Power Players 2007: 16 - 20

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16 KAREN
CRAWFORD
DIRECTOR-MEDIA ADVERTISING AND RELATIONSHIP MARKETING
NESTLÉ USA
AD BUDGET:
$1.32 BILLION
AGENCIES INLCUDE:
  • Havas' Euro RSCG, N.Y.
  • Interpublic's Avrett Free Ginsberg, McCann Erickson and R/GA, N.Y.
  • Omnicom's Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, San Francisco
  • Publicis' Arc Worldwide, Chicago; Fallon, Minneapolis
  • WPP's Berlin Cameron United and Ogilvy & Mather, N.Y.; JWT, Chicago
  • POWER PLAY:
    Karen Crawford, 46, has focused on keeping Nestlé in step with health trends, pushing 25%-less-sugar Nesquik and looking for ways to build recent Nestlé acquisitions Jenny Craig, Novartis and Gerber. Nestlé Purina Petcare continues to be a top media priority, and Beneful's new wet-dog-food line has made gains. Ms. Crawford has worked harder to integrate Nestlé brands into interactive media, such as the "How do you shake it?" contest asking consumers to submit videos of ways to shake Nesquik for a vote on YouTube. On the frozen front, paninis introduced within the Stouffer's regular and Lean Cuisine lines have been a hit.
    DOWNSIDE:
    Despite tons of hype, interactive candy innovation Wonkazoid was a huge flop, barely making it onto the radars of most food retailers, who considered it too pricey and gimmicky for their stores. PowerBar's recent three-tiered "performance system" effort hasn't helped spur a recovery.
    17 MICHAEL
    FRANCIS
    EXEC VP-MARKETING, TARGET STORES
    TARGET CORP.
    AD BUDGET:
    $1.16 BILLION
    AGENCIES INLCUDE:
  • Omnicom's BBDO and Atmosphere BBDO, N.Y.; Fame, Minneapolis
  • Haworth Marketing and Media, Minneapolis
  • Peterson Milla Hooks, Minneapolis
  • Wieden & Kennedy, Portland, Ore.
  • POWER PLAY:
    Unrivaled creative execution in a category known for its derivative copycat tendencies keeps Michael Francis, 44, a major influence on what a TV spot or print ad should look like, not only among Target's retail rivals but across the entire ad industry. Target has pushed its advantage inside the store, improving merchandising and upping its game to hedge against Wal-Mart Stores' move upscale.
    DOWNSIDE:
    Could Target's strong leadership position in women's apparel -- a key sales and traffic driver in discount retail -- be under attack? And could its monopoly on cheap chic be coming to an end as discount specialty retailers pop up? Despite innovations with fast-fashion and designer private-label lines, vulnerabilities abound. Yes, "Tar-ZHAY'" was the first mass-market retailer to do trendy, discount fashion so fabulously. But in spending millions to shift consumer sentiment and make "masstige" the ruling brand position of discount retailing, it also created an opening in the market for others such as H&M.
    18 JIM
    PRESS
    VICE CHAIRMAN-PRESIDENT
    CHRYSLER
    AD BUDGET:
    $1.24 BILLION
    AGENCIES INLCUDE:
  • Omnicom's BBDO Detroit and PHD, Troy, Mich.; Cutwater, San Francisco; Organic, Bloomfield Hills, Mich.
  • GlobalHue, Southfield, Mich.
  • POWER PLAY:
    Jim Press, 60, shocked the auto industry when he defected to the "New Chrysler" from Toyota, where he'd spent 37 years and risen higher than any other American in the company's 72-year history. Chrysler's new majority owner, Cerberus Capital Management, created the post for Mr. Press, who will oversee global marketing, sales here and abroad, plus product strategy, service and parts. The now-private automaker just started major campaigns for its bread-and-butter minivans, redone for the 2008 model year and crucial to a turnaround. After Mr. Press' arrival, Chrysler shifted the reporting line of new CMO Deborah Wahl Meyer, formerly exec VP-marketing at Toyota's Lexus, to Mr. Press from Exec VP Steven Landry. Look for Mr. Press to rally Chrysler's dealers, trampled in 2006 by bloated inventories.
    DOWNSIDE:
    Mr. Press inherits a truck-heavy lineup that has contributed to slides in sales. He'll have his work cut out for him bonding with a new team to coax Chrysler back into profitability by 2008 under a recovery plan, revealed before he arrived, that calls for 13,000 job cuts and slashing plant production.
    19 IAN
    READ
    PRESIDENT-WORLDWIDE PHARMACEUTICALS
    PFIZER
    AD BUDGET:
    $1.11 BILLION
    AGENCIES INLCUDE:
  • Aegis' Carat, N.Y.
  • Havas' Euro RSCG Life LM&P, N.Y.
  • Interpublic's McCann HumanCare, N.Y.
  • Omnicom's Cline Davis & Mann, N.Y.
  • Publicis' Kaplan Thaler Group and Saatchi & Saatchi Consumer Healthcare, N.Y.
  • POWER PLAY:
    Despite a cut in ad spending, Pfizer remains a top player in pharmaceuticals. It has five of the 30 top-selling drugs, led by No. 1 Lipitor. The cholesterol medication took in $6.8 billion in sales last year. In addition, smoking-cessation treatment Chantix is the fastest launch in Pfizer's history, with sales of $200 million in the second quarter. Ian Read announced plans to launch a Chantix direct-to-consumer campaign Sept. 24. Pfizer also hopes to gain approval for the drug in China, which has more than 300 million smokers.
    DOWNSIDE:
    Sales of diabetes drug Exubera were a paltry $4 million in the second quarter, and Lipitor is facing competition from generics. New-patient starts for Lipitor were below company expectations, Mr. Read said. "This is probably one of the most turbulent times I've seen, with the most change occurring in the marketplace," he said recently at the Bank of America investment conference in San Francisco. "We're very well aware that we have to get a lot of things right."
    20 STEPHEN
    QUINN
    CHIEF MARKETING OFFICER
    WAL-MART STORES
    AD BUDGET:
    $1.07 BILLION
    AGENCIES INLCUDE:
  • Interpublic's Martin Agency, Richmond, Va.
  • Publicis' MediaVest, N.Y.
  • StrawberryFrog, N.Y.
  • POWER PLAY:
    In this seemingly endless "post-" era at Wal-Mart (as in post-Roehmgate; post-account review; post-John Fleming, last year's Wal-Mart Power Player), the onus on Stephen Quinn to turn around an oversaturated retail brand cannot be understated. Mr. Quinn, a former Frito-Lay marketer, can now rely on a solid agency relationship with the Martin Agency. And if the shop can do for Wal-Mart what it's done for Geico Corp., the review debacle might end up being viewed as a good thing. Martin's first Wal-Mart campaign garnered praise, and it looks like the discount giant finally might be headed for a new era with a consistent creative look and feel. But what really matters is whether it moves the sales needle.
    DOWNSIDE:
    Not only must Mr. Quinn try to revive a brand struggling as comps continue to slide, he must do it in an environment where marketing no longer is given the benefit of the doubt inside HQ, though big spending remains. With the smiley face seemingly gone for good, will Wal-Mart's new tagline, "Save money. Live better," resonate with consumers? Or will the savings message simply invite more derision?
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