ZD nets gains
in wacky market
Last fall, the stock market worth of debt-ridden Ziff-Davis bottomed out at $363 million. With last week's stock offering of Internet division ZDNet, the combined market capitalization of ZD and ZDNet reached $6 billion-a nifty rebound. Money-losing ZD had revenue last year of $1.1 billion, including $56 million from money-losing ZDNet. So let's do some math. ZDNet's market cap ended last week at $3.5 billion. ZD's market cap was $2.5 billion. Now the kicker: ZD's 84% stake in ZDNet last week was worth $2.9 billion. The Web-obsessed market's apparent valuation for ZD's huge magazine and trade show business: negative $400 million.
Why BBDO could
Tech ad watchers figure BBDO is the favorite to land Dell's $30M home & small business account, and some bet BBDO will grab Dell's entire global business. "I would be really, really surprised if BBDO didn't walk away with the whole account," says one plugged-in media exec. Dell hired BBDO for its brand work last September. Dell passed over its longtime product shop, Goldberg Moser O'Neill/SF, for brand assignments, and it would surprise few close watchers to see GMO choose to part company with Dell given growing frustrations at the agency (AA, March 29). GMO at this point is working hard to save the home PC account. Dell brand VP Scott Helbing early last month said Dell execs "never even had that conversation" of consolidating at BBDO. But Helbing also noted one Dell goal was "to align all of our communications" by agreeing on a brand positioning and visual cues for all advertising. Easier to accomplish that with one agency; harder to accomplish with two or three agencies. A BBDO win would continue an intriguing tale: Chiat/Day lost Apple to BBDO in '86 and rebounded with Dell two years later in its San Francisco office. Apple went from BBDO back to Chiat in '97. Now BBDO conceivably could pick up all of Dell from GMO-the former SF office of Chiat/Day.
'Fortune' . . .
Fortune ran its first split cover with its Apr. 12 issue, sending subscribers a cover about the rise of Nascar and giving newsstand readers a cover about the decline of Levi Strauss. . . . Compaq, grabbing name rights for its Tandem Division business computers, registered 48 domain names with the word "NonStop"-"NonStop-Computers.com," "NonStop-Value.com," "NonStop-Solution.com." No immediate reaction from a SF techy outfit, Nonstop Solutions (www.nonstop.com).
Compiled by Bradley Johnson with news from Alice Z. Cuneo, Ann Marie Kerwin and Chuck Ross.
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