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Merrill Lynch predicts 2002 ad spending decline

Merrill Lynch & Co. analysts downgraded their ad spending forecasts again, predicting the first two-year decline since the Great Depression. In a research note, broadcasting analyst Jessica Reif Cohen said the Internet bust and lack of political and Olympic ads combined with the Sept. 11 attacks to create a "100-year flood" event. But while this downturn is behaving similarly to the Gulf War period, she said, the increased ad inventory on cable has put additional pricing pressure on TV advertising that will persist through the first half of 2002. Merrill's forecast now calls for a U.S. ad spending drop of 3% in 2001-or a drop of 4.5% excluding direct mail-and a decline of 1% in 2002; it also assumes economic-stimulus efforts from the federal government, the Winter Olympic Games and congressional elections will combine for a second-half recovery in 2002.

FCB Chicago lands $70 million Boeing acc't

Boeing Co. awarded its $70 million global account to Interpublic Group of Cos.' Foote, Cone & Belding Worldwide, Chicago, after a four-month review. FCB bested Omnicom Group's BBDO Worldwide and WPP Group's J. Walter Thompson, both Chicago. FCB, Seattle, was the incumbent on the Boeing account, but FCB Chicago pitched when the aerospace giant moved its headquarters from Seattle to the Windy City. Read more: QwikFIND AAM76R.

American Business Media honors Carmichael Lynch

American Business Media bestowed its "Grand CEBA" (Creative Excellence in Business Advertising Award) to an advertising campaign created by Interpublic's Carmichael Lynch, Minneapolis, for the American Advertising Federation. The AAF sought to promote the importance and value of brand-building advertising to CEOs and decision-makers nationwide. Carmichael Lynch's campaign features recognizable icons to highlight the critical role of advertising in building great brands. Coca-Cola Co., Energizer Corp., Anheuser-Busch's Budweiser, Intel Corp.'s Pentium and Kraft Foods' Altoids each lent their icons to the campaign.

MediaCom wins European biz for Royal Dutch/Shell

Grey Global Group's MediaCom has won the Royal Dutch/Shell media planning and buying assignment for Europe and the global corporate assignment worth about $160 million, said MediaCom Worldwide CEO Alec Gerster. The assignment is the first decision in Royal Dutch/Shell Group's ongoing global media review. Still to be decided is the media business in the U.S., Canada, South Africa and South America. Tempus Group's CIA was the incumbent media shop on the European media business. WPP's Media Insight and J. Walter Thompson handle media outside Europe.

Modernista picks up global Avon account

Avon Products has called on Boston hot shop Modernista to handle its global account. There had been no agency of record. Modernista will continue the "Let's talk" print campaign, with new work breaking in March 2002. In October, the company gave independent Wieden & Kennedy, Portland, Ore., a project promoting its new in-store shops. Avon spent $33.7 million on measured media last year, according to Taylor Nelson Sofres' CMR.

Ginibre is appointed to new post at Hachette

Jean-Louis Ginibre, longtime exec VP-editorial director of Hachette Filipacchi magazines, was appointed to the newly created position of international creative director. His editorial-director duties will be split among four Hachette executives: Jane Chestnutt, VP-editor in chief of Woman's Day; Peter Herbst, editor in chief of Premiere; John Owens, editor in chief of Travel Holiday; and Francois Vincens, associate editorial director of Elle. Last year the company had retained an executive search firm to help find an editorial director. A company spokeswoman declined to comment on that scenario.


The U.S. Postal Service, which suspended advertising in the wake of anthrax scares, was scheduled to return to TV Nov. 11 with a 60-second spot from Grey Global Group's Grey Worldwide. Bcom3 Group's Leo Burnett USA remains the Postal Service agency of record, but after the anthrax incidents the Postal Service asked all its agencies, including media-buying shop Grey's MediaCom, to suggest ads. ... John Costello, a former senior exec VP of marketing at Sears, Roebuck & Co., joined Yahoo! in the new post of chief global marketing officer. News of Mr. Costello's move to Yahoo! was first reported on ... Agencies Clarity Coverdale Furty and Gabriel deGrood Brendt, both Minneapolis, are finalists for the Minnesota Department of Health $12 million to $14 million, two-year, teen anti-smoking account. The review is being conducted without a consultant. ... Dawn Taubin was promoted to president of domestic marketing for Warner Bros. Pictures, replacing Brad Ball who will be moving to a new position as exec VP-domestic corporate marketing of Warner Bros. ... Steve Farella, CEO of Havas' Media Planning, left the agency. According to a Havas insider, Mr. Farella's exit followed philosophical disagreements with a new management team within the holding company. ... CondeNet, the Internet arm of Conde Nast Publications, laid off 25 of its 114 employees-or about 22% of its work force.

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