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Ad spending in broadcast, print and outdoor climbed 4.6% to $19.1 billion in the first quarter of 1999 compared with a year ago, Competitive Media Reporting said. General Motors Corp. was the top advertiser, hiking spending 16.4% to $622.7 million. The rest of the top five: Procter & Gamble Co., $393 million, down 10.1%; DaimlerChrysler, $340.4 million, down 4.1%; Philip Morris Cos., $334.8 million, down 5.3%; and Ford Motor Co., $314.2 million, up 2.7%.

Omnicom profits rise

24% in 2nd quarter

Omnicom Group, New York, reported second-quarter net income was up 24% from a year ago to $107.1 million. Worldwide revenue from commission and fee income rose 16% to $1.3 billion. That breaks down as a 16% increase for both domestic and international revenue, hitting $638.9 million and $631.5 million, respectively. For the first half, net income was up 26% to $172.7 million and revenue was up 21% to $2.4 billion.

Bradley urges free ad time

for prez candidates

Democratic presidential candidate Bill Bradley unveiled several proposals aimed at ad spending in the presidential campaign. He proposed requiring broadcasters to give free time in the 60 days before an election to presidential candidates who accept limits on fund-raising. He also urged political parties be barred from obtaining so-called "soft money" contributions. Sen. Bradley offered to push the Democratic Party to forgo soft money next year if Republicans would also reject such money.

Rubin Postaer adds

Acura to Honda lineup

American Honda Motor Co. moved its $190 million Acura account from Suissa Miller, Los Angeles, to Rubin Postaer & Associates, which already handled the carmaker's Honda marque. Santa Monica, Calif.-based Rubin Postaer also got Acura media buying, previously at Western Initiative Media Worldwide, West Hollywood. American Honda officials said the move was part of a cost-cutting effort. Rubin Postaer's total billings rise to about $700 million, making it one of the largest independent agencies in the U.S. Suissa Miller, left with about $160 million in billings, faces immediate staff cuts. Suissa Miller won the Acura account in October 1996 and was awarded another $70 million in billings for regional business last February.

Hallmark taps Messner

for new businesses

Hallmark Cards tapped Messner Vetere Berger McNamee Schmetterer/Euro RSCG, New York, to develop new strategic businesses beyond the marketer's traditional card line. It's believed that one possibility may be expanding into other gift areas like fresh flowers.

FTC makes surprise

call for cigar ad curbs

The Federal Trade Commission on July 21 called for a ban on cigar ads on radio and TV, new health warnings on cigar labels and all remaining cigar ads, and restrictions on self-service cigar displays. The action was a surprise; the FTC had been expected merely to issue a report detailing cigar sales and ad trends. The agency said it felt there was no justification for treating cigar packaging or advertising differently from other tobacco. Cigar makers spent just $325,000 on radio and TV ads in 1997. The FTC recommendation raises intriguing questions. Congress approved a ban on cigarette ads on TV and radio in 1970 after cigarette companies voluntarily pulled their ads off TV, and tobacco marketers have never challenged that ban. The U.S. Supreme Court in other cases has overturned ad bans, and congressional action on the FTC request could bring a court test of the cigarette ad ban.

Tricon's Taco Bell, KFC

develop taste for pizza

Personal Pan Pizza, a mainstay at Pizza Hut, may soon be on the menus at sister chains Taco Bell and KFC thanks to tests results in 60 Taco Bells and a smaller number of KFC units. "We're very encouraged with the early results and envision rolling out the concept," said a spokeswoman for parent Tricon Global Restaurants. Pizza is adding from $3,000 to $10,000 per week to unit sales, according to a Wall Street analyst. Separately last week, Tricon confirmed that its hugely hyped "Star Wars" promotion was a big disappointment (AA, June 21). Chairman-CEO Andrall Pearson called the promotion "surprisingly ineffective at driving sales." Same-store sales for the second quarter were up a meager 1% at Taco Bell and 2% at KFC Corp. Pizza Hut fared better, with sales up 9%, thanks to a Big New Yorker pizza promotion unrelated to "Star Wars." Despite the promotion, the numbers were positive, with a 40% increase in second-quarter operating earnings.

Emap Petersen to bring

men's title 'FHM' to U.S.

Emap Petersen next February will debut a U.S. edition of FHM (For Him Magazine), the U.K.'s top monthly and Europe's No. 1 men's magazine. Ed Needham, former editor at Emap Metro, will serve as editor in chief, with Dana Fields as president and executive publisher. Seven issues are planned for 2000 with a rate

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