keith McVaney, partner-planning director, said See will continue under Chairman Andy Narraway and other long time agency leadership.
See, which has a London office, was founded with the EA account. However, EA this year handed two significant pieces of the account to Wieden & Kennedy, Portland, Ore., the assignment for its Tiger Woods and Need for Speed games. An EA spokeswoman said it's "business as usual" with See and most of its work for the fall is locked down.
As for whether a review was in the works, she said, "Nothing at this time."
'YM' will shutter after Conde sale
Gruner & jahr Publishing USA's troubled teen title YM will shut down after its December-January issue, following its purchase by Conde Nast Publications. The financial terms of the deal were not immediately clear. In an e-mail to employees, G&J President-CEO Russell Denson wrote the sale will allow the company to "focus our resources on our core magazines and markets."
Beginning in February, YM subscribers will receive Conde Nast's Teen Vogue, according to Conde Nast. The privately held publisher is expected to continue publishing special-interest magazines under the YM rubric, though. Teen Vogue will raise its rate base to 850,000 with its February issue. Before the YM deal, the title was slated to increase its rate base to 650,000. Adage.com QwikFIND aaq03a.
Comedy Central boss back to MTV
Former comedy Central president Larry Divney is to return to the Viacom fold as chief operating officer of advertising sales for MTV Networks. The position had held been held by Mark Rosenthal before senior management changes at the company. Mr. Divney, an extremely popular figure in the cable industry, was the first-ever VP-advertising sales at MTV when it launched in 1981. He retired as president of Comedy Central in June 2004.
Among other changes, recently installed MTV Networks Chairman-CEO Judy McGrath appointed Van Toffler as her successor in the MTV Networks' president position. Mr. Toffler, who was previously president of MTV, MTV2 and MTV Films, will now also take on VH1, CMT and soon to launch LOGO among his channel responsibilities.
Separately, Brian Graden, also a contender for Mr. Toffler's position, has been named president of LOGO and president of entertainment for MTV Networks Music Group. Mr. Graden was most recently president-entertainment for MTV and VH1. Adage.com QwikFIND aaq03c.
Bud goes clubbing for its energy brew
Anheuser-busch cos. will chase Red Bull-and-vodka-swilling club-goers with a caffeine-, guarana- and ginseng-infused beer called "B to the E." The new malt beverage, part of the Budweiser family, fits in with a broader effort by Anheuser-Busch to reclaim 21-to-27-year-olds increasingly downing spirits instead of beers. The brewer has pledged to step up promotions and other marketing efforts at bars and clubs.
The drink comes in a slim 10-ounce can, reminiscent of energy drinks such as Red Bull, which has made inroads into bars and clubs as a mixer for hard alcohol. The brewer said it plans to support the brew with local print advertising, point-of-sale materials, bar and club promotions and online programs. An advertising agency hasn't been decided yet. Anheuser-Busch will put B to the E in 50% of its markets by year-end. Adage.com QwikFIND aaq02w.