The Week

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America online has chosen Casanova Pendrill, Irvine, Calif., as the first U.S. Hispanic ad agency for AOL Latino, an AOL Time Warner division, after a pitch. The first ads will break in April, reflecting product enhancements to be introduced at the end of the first quarter. Mary Ann Donaghy, America Online's executive director-marketing strategy and new-product development, said the interactive unit was looking for a Hispanic agency with capability in direct marketing, online and retail distribution as well as TV advertising. Casanova Pendrill, owned 49% by Interpublic Group of Cos., will also handle media planning and buying. Hispanic Internet users tend to be younger than other users, are more likely to use instant messaging and to download music and videos, and spend more if they shop online, especially on music and DVDs, Ms. Donaghy said. Dan Nance, Casanova Pendrill's chief operating officer, said 2.5 million Hispanic households are likely to go online for the first time in 2003, and that those new to the Internet are increasingly Spanish-dominant.

Invasion of the little green Altoids

Kraft foods' Altoids introduces its spearmint flavor with an integrated campaign via Publicis Groupe's Leo Burnett unit LB Works, Chicago. The campaign, which is bound to appeal to fans of the Sci-Fi Channel's "Mystery Science Theater 3000," features both print and an online film. Print ads break in January issues of Time Inc.'s Entertainment Weekly, People, Sports Illustrated and Time. The online film breaks later in the month at littlegreenmints.com.

Rolling Stones to start up Ford sales

Ford motor co.'s Ford Division is the latest auto brand to tap a legendary rock band for its ads. A campaign using the Rolling Stones' 1981 hit "Start Me Up" broke on national broadcast TV Jan. 1. The spot will run in heavy rotation for two weeks. WPP Group's J. Walter Thompson, Detroit, is creating six other versions of the ad featuring the song that will air regionally. The execution replaces the brand's "No Boundaries" ad theme. Separately, Chrysler Group's Chrysler brand will evolve its "Drive=Love" tag to "Drive & Love" in new work arriving mid-month. The spot, from Omnicom Group's BBDO Detroit, Troy, Mich., will be the first to feature singer Celine Dion. AdAge.com QwikFIND aao31o, aao31p

Weight-loss ads banned by FTC

Asan antonio company that markets a weight-loss product called "Body Solutions Evening Formula" predominantly on Spanish language radio stations prompted a suit from the Federal Trade Commission. The company, Mark Nutritionals, agreed to an order temporarily freezing its assets and banning it from making ad claims for weight loss unless it has scientific justification. The FTC said Mark Nutritionals and two officers, Harry Siskind and Edward G. D'Alesandro Jr., agreed to the ban as part of a court hearing into FTC claims that the company couldn't show its product will lead to weight loss of as much as 20 to 40 pounds without diet or exercise. Mark Nutritionals, which is going through bankruptcy reorganization, sold $190 million in products since 1999, according to the FTC. AdAge.com QwikFIND aao31u

Van Wagner buys Viacom NY kiosks

Outdoor advertising company Van Wagner Communications last week acquired Viacom's New York City telephone-kiosk ad business for an undisclosed sum. Under the agreement, Van Wagner, already a major marketer of advertising on New York kiosks with 1000 venues on the sidewalks of Manhattan, will add about 1,600 Manhattan locations and 700 other locations spread throughout the remainder of New York.

FYI...

Verizon Communications named Jerri DeVard senior VP-brand management and marketing communications. Ms. DeVard, who will head Verizon's corporate marketing worldwide, comes from Citigroup, where she served in a variety of executive roles, including chief marketing officer for the e-Consumer line of business. Ms. DeVard replaces Jodi Bilney, who left Verizon in July to become chief marketing officer for Charles Schwab; she will report to Bruce Gordon, president of Verizon' Retail Markets Group and begins work Jan. 6. She will be based in New York.... American Healthways, a Nashville, Tenn., disease-management company, awarded advertising responsibilities to Interpublic Group of Cos.' Hill Holliday, New York. Billings are undisclosed. ... NAPA Auto Parts has expanded its relationship with Omnicom Group's Integer Group and its sibling firm, Grizzard Communications. Integer and Grizzard will develop database management, lead generation and on-demand print production and fulfillment programs for NAPA's 6,000-plus franchisees. Billings are undisclosed....Marcia Kean is returning to Ogilvy PR's Feinstein Kean Healthcare unit as CEO. Ms. Kean rejoins the firm she founded and sold to Ogilvy PR in 1999, from privately-owned clinical genomics firm, Ardais Corp. Feinstein Kean Healthcare counts Novartis, Merck & Co and Wyeth BioPharma among its clients.

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