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Publicis 1999 profits soar 42% to $79.8 mil

Publicis, Paris, saw its pre-tax net income soar 42% to $79.8 million in 1999, as revenue climbed 23% to $1 billion. Billings rose 25% to $6.6 billion. Looking ahead to 2000, the agency group -- which this year has acquired DeWitt Media, New York; Fallon McElligott, Minneapolis; and Frankel, Chicago -- said it will "actively continue its development in the U.S.," and expects overall growth to continue topping 20%.

XM Satellite Radio to hear pitches from 4 agencies

XM Satellite Radio early next month will hear pitches from New York agencies Deutsch, McCann-Erickson Worldwide and Wieden & Kennedy, as well as TBWA/Chiat/Day, Playa del Rey, Calif., for its $100 million marketing account. The subscription radio service, debuting in 2001, is looking for ideas on how to launch the brand across a variety of media, from TV ads to selling subscriptions with radio receivers at point of purchase, said Robert Acker, VP-marketing.

PETA scraps its anti-milk `Got beer?' college push

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals last week pulled its college-targeted "Got beer?" campaign, reacting to complaints from Mothers Against Drunk Driving. The PETA effort spotlighted research that contends drinking beer is more healthful that drinking milk. The theme was a takeoff on milk producers' long-running "Got milk?" campaign created by Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, San Francisco.

Career info site WetFeet debuts $20 mil campaign

Career information site WetFeet.com launched an estimated $10 million to $20 million campaign aimed at midcareer job-seeking professionals and recent college grads. DDB Needham, San Francisco, created the humorous ads, which include outdoor and radio running through the summer in Boston, Chicago, New York, San Francisco and San Jose, Calif. The tagline: "WetFeet.com: Inside information on the jobs you want."

Sears, AOL join forces; retailer's CEO to retire

Sears, Roebuck & Co. and America Online inked a marketing deal under which AOL's interactive products and services will be marketed to Sears customers nationwide. In addition, Sears merchandise and services will be marketed to AOL members and visitors to AOL's Web-based brands including CompuServe and ICQ. Separately, Sears indicated it will look both inside and outside the company for a replacement for Chairman-CEO Arthur C. Martinez, after it announced Mr. Martinez would retire by yearend. Although Mr. Martinez, 60, led Sears through a turbulent 1990s period by successfully marketing the giant retailer's apparel and other "Softer side" products, the company once again has found itself in need of a turnaround. It's now focusing marketing efforts on sales and promotional advertising.

Cordiant consolidates its Internet companies

Cordiant Communications Group, London, established CCG.XM as a new subsidiary to consolidate its existing network of Internet service companies. The new group will include units that have been under different names such as Expanded Media in Asia, XM Harrow in Australia, Bates Interactive in the U.K. and 141 Interactive in the U.S.

Adman Wunderman launches I-Behavior

Lester Wunderman, often called the father of direct marketing, is launching I-Behavior, a marketing information services business for e-commerce companies. White Plains, N.Y.-based I-Behavior will create a cooperative opt-in database that analyzes online and offline customer purchase information provided by marketers. Mr. Wunderman, chairman of the venture, recently became worldwide director for the Marketing Lab, a new research arm of Impiric (formerly Wunderman Cato Johnson).

Jaguar unveils S-Type TV ad featuring Sting

Jaguar Cars North America continues its push for the S-Type sedan with a 60-second ad debuting today in 15 spot TV markets. The commercial uses footage from the "Desert Rose" music video of Sting, whose S-Type appears in the video. The spot, also in a :30 version, will run globally through August in the estimated $40 million push. Print ads could arrive in two months. Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide and J. Walter Thompson Co. work together on Jaguar's global account.

Marc, S.F.'s Zuckerman call off their nuptials

Marc USA, Pittsburgh, and Zuckerman Fernandes/Marc USA, San Francisco, are parting ways. Marc USA in August announced it was acquiring Zuckerman, but last week, the two companies said they were unable to agree on final terms for the deal. Among the problems cited were "different interests." Marc Chairman-CEO Anthony Bucci said he will look to buy another San Francisco or Los Angeles agency. The deal is the second acquisition of a San Francisco shop to abort in the past six months. Late last year, Citron Haligman Bedecarre and Euro RSCG parted after announcing a merger. Executives familiar with the agencies said dot-com and other tech business opportunities may have led the shops to seek greater compensation for business wins than the acquiring agencies were willing to pay.

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