WPP Group's MindShare laid off 23 employees Sept. 4, according to insiders at the agency. Included in the cuts was Julie Friedlander, senior partner-managing director of national broadcast. Ms. Friedlander was senior VP-director of national broadcast at WPP's Ogilvy & Mather before joining MindShare last year when the media shop combined the media services of Ogilvy and sibling J. Walter Thompson. MindShare did not return calls at press time.
P&G, Unilever settle spy-activities issues
Procter & Gamble Co. and Unilever settled issues related to P&G's spying activities against Unilever (AA, Sept. 3). Terms were not disclosed. P&G Chairman John E. Pepper said in a statement that the agreement protects each marketer's business interests. "I have been personally involved in ensuring that none of the information has been or will be used in any P&G plans," Mr. Pepper said. In a separate statement, Unilever of United States President-CEO Charles B. Strauss said, "We have a settlement that ensures that our confidential information is protected. With this agreement, we are confident that Procter & Gamble Co.'s conduct will not impede the continued growth of our brands here."
Settlement talks began four months ago when Mr. Pepper informed Unilever of intelligence gathering that violated P&G's ethics rules but which P&G said did not break the law. The P&G intelligence operation included Dumpster diving outside Unilever's Chicago personal-care marketing offices, the company said.
Separately, the Family Friendly Programming Forum of the Association of National Advertisers named Brad Simmons, VP-media services of Unilever U.S., as co-chair, succeeding Bob Wehling, former global marketing officer of P&G, who retired last month. Mr. Simmons joins Andrea Alstrup, corporate VP-advertising of Johnson & Johnson, as co-chair.
P&G will continue to have a presence in the forum's leadership as Jim Stengel, current global marketing officer, joins a newly created executive committee.
MediaCom wins $150 mil Diageo media account
Grey Global Group's MediaCom won the estimated $150 million Diageo beer and spirits review, besting Tempus Group's CIA Medianetwork. The account consolidates U.S. media buying and planning for United Distillers & Vintners, Seagram and Guinness Brewing. Guinness and Bass were 12-year clients of CIA, while Bcom3 Group's MediaVest Worldwide handled several UDV brands. MediaCom also handles Seagram. Agencies in the first round of the review included WPP's MindShare and MediaVest. The news was reported first on Adage.com.
Philip Morris report mocked in online movie
In its latest attack on Big Tobacco, the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids on Sept. 5 launched a two-minute online movie mocking a Philip Morris Cos. report stating that smoking-related deaths could save the government money spent on pensions and health care. The study was released in July by the tobacco maker's international affiliate in the Czech Republic.
The animated movie features the Joneses, a "typical" American family, and jests that if smoking can save a government money, imagine what it could do for a family on a tight budget. The spot introduces a cigarette, the "Philmo 2001," calling it the "greatest cost-saving device" because it reduces spending by eliminating the family.
Each family member is then seen dying one by one with a mouthful of cigarettes. The end frame reads: "Big Tobacco Sells Death."
Philip Morris USA referred to its July 26 statement apologizing for the Czech affiliate's report.
"For one of our tobacco companies to commission this study was not just a terrible mistake, it was wrong. All of us at Philip Morris, no matter where we work, are extremely sorry for this," the statement read.
Sega to focus on sports, entertainment software
Sega of America, which earlier this year exited the video-game hardware business, reorganized its marketing operations to emphasize sports and entertainment software. The game maker named Mike Fischer group director-product marketing for its entertainment division. The new post marks Mr. Fischer's return to Sega-he earlier handled its Pico brand-after a stint directing consumer marketing for Namco Hometek's "Tekken" franchise and relaunching the Pac-Man brand. Sega also promoted Charles Bellfield, former VP-corporate and marketing communications, to VP-business strategy and corporate affairs. It is expected to staff additional marketing posts as it transitions into a video-game publisher.
Allison Bodenmann was named VP-sales marketing at Court TV, from president-Syndicated Network Television Association. She will report to Gig Barton, exec vp-adverting sales. ... Actress and model Elizabeth Hurley is scaling back her modeling duties for Estee Lauder, she and the company said last week in a joint statement. Ms. Hurley will continue to appear in fragrance advertising, but not in makeup or skincare ads in order to accommodate her "expanding film and producing projects," said Leonard A. Lauder, company chairman. Estee Lauder signed model Carolyn Murphy to fill the void left by Ms. Hurley's reduced role. ... Toyota Motor Sales USA, Torrance, Calif., launched a Hispanic Web site (www.toyota.com/espanol) from Publicis Groupe's Conill Advertising, New York and Torrance. ... General Electric Co.'s NBC formalized its cross-platform ad selling division under the name NBC Connect, which will be headed by Jay Linden, who was named exec VP. The unit will put together cross-advertising platforms that will include NBC units such as CNBC, MSNBC, NBC.com and MSNBC.com. ... News Corp.'s Maximum Golf was quietly shut down last week. Its final issue bore the cover date of August 2001.