Ad agencies will be able to acquire bigger equity stakes in talent agencies as a result of a tentative agreement last week between the Screen Actors Guild and the Association of Talent Agents and the National Association of Talent Representatives. Ad agencies would be allowed to buy a 10% stake and up to a 20% stake after the first year. The SAG board will review the agreement March 11, and if approved, the proposed agreement will be mailed to all SAG members for a vote. The ban continues for any studio or network investments. Ad agency executives believe talent-agency deals make sense only on a purely investment basis-but not to secure, say, that an actor at a talent agency would work for an advertiser client of the ad agency.
Arnold cuts 40 jobs in Boston
Havas advertising's Arnold Worldwide has undergone the largest layoff in the agency's history, cutting 40 people, or about 6% of its staff, at its Boston headquarters. This is the third round of layoffs in Boston since summer 2001. The job cuts hit all levels and departments, Francis J. Kelly, president-chief operating officer at Arnold Worldwide, said. He attributed the cuts to the slow economy and to spending cuts in Massachusetts' anti-smoking campaign budget, which had been estimated at $10 million. He said he did not expect further reductions in Boston but said layoffs are possible in Arnold's four other U.S. offices: New York, San Francisco, St. Louis and Washington. AdAge.com QwikFIND aan24i
JWT gets creative in Windy City
J. Walter Thompson, Chicago, imported Rick Kemp from the agency's Toronto office, elevating him to exec VP-executive creative director. Currently JWT Toronto's senior VP-executive creative director, Mr. Kemp, 40, will join the Chicago office April 1, succeeding Dennis Ryan, who left the WPP Group agency in December to join Element 79 Partners. According to JWT Chicago President Brian Heffernan, "Rick was a known talent, and that talent includes great branding ideas that are both creative and effective." QwikFIND aan23z
VW: Hispanic drivers wanted
Volkswagen of America, Auburn Hill, Mich., will break its first work in the fourth quarter for the Hispanic market from newly tapped agency CreativeOnDemand, Coral Gables, Fla. VW is expected to spend $4 million this year. CreativeOnDemand is a young, independent creative hot shop. In the past, VW's general-market shop, Arnold Worldwide, Boston, adapted English ads for the Hispanic market. QwikFIND aan24u
Pearly whites don't happen overnight
The national advertising Division of the Council of Better Business Bureaus has recommended that Den-Mat Corp. modify ads for Rembrandt Plus toothpaste following a complaint by rival Church & Dwight Co. The maker of Arm & Hammer toothpaste complained Rembrandt ads touting teeth "five shades" whiter don't point out the results take six months of daily use to accomplish. Church & Dwight also argued the statement "noticeably whiter [teeth] after using Rembrandt Plus for four weeks" implied that the five-shades whiter could be achieved after four weeks. In a statement to NAD, Den-Mat said it disagreed the claims should be modified but that it would take the recommendation into account in future ads. Rembrandt's sales are up 22.4% to $33 million in the 52 weeks ended Jan. 27, while Arm & Hammer's sales are down 9% to $79.6 million, according to Information Resources Inc. QwikFIND aan24d
Publishing VP Losee dies
Thomas P. Losee Jr., 62, a former publisher of Architectural Digest, Harper's Bazaar and House Beautiful, died on Feb. 2, of kidney disease. Mr. Losee began his magazine industry career in 1964 at Cowles Communications' Look, which closed in 1971. Mr. Losee joined Hearst Magazines that same year as publisher-ad manager of House Beautiful. He then moved to publisher of Harper's Bazaar and later Science Digest. At Hearst, he was also VP-assistant to the general manager of the magazine division. Mr. Losee joined Knapp Communications in 1984 as VP-publisher, Architectural Digest. Conde Nast Publications acquired Knapp in 1993, and Mr. Losee remained as publisher until he retired in 1997. In retirement, he served as consultant to Florida International Magazine and House.
Gap falls into its strengths as it attempts to move out of 21-month-long same-store sales slump. In a marketing department makeover, Michael McCadden returns as a consultant under a one-year contract to head up marketing for Old Navy. Amy Schoening was moved back to head marketing at Banana Republic, eliminating her title of chief marketing officer for all three Gap brands. CEO Mickey Drexler said Gap will return to basics in its product assortment. ... Charlie Taney, 54, was rehired by Interpublic's Foote, Cone & Belding Worldwide as worldwide vice-chairman. Mr. Taney has 16 years experience working for the agency and was New York office president from 1996-99 before leaving the agency to form his own company. ... At Hachette Filipacchi Media, Carol A. Smith was named senior VP-Elle Group, replacing Carl Portale, 63, who earlier announced his retirement.