After spending $2.1 billion to buy out Cialis marketing partner Icos Corp., Eli Lilly Co. looks to be prepping a campaign to boost share for Cialis, which has already posted a 34% sales gain in the first half. Observers believe Lilly will take advantage of a streamlined sales-and-marketing force by increasing its ad budget to make more of a run at Pfizer's market-leading erectile-dysfunction drug Viagra. A spokeswoman said Lilly has no plans to change its advertising, handled by Grey Worldwide, New York, though Chairman-CEO Sidney Taurel said it acquired Icos to reap the "full value" of Cialis.
Edelman apologizes for Wal-Mart blog fiasco
Independent public-relations firm Edelman Worldwide publicly apologized for being the force behind the Wal-Marting Across America blog that was unmasked as a fake paid for by the firm. Principal Richard Edelman said it was the agency's "error in failing to be transparent about the identity of the two bloggers from the outset. This is 100% our responsibility and our error, not the client's." The bloggers were freelance writer Laura St. Claire and Washington Post photographer Jim Thresher. Along with Mr. Edelman, the agency's senior VP, Steve Rubel, who launched the firm's Me2Revolution practice and writes for Advertising Age Digital cited his support for the Word of Mouth Marketing Association's guidelines on transparency.
Mildenhall exits Mother; becomes Coke global VP
Coca-Cola Co. appointed Jonathan Mildenhall, strategy director at London-based Coke agency Mother, as VP-global marketing overseeing its "Coke Side of Life" campaign. He will work with all of Coca-Cola's advertising and marketing agencies and across all its brands, stewarding the soft-drink giant's multibillion-dollar marketing budget and working closely with Esther Lee, chief creative officer. Mr. Mildenhall will relocate to Atlanta from London in January. Mother works on a broad portfolio of Coca-Cola brands in the U.K. and Europe, and Full Throttle in the U.S.
NBA gives TV subscribers free access to webcasts
The National Basketball Association is offering fans who purchase the NBA League Pass TV subscription a full season of live video webcasts for the first time. The online service will include as many as 40 live games a week on NBA.com. The service is an extension of the $179 NBA League Pass package, which fans can purchase either via cable or satellite to watch out-of-market games. "You pay $179, but you might not necessarily be in front of your TV all the time, so let's make it available on your laptop," said Steve Grimes, VP-interactive services for NBA. "We weren't going to go to the cable and TV companies and say 'We're going to take it online."' Technology will be used to block access to local and national games to preserve TV rights. For instance, a Cavaliers fan in Cleveland won't be able to watch LeBron James and the Cavs online.