Elizabeth Crow, newly installed exec VP-editorial director for Primedia's consumer magazine group, is already making her mark. Last week, after not quite a year's tenure, Ann Marie Iverson, Seventeen editor in chief, left the company. Ms. Crow will oversee the magazine until she can name a replacement. "It was time for a change," Ms. Crow said of Ms. Iverson's departure. "It's a good thing for us to have a clean start." Ms. Iverson, who could not be reached for comment, joined Seventeen last September from rival YM, where she was editor in chief. Doug Pearlman, executive editor, also left. Seventeen, while still a leader in circulation and ad pages, is feeling the heat from an increasingly crowded category. Newsstand sales were off 21.5% for the first half of this year, according to Audit Bureau of Circulations figures. With a circulation of 2.43 million (up 2.6%), Seventeen is the largest of the teen-targeted titles, followed by Gruner & Jahr USA's YM and Time Inc.'s Teen People. AdAge.com QwikFIND aan92x
Another ketchup without the wait
H.J. Heinz Co.'s upcoming campaign for its new Heinz Easy Squeeze upside-down ketchup bottles start with teaser spots featuring singer Carly Simon's hit "Anticipation," first used by the marketer in its advertising in the 1970s. The effort, which breaks Sept. 15 from Bcom3 Group's Leo Burnett USA, Chicago, includes two spots, one featuring a man on a couch waiting for his ketchup to eke slowly out of an old-style glass bottle, and one featuring a woman doing the same, while the song plays in the background. The commercials make no mention of the new packaging, which will be featured in a follow-up TV campaign that begins Sept. 28. AdAge.com QwikFIND aan92h
AARP merges magazine titles
Next march, AARP The Magazine will land in the mailboxes of AARP members that used to get Modern Maturity or its spin-off, My Generation. Jim Fishman, publisher of the two titles, said the merger was driven by a desire to capitalize on the AARP brand name, as well as to address advertiser concerns over how the boomer-aimed My Generation was distributed. My Generation, launched last spring for AARP members between the ages of 50 and 55, increased its distribution this year to go to an audience aged 50 to 56 and had plans to increase to 50 to 57 next year. "Each year we change rate base and demographics," Mr. Fishman said. "That has been driving the ad community crazy." Under the new plan, there will be three versions of AARP The Magazine: One for those aged 50 to 59, one for those 60 to 69, and a final version for those 70 and older. The new magazine will boast a combined rate base of 21.5 million, 6.2 million of which will receive the 50 to 59 edition. AdAge.com QwikFIND aan92b
Allianz Group reviews account
The Allianz Group, Europe's biggest insurance company, is reviewing its global account, currently at Omnicom Group's BBDO Worldwide, Duesseldorf. BBDO is pitching against Bcom3 Group's Leo Burnett, London, for Allianz's worldwide business outside Germany. In a separate pitch for the $56 million domestic German business, BBDO competes against the Frankfurt offices of Publicis Groupe's Saatchi & Saatchi and Bates Worldwide, part of Cordiant Communications Group.
S&P: Ad spending will grow 2.7%
Ad spending will grow 2.7% this year and will show a robust 5.1% growth rate in 2003, according to a new forecast from Standard & Poor's. However, it may be a while before the industry regains the peak spending of $247 billion seen in 2000, according to the forecast by S&P Chief Economist David Wyss. The forecast is an upgrade of his previous projection in May, calling for 1.3% growth in 2002 and 4.5% in 2003. Improvements in corporate profits and consumer spending will help boost spending in key advertising categories, according to Mr. Wyss' analysis.
For JWT, O&M, it's Miller time
Sabmiller's Miller Brewing Co. avoided ousting its agency for its troubled Miller Genuine Draft brand last week, instead splitting the $50 million account between two roster shops. For now, WPP Group's J. Walter Thompson, which created the strategic positioning behind the Pure MGD campaign, will share creative duties with sibling Ogilvy & Mather, New York, to revamp the campaign. The move was widely viewed as a non-decision by observers who speculate Miller's new owners could still cut its ties with all incumbent agencies once SAB gets more entrenched in Miller. South African Breweries recently acquired Miller from Philip Morris Cos. and formed SABMiller, the world's No. 2 brewer after Anheuser-Busch Cos. AdAge.com QwikFIND aan92m
Denny's Corp. awarded Hispanic marketing duties on its $50 million account to Cruz/Kravetz:Ideas, Los Angeles. The independent shop will handle TV, radio and print creative and media planning and buying effective Sept. 1. Its first campaign will break early in 2003. AdAge.com QwikFIND aan92r. ... Fitch Ratings became the first ratings agency to downgrade Interpublic Group of Cos.' debt based on lower-than-expected financial results, but upgraded Interpublic's credit outlook to "Stable" from "Negative," citing the company's efforts to cut costs and its low level of acquisition activity. Moody's Investors Service and Standard & Poor's have placed Interpublic on watch for possible downgrade. ... Omnicom's DDB Worldwide, Chicago, cut 19 staffers, or 3% of its 725 employees, after being dropped by Qwest Communications last month. Sibling BBDO, Chicago, also cut seven staffers, or roughly 4% of its 165 employees, following its loss of the Allied Domecq business. AdAge.com QwikFIND aan92g, aan91x