AD SPENDING CLIMBS 6.9% IN FIRST HALF OF '99: CMR

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Ad spending in measured media climbed 6.9% in the first half of 1999, according to Competitive Media Reporting. That growth is down from 10.6% a year ago, and marks the lowest growth in the past five years. General Motors Corp. led the pack again, spending $1.4 billion during the period, up 29.7%; DaimlerChrysler placed a distant second, up 11.1% to $734.4 million. Rounding out the top five were Procter & Gamble Co. at $703.7 million, down 11.6%; Philip Morris Cos., $682 million, down 9.4%; and Ford Motor Co., $654.7 million, up 7.1%. Automotive was the top spending industry at $5.4 billion, up 9.5%.

Radio Shack moves $100 mil in media to Carat

Radio Shack named Carat USA, New York, and Newton, Mass., media buying agency of record for its $100 million account, said Jim McDonald, VP-marketing and advertising. TBS Media Management, New York, previously handled, and the move was expected (AA, Oct. 4). "TBS did a very fine job of buying for us for a number of years, but for some time now I've been looking for more assistance in the strategic planning area," Mr. McDonald said, adding that he decided to move the account to Carat based on the performance of the agency's Newton office in launching Radioshack.com. Mr. McDonald said TBS would continue buying for Radio Shack until the end of the year. One complication, said some executives close to the situation, is that TBS has made some buys through next summer and wants to be compensated for them. A large portion of Radio Shack's buying -- $42.3 million in 1998, according to Competitive Media Reporting -- is made in newspapers by the retailer in-house.

Value Line hires Shevack as its first ad agency

Value Line hired Partners & Shevack/Wolf, New York, as its first agency of record. Shevack will handle marketing for Value Line's financial data services and the launch of an online investor information center. The agency also will develop a consumer campaign to promote Value Line's financial data and analysis services to individual investors. Value Line executives said the budget for the campaign will be well in excess of $10 million.

Wal-Mart enlists Leapnet for Web site development

Wal-Mart Stores -- with plans to sell airline tickets, car rental bookings and hotel reservations over the Web -- hired Leapnet, Chicago, to handle the travel services section of its new Web site. Wal-Mart's Sam's Club also retained Leapnet as lead developer for its first e-commerce site, which is expected to have a slightly more upscale bent than the primary Wal-Mart site. Frederick A. Smith, chairman-CEO of Leapnet and president of Leapnet parent Quantum Leap Communications, said his company will be working both on strategy and development of the two Wal-Mart online selling ventures. Grey Interactive, New York, has been building the major portion of the Wal-Mart site. The sites are expected to launch after the first of the year.

Score!Learning books Saatchi as its AOR

Kaplan Educational Centers subsidiary Score!Learning Corp. hired Saatchi & Saatchi, San Francisco, as agency of record. Seidel O'Neil previously handled. Saatchi this fall will launch a regional TV and radio campaign backing a new online site, eSCORE.com, that will offer customized educational products and services. Score! has brick and mortar locations in eight major markets. Separately, Saatchi said that next month it will break a $20 million to $30 million campaign for the recently won Barclays Global Investors account. The advertising will back a new branded category of exchange traded funds.

Telco Ericsson calls Publicis for global ads

Swedish telecom giant Ericsson appointed Publicis as a lead agency to handle its global account. Grant Duncan, managing director of Publicis in London, and Joanna Baldwin, the network's VP-international development, led the pitch. Publicis has worked with Ericsson in Sweden since 1980. Ericsson said it will continue to work with local agencies on ongoing projects, but new projects will be started with Publicis.

BFGoodrich taps TBWA for European account

Michelin's BFGoodrich named TBWA Worldwide to handle its European account. TBWA's Frankfurt, London and Paris offices pitched jointly. The account had been dormant, and Goodrich next March will roll out a new ad campaign in Western Europe.

Applebee's marketing budget to climb 30.4%

Applebee's International will boost total marketing spending by 30.4% next year to $90 million. Plans include more than doubling the network presence of the restaurant chain to 10 from four flights of ads, primarily on prime-time sports, said Chief Financial Officer George Shadid. The first major Applebee's work from FCB Worldwide, Chicago, is slated to break in January, he said. Also last week, the company announced a new promotions agency, Wunderman Cato Johnson, Chicago. Before, that work was handled by former Applebee's creative shop Wyse Advertising, Cleveland.

No 'quiero' for future Taco Bell advertising

The Chihuahua stays but its 2-year-old theme line goes in advertising slated to break at the end of December for Taco Bell. At a time of softening sales, the nation's No. 3 fast-feeder told franchisees it's axing "Yo quiero Taco Bell" in favor of "Grande taste. Loco price. Only at Taco Bell." "Yo quiero" -- translated as "I want some" -- became part of the popular vernacular soon after it was launched in August 1998. TBWA/Chiat/Day, Playa del Rey, remains the creative agency for Taco Bell's $202 million account, a spokeswoman said.

Chevrolet Impala ads reach out to Hispanics

General Motors Corp.'s Chevrolet Motor Division last week kicked off a campaign pitching its 2000 Impala sedan to Hispanic audiences. Spots titled "Symphony" show footage of Impalas since the model's 1958 introduction, interspersed with scenes of changing music, fashion and dance styles. Jim Jandasek, Chevrolet director of car advertising and sales promotion, said the ads by Accentmarketing, Coral Gables, Fla., appeal to a strong respect for heritage and tradition in the Hispanic community. The commercials will appear on the Telemundo and Univision networks, augmented by print in publications such as Automundo, Hispanic Business, Newsweek en Espanol, People en Espanol and Vista.

Monster.com returns to NFL's super ad bowl

Careers Web site Monster.com said it's returning to the Super Bowl next January, airing a 30-second spot in the first and fourth quarters. The commercials are part of Monster.com's $60 million on- and offline campaign for 2000, handled by Mullen, Wenham, Mass.

Broker JB Oxford's ads back online service

JB Oxford & Co. launched a print and TV campaign promoting its discount brokerage and N*Power, a new online brokerage account. Think New Ideas, Los Angeles, created the campaign for JB Oxford (www.jboxford. com). The $10 million in fourth-quarter spending is the company's largest-ever media budget.

'Fortune' unveils new theme line in ads

Fortune today launches a new campaign with the tagline "Read your Fortune" in The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal. The ads from Fallon McElligott, New York, primarily will focus on the trade but also will have a small consumer presence. Fortune's previous tagline was "Make your brain bigger." In addition to national newspapers, outdoor ads will run in New York and San Jose, Calif.

Carlson aims campaign at travel agencies

Carlson Wagonlit Travel, a Minneapolis-based travel franchiser with 1,300 agencies nationwide, last week launched a $1 million campaign backing key fall promotions, including programs with Princess Cruise Lines, Royal Caribbean International and the brand's Web site (www.carlsontravel.com). The ads will run through December in newspapers, radio and spot network TV in 28 metro markets. The advertising also will run through November on cable networks. The campaign was created internally by Carlson Marketing Group.

Hindrey exits AT&T broadband & Net unit

Leo Hindrey, president-CEO of AT&T Broadband & Internet Services, resigned to pursue other interests. Temporarily, his duties have been assigned to Daniel Somers, chief financial officer of parent company AT&T Corp. Mr. Hindrey was in charge of AT&T's cable unit, the former Tele-Communications Inc. Mr. Hindrey, like his former boss John Malone, was very bullish on the potential of interactive advertising with the advent of digital TV and the accompanying digital set-top boxes.

Lincoln, Sprint back 'GQ' 'Men of the Year' awards

Conde Nast Publications' GQ signed Lincoln and Sprint as co-presenting sponsors of its annual "Men of the Year" awards. The program will air as a 2-hour special Oct. 29 on VH1. The awards show also will be Webcast in Windows Media at www.gq.com Oct. 22, the day of the live event. "Men of the Year" winners will be featured in the November issue, which will be sold with a CD-ROM of songs by Lenny Kravitz, the musical guest of the awards show.

VCR Plus' Gemstar to merge with TV Guide

Gemstar International Group and TV Guide Inc. entered into a $9.2 billion merger agreement under which TV Guide will become a wholly owned subsidiary of Gemstar. The company will be renamed TV Guide International. Gemstar is a provider of electronic-program-guide services, including the VCR Plus instant programming system.

Intel christens its new e-business chip Itanium

Itanium will be the brand name of Intel Corp.'s new processor for workstations and servers. Geared to e-business, Itanium will ship by mid-2000 and be the focus of a significant ad campaign. Messner Vetere Berger McNamee

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