Dow Jones & Co. reported its first-quarter profits sank 81% from a year ago. Revenues at its overall print business were off 24%, hit by declining ad markets. The publisher of The Wall Street Journal said the layoffs it had previously announced would total about 202, or about 2%, of its 8,000-plus employees. Separately, the New York Times Co. announced it was seeking staff reductions across all its business units, which would be accomplished "where possible" through buyouts. The company said it did not yet know how many jobs would be affected. Last month, the Times lowered earnings forecasts for the first quarter of this year, owing to a slowdown in the economy and ad revenues.
Goodby, Silverstein wins $60 mil Goodyear account
Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. awarded its $60 million advertising account to Omnicom Group's Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, San Francisco. Finalists were Omnicom's GSD&M, Austin, Texas, and sibling BBDO Worldwide along with Interpublic Group of Cos.' McCann-Erickson Worldwide, both New York. The incumbent was WPP Group's J. Walter Thompson, Detroit. The news was first reported on AdAge.com.
Havas acquires McKinney; MarchFirst files Chap. 11
As expected, Havas Advertising, Paris, bought McKinney & Silver, Raleigh, N.C., from troubled parent MarchFirst. McKinney will retain its name and be housed under Havas' Arnold Worldwide Partners network. Management will report to Arnold Chairman-CEO Ed Eskandarian. (AA, April 9 and March 26). Terms were not disclosed. The McKinney acquisition came April 12, the same day MarchFirst reportedly filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. MarchFirst didn't return calls for comment. Earlier on April 12, the Nasdaq Stock Market halted trading of MarchFirst stock. Also on April 12, Divine closed its acquisition of select MarchFirst offices and assets. On April 11, the Salt Lake City office of MarchFirst announced its buyout from the holding company. The marketing agency was renamed Boede & Partners.
Rodale to stop publishing `Organic Gardening'
Rodale's 60-year-old Organic Gardening magazine will stop publishing this summer and return this fall under a different name and in a scaled-back form. The company plans to cull from its 600,000-circulation title about 125,000 subscribers to launch an as-yet-unnamed publication aimed at hard-core organic gardeners. The rest of the circulation will be folded into the launch of Organic Style, which will debut in August.
CBS says it's unaffected by Dillard's pulled ads
Neither Viacom's CBS network nor any of the CBS-owned stations have been affected by Dillard's decision to pull ads in the wake of a March 25 story on "60 Minutes," according to a network spokesman. "60 Minutes" reported the retailer pulled its ads from 11 CBS affiliates-not owned by CBS-including those in Houston, Cleveland, and Charlotte, N.C., in response to a story it did on Dillard's alleged practice of using racial profiling when targeting shoplifters. Dillard's declined to comment on whether it pulled the ads. Dillard's, which has 340 stores in 29 states, claimed the show gave it short shrift, allotting only a few seconds of a 13-minute story to the company's response. The retailer says it does not have a policy of targeting any particular ethnic group in its security practices. (See AdAge.com.)
McDonald's adds Indian food to menu in U.K.
McDonald's Corp. is adding Indian food to the menu in 1,000 U.K. restaurants for the next six weeks, backed by TV and radio ads by BCom3 Group's Leo Burnett Co. celebrating the Britishness of curries with real people singing traditional British songs. New menu items include Tandoori Chicken, Vegetable Samosas and a Banana and Mango Cooler.
Dell consolidates at DDB for $200 million account
Dell Computer Corp. consolidated its estimated $200 million U.S. account at Omnicom's DDB Worldwide, Chicago. Dell confirmed the win and said the agency will work on corporate branding (which had been handled by Omnicom sibling BBDO Worldwide, New York) and product and transactional advertising. A spokesman said the company sought greater integration of brand and product messaging, but declined to confirm the size of the account. People close to the review said DDB's Chicago office will handle creative; sibling OMD, New York, will manage media. Dell is splitting with Interpublic's Lowe Lintas & Partners, New York, which handled the Home & Small Business division for more than two years.
Government asked to look into VoiceStream ads
The National Advertising Division of the Council of Better Business Bureaus is asking the Federal Trade Commission and the Federal Communications Commission to look into its complaint regarding newspaper ads from VoiceStream Wireless. In December, VoiceStream agreed to change ads that implied areas covered by its services were wider than they actually are. But now NAD is claiming that Voice-Stream merely increased the type size of its disclaimer. VoiceStream had no immediate comment. Publicis Groupe's Publicis, Seattle, handles VoiceStream's advertising.
Yahoo! cut 12% of its staff as part of a broader round of cost-cutting initiatives. The company reported first-quarter revenue of $180 million, and a net loss of $11.5 million ... Jim Meyer president and chief strategy officer of M&C Saatchi, has left his position to form Golden Square, a brand and marketing consultancy based in New York that will offer services in brand development and marketing strategy. ... Gulfstream Aerospace Corp. tapped Publicis' Fallon Worldwide, Minneapolis, for its advertising account. Spending for the aircraft manufacturing unit of General Dynamics was undisclosed. ... Carolyn Bivens, 48, formerly managing director of the Initiative Media North America's Western region, has been named president-chief operating officer, and James Bell, 53, formerly managing director, Eastern region, has been named president-chief operating officer of Interpublic's Initiative Media One-to-One Marketing. ... Wm. Wrigley Jr. Co. will launch a sugar-free gum called Orbit this July, backed by an estimated $20 million integrated marketing program in September. BBDO Worldwide, Chicago, which handles the majority of Wrigley gum brands, will be responsible for Orbit as well. ... Volkswagen whittled the pitch list for the European launch of its upscale D-1 car, dropping Grey Global Group's Grey Worldwide. Scheduled to pitch April 19 are Omnicom's DDB Worldwide, Berlin; Leagas Delaney, Hamburg; and Havas Advertising's Arnold Worldwide Partners, jointly with its Germany agency Rempen & Partners, Duesseldorf. ... Scient, San Francisco, announced substantial layoffs, saying it would cut 675 positions, or more than half its staff, and may eliminate 175 additional positions over the next few months. ... Tribal DDB, the interactive unit of DDB Worldwide, laid off 24 of its 500 employees. The cuts, which were isolated to the U.S., were taken, according to the company, in preparation for a pending merger or acquisition. ...General Electric Co., parent of the NBC network, reported a 2% rise in revenue to $30.5 billion from $30 billion in 2000 and a 16% increase in earnings to $3.02 billion from $2.59 billion.