Ford's Web site
crashes the party
Unlucky 13? On Jan. 13, the day after Ford's David Ropes touted a revamped online "connection" to dazzle prospects and owners via ford.com, rivals who tried to check out the site said it wasn't up or accessible. Responds Ropes: "It probably happens to a lot of people anytime you're reloading and relaunching a Web site. It has to do with server capacities and the technical world. I'd expect my competitors to say that" when taking aim at the site.
Kate Dobson is moving to publisher of CMP's InformationWeek from publ. of Scientific American, returning to CMP after a 16-year sojourn. Dobson, 42, joined CMP in 1981 as a district mgr. for Information Systems News, an I'Week predecessor. She left for The Economist in 1983 and joined Sci. American in '85. Dobson takes over the publisher's slot at the prosperous I'Week from Tony Uphoff, who had held on to the title when he moved last year to a VP-group pub. post. (Note to Kate: A couple things, such as Microsoft, have happened since you left tech.)
Nissan North America, a big Super Bowl player in 1996, punted its '99 game play. A Nissan observer says the ailing automaker dropped plans for a 60-sec. spot from TBWA/Chiat/Day, Playa del Rey, asking Fox to find another taker for the spot. A Nissan spokesman tells a different story, saying Nissan did reserve a bowl slot last May but a month later changed its mind. "It's been off the books for some time," he says.
The end is near
. . . fits the Bill
Pax TV this Wednesday airs a Fox-ish special called "Millennium Fears," which it says will feature "experts on Y2K, Bible prophecies and dangerous cults." Nifty of Pax to lump Y2K techies in with the Armageddon groupies. .. . GM put a Cadillac Escalade SUV in its new Renaissance Center headquarters with a sign mocking the SUV of former Ren Center occupant Lincoln Mercury: "Later, Navigator." LM's response? A huge outdoor board for Navigator strategically placed directly across the street from Ren Cen. . . . Steve Jobs revived Apple's image with "Think different" ads from TBWA/Chiat/Day. The ads seem to be everywhere, but does that mean spending has skyrocketed? No. According to SEC filings, Apple last year spent $152 million on worldwide ads in Jobs' first year back on the job, up 6% from fiscal '97 but down 17% from '96. Apple did have to pay for the budget across lower sales: Revenues dropped to $5.9 billion last year, down 17% from '97 and down 40% since '96. . . . Bill Clinton. Rising.
Compiled by Bradley Johnson with news from Jean Halliday and Chuck Ross.
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