PROFIT PICTURE SUNNY AS LATEST QUARTER ENDS

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Several major players in advertising and marketing services reported quarterly results last week, with profits up as much as 74% (for more results, see Direct & Database on Page 25):

* Omnicom Group, New York, said net income for the first quarter was up 28% over a year earlier, to $65.6 million. Worldwide revenue from commission and fee income increased 27% to $1.15 billion -- domestic revenue rose 24% to $587.2 million, and international climbed 30% to $559.7 million.

* Outdoor Systems, Phoenix, saw net income soar 74.1% to $4.8 million in the first quarter. Net revenue was up 17.4% from a year ago, to $172.2 million. "We are particularly proud of the strides we have made in preparing our company for the loss of tobacco, and we are excited about the bright future of our industry and our company," said Arte Moreno, president-CEO of the U.S.' largest out-of-home media company.

Tech ad pages drop 15% in computer, biz titles

Tech ad pages in U.S. computer and business publications dropped 15% to 57,637 in the first quarter, with estimated ad spending falling 6% to $763 million vs. the same period a year ago, according to ad tracking service Adscope. The declines come as some tech advertisers shift money to other media, including consumer publications, the Web and TV. Profit and sales troubles also have led to a dramatic ad spending decline in areas such as direct market PCs. CMP Media, in the midst of looking for a buyer, suffered the biggest page drop, plummeting 22.1%. Ziff-Davis' pages fell 20.7%, while International Data Group dipped 4.9%.

Bozell keeps FEMA flood insurance ads

Federal Emergency Management Agency decided to keep its approximately $15 million federal flood insurance account at Bozell Worldwide, New York. The advertising for the program is largely print and includes information on where to get flood insurance.

Fallon reaps $10 mil Navistar account

Navistar International Corp. awarded Fallon McElligott, Minneapolis, its estimated $10 million account. The bus and truck maker previously was at Ogilvy & Mather, Chicago.

Brand concerns deter J&J from 2002 Olympics

A lack of agreement among its brands -- rather than scandals surrounding the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympics -- was the principal reason that Johnson & Johnson broke off negotiations to become a $30 million official sponsor of the Games, said a spokesman for the company. The spokesman, however, acknowledged the scandal surrounding the Games was "certainly in the backdrop." He said J&J hadn't signed a letter of intent and didn't back out of an existing agreement. He said the company will continue to donate products to athletes and may pursue advertising on Olympic TV broadcasts, as it has in the past. "Our support of the Olympics is essentially staying the way it has been for years," the J&J spokesman said. "We were looking to increase that level of support, and that's what didn't happen."

'Harper's Bazaar' editor Tilberis dies

Elizabeth Tilberis, 51, editor in chief of Harper's Bazaar, died April 21 after a six-year battle with ovarian cancer. Ms. Tilberis continued to work through major surgery and chemotherapy. Last year, her memoir, "No Time to Die," was published by Little Brown & Co. Ms. Tilberis was named editor in chief of Harper's Bazaar in 1992; before that, she was editorial director at Conde Nast Publications and executive fashion director of British Vogue.

Interpublic launches FutureBrand consultancy

Interpublic Group of Cos., New York, is launching FutureBrand, a corporate branding, retail, industrial, packaging and design consultancy that will integrate the services of Diefenbach Elkins, Davies Baron and the Coleman Group Worldwide. John Elkins, currently chairman-CEO of Diefenbach Elkins and Davies Baron, becomes chairman-CEO of FutureBrand. Owen Coleman remains chairman-CEO of the Coleman Group, which will keep its name.

FTC unveils rules on kids Web sites

The Federal Trade Commission unveiled its long-awaited rules for implementing a new law regulating what kind of information Web sites can collect from children. The Children's Online Privacy Act requires Web sites to try to obtain parental consent before collecting information from kids, but the FTC rules will be the first indication of how the law will actually work and what sort of changes, if any, Web sites will have to make.

BBDO's Paul honored by Chicago adclub

Tonise Paul, president-CEO of BBDO, Chicago, was named Chicago Advertising Woman of Year by the Women's Advertising Club of Chicago. Since Ms. Paul became president of the office in 1995, BBDO/Chicago has tripled its client base and increased revenue by more than 60%.

Primedia plans to sell education group

Primedia, publisher of Seventeen and New York Magazine, plans to sell its supplemental education group in a bid to streamline the company's operations, pay off debt and boost its stock price, company executives familiar with the plan reported last week. Primedia expects to fetch upward of $500 million for the group. The news raised speculation Primedia would consider selling other units separately.

British Airways skirts NAD review

British Airways won't submit its "World's favorite airline" claim for review by the self-regulatory National Advertising Division of the Council of Better Business Bureaus. NAD said Virgin Atlantic Airlines had challenged the truthfulness of the claim, originally created by Saatchi & Saatchi. NAD said British Airways declined to participate on the grounds that the U.S. Department of Transportation is the official regulator for airline ads in the U.S. NAD said

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