The Week

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Getting paid for online offerings

The market for paid online content for the third quarter jumped 105% over the same period last year as consumers spent $361.4 million, up 14% over the previous quarter, according to a study by the Online Publishers Association and ComScore Networks. The report found that U.S. consumers spent $975 million on paid online content for the first three quarters of 2002, compared with $670 million for all of 2001. The number of consumers paying for online content in the third quarter almost doubled to 14.8 million from 7.9 million. Dating services were the most popular category. QwikFIND aao30x

Congress to explore violence in gaming

Sen. Joe Lieberman, D-Conn., called for a new round of congressional hearings into video-game marketing after the National Institute on Media and the Family issued its annual report in which it suggested violence against women in video games has grown. Sen. Lieberman said that too many retail outlets do not bar kids from buying mature-rated games. The Interactive Digital Software Association called the report "unfair" and suggested the group had an "ideological" agenda.

Colby picks up D'Arcy accounts

Holding companies Dentsu and Publicis Groupe have consolidated some $30 million in billings from the Los Angeles office of Publicis' D'Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles into Dentsu-owned Colby & Partners, executives familiar with the changes said. D'Arcy accounts for video-game marketer Activision, wine maker Chandon Estates, Western Union and Best Software will move to Colby, whose main clients include American Suzuki Motor Corp., Wherehouse Music and Target Corp.'s Mervyn's department stores. In October, Publicis announced plans to shutter D'Arcy after its acquisition of parent Bcom3 Group. The future of one of D'Arcy's prime accounts, the $25 million to $30 million assignment for Philips' Sonicare, is not yet known, but the account is likely to be consolidated at another Publicis' agency, most likely Leo Burnett USA, Chicago, according to the executives. QwikFIND aao31a

Burger King crowns new CEO

Less than a week after acquiring Burger King from Diageo, the partnership led by Texas Pacific Group named Bradley Blum CEO to succeed John Dasburg, who will continue as chairman. The former vice chairman of Darden Restaurants and interim president of Smokey Bones barbecue chain will start his new position Jan. 6 at the Miami headquarters. Mr. Blum, 48, was president of Darden chain Olive Garden and is credited with turning around the fortunes of the Italian casual eatery. Since joining Darden in 1994 as senior VP-marketing, he reversed a sales slide and led the chain to 33 consecutive quarters of same-store sales growth. QwikFIND aao30v

FYI ...

A more extensive and longer term study of teens' use of illegal drugs suggests a sharp drop in use of marijuana, drinking, smoking and other drug use, disputing opposite results of a recent study done for the White House drug office that raised questions on the success of its ad campaign. The latest "Monitoring the Future" study from the University of Michigan, which is based on a survey of 44,000 students, said the number of eighth-grade students who said they ever used marijuana in the past year dropped to 14.6%, the lowest level since 1994....The International Advertising Association Director General Walter J. O'Brien Jr. will retire for health reasons, effective at year end. Mr. O'Brien, a former director of WPP Group's J. Walter Thompson and president of the National Advertising Review Council, will be a part-time consultant pending appointment of his successor. ... Thomas Cordner, a chief creative on Toyota Motor Sales USA's Lexus account, will move to WPP Group's J. Walter Thompson, Detroit, to lead creative on the estimated $2 billion Ford Motor Co. account. Mr. Cordner was named exec VP-executive creative director of JWT's Detroit office, and worldwide creative director on the Ford account. The Detroit office is the largest shop in the JWT network. Mr. Cordner begins in January. QwikFIND aao30u

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