AOL Time Warner on Jan. 31 announced its first cross-platform ad deals. The deals involve Nortel Networks, the provider of Internet networking gear, and Cendant Corp., the real estate and travel marketer. The Advertising Council, a group of ad sales heads within AOL Time Warner that assembles cross-platform deals, had been brainstorming potential packages for both companies in advance of the FCC's final approval of the AOL Time Warner merger. An exec familiar with the deals credited CNN with jump-starting the Nortel deal and AOL with starting up the Cendant arrangement.
Disney to close Go.com, take 2nd-quarter charge
In a major retrenchment of its online strategy, Walt Disney Co. announced it will close its Internet portal Go.com, cutting about 400 jobs and taking a charge in the second quarter. The company will also dissolve its online tracking stock, Disney Internet Group, converting its shares into common stock of the parent company as of March 20. Disney said it will take a charge of $790 million related to the write-off of intangible assets and a further $25 million to $50 million in charges on severance and the write-off of fixed assets because of the restructuring.
Sony revises PlayStation 2 shipping estimates to 9 mil
Sony Corp., Tokyo, revised shipping estimates for its PlayStation 2 videogame console from 10 million units to 9 million units during fiscal 2000. The consumer-electronics giant, beset by manufacturing problems that have resulted in tight supplies of the PS2, says it will ship 3 million units each to Japan, Europe and the U.S. by March 31, the end of its fiscal year. So far, 1.46 million units have shipped to the U.S. since the product entered the market in October.
Sega confirms it will exit videogame-console biz
Sega Enterprises has confirmed that it's pulling out of the videogame-console business ending months of industry rumors and speculation. Sega will instead produce game software for consoles marketed by Sony Corp. and Nintendo Corp. and for handheld platforms such as the Palm operating system and Nintendo's Game Boy Advance. Sega launched the Dreamcast console more than a year ago, buffeted by a $100 million ad and marketing campaign created by True North Communications' FCB Worldwide,
Gateway plans to sharpen its marketing messages
Gateway will aggressively sharpen marketing messages amid a management shake-up that's brought company founder and Chairman Ted Waitt back into daily management. Mr. Waitt's return and CEO Jeff Weitzen's resignation, among those of other execs, was sparked by the computer marketer's $94.3 million fourth-quarter loss and a softening in the consumer business. Stuart Redsun, VP-advertising, said there are no plans to scale back marketing and ad expenditures. Gateway recently launched spots with actor Michael J. Fox and a small-business ad push created by Interpublic Group of Cos.' McCann-Erickson Worldwide, New York, and directed by Henry Cora. "We're happy with McCann and with the Michael J. Fox campaign," Mr. Redsun said.
Interpublic sweeps BK biz with Draft promo win
Burger King Corp. tapped Draft Worldwide, Chicago, as its global promotional and merchandising agency. The win completes Interpublic Group of Cos.' sweep of the fast-food marketer's business. Burger King earlier this month awarded its adult advertising to McCann-Erickson Worldwide, New York, and its kids' account to Campbell Mithun, Minneapolis.
P&G plans to launch men's hair-care brand this year
Procter & Gamble Co. plans to launch a men's hair-care brand named Circ this year, CEO A.G. Lafley said in an analysts' meeting. P&G will be competing with The White Rain Company, which repositioned the Dippity Doo brand as one for men, as well as with L'Oreal's Casting ColorSpa for Men, Clairol's Natural Instincts for Men and Combe's Just for Men product lines.
AFE lays off 85 workers, will `curtail operations'
The parent company of one-time magazine subscription sales giant American Family Publishers laid off 85 employees. American Family Enterprises said in a statement it would "significantly curtail operations while it evaluates its new lines of business." However, an AFE spokesman said that the layoffs meant only about 15 employees remained with the company. Last summer, AFP sent letters to magazine publishers informing them it would no longer mail its sweepstakes promotions. In October of 1999, AFE filed for Chapter 11.
Internet trade group hires Webster as its first CEO
The Internet Advertising Bureau, the primary trade organization serving the Internet advertising industry founded in
1996, named former Association of National Advertisers executive Robin Webster as its first CEO. Ms. Webster had most recently headed content for eMarketWorld, which provides services to a number of vertical markets.
FTC grants CARU ability to certify privacy compliance
The Federal Trade Commission certified the Children's Advertising Review Unit of the Council of Better Business Bureaus as the first group to be able to certify marketers are complying with the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act. Marketers who are CARU members will be considered to be in "safe harbor" and complying with industry self-regulation. The law requires Web marketers reaching children under 13 to take steps to protect information they collect from children.
Nestle exec Reinarz, 54, dies of cancer in Frankfurt
Senior Nestle exec Michel Reinarz, 54, died Jan. 24 of cancer in Frankfurt. Mr. Reinarz worked at Young & Rubicam and Publicis before joining Nestle, where he spent a decade starting in the mid-1980s as director of communications. He moved to Frankfurt in 1996 as director of audio-visual communications.
Crain purchases three Mexican publications
Crain Communications, publisher of Advertising Age, announced the purchase of three business publications in Mexico. The weekly El Asesor de Mexico and biweekly El Asesor de Monterrey are regional business publications and the bimonthly Internet Velocidad covers Mexico's Internet industry. Joe Cappo, Crain's senior VP-international, will be president of Crain's Mexican titles. Gerald Delaney will continue as director of the publications. Crain, a privately held company, publishes more than 30 business publications and operates more than two dozen Web sites and two radio stations in the Florida Keys.
Revlon will launch three print ads, minus longtime spokeswoman Cybill Shepherd, for its Ultima cosmetics brand in March magazines. The ads are the first for the company from LaSpata/DeCaro, New York. . . . U.K. public-relations holding company Chime Communications is entering the U.S. by buying high-tech PR firm LNS Communications, Cambridge, Mass., for $10 million plus a deferred payment of up to $6 million. . . . Gary T. Martin, 55, president-global tissue and towel for Procter & Gamble Co., will retire April 1. A successor has yet to be named. . . . Morgan Stanley Dean Witter & Co. will drop the Dean Witter name in the spring and retain only Morgan Stanley as its brand.