Gillette changes ads following ruling

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Gillette Co.'s M3Power vibrating razor doesn't really make men's hair stand up straight, a U.S. District Court in Connecticut ruled June 1. That decision could put a scare into the company and its prospective new owners, Procter & Gamble Co.

Energizer Holdings, marketer of rival Schick, plans to use the ruling to push for compensatory damages due to lost market share and punitive damages stemming from profits from the best-selling new personal-care product of the past year. The court found animated demos used in M3Power TV ads from Omnicom Group's BBDO Worldwide, New York, that ran for nearly a year, were literally false and must be discontinued.

Gillette, however, had already changed ads and packaging. Current ads are a modified version of Gillette's 2004 Super Bowl ad, updated to include British soccer star David Beckham. A Gillette spokeswoman said the company is disappointed but hasn't yet decided whether to appeal. The visual in question "isn't a core part of the TV commercial," she said. Gillette's $57 billion acquisition by P&G is set for a shareholder vote next month and remains subject to antitrust review in the U.S. and Europe. AdAge.com QwikFIND aaq62L

Monster tells consumers why they should click

Just weeks after dropping Interpublic Group of Cos.' Deutsch as agency of record for creative and interactive duties, online career company Monster.com launched a campaign as part of a shift in its marketing strategy and announced a new lead creative agency, Brand Content, Boston. The first spot, titled "New Monster. New You," features the track "Do Ya" from 1970s rock band Electric Light Orchestra. While the marketer's previous efforts were aimed at awareness building, this campaign "explains `Why Monster?' to consumers," said Karl Johnson, Brand Content's chief consumer and client strategy officer. It emphasizes upgrades to Monster's career site and refined job-search capabilities. Brand Content's Mr. Johnson said agency and marketer began working together last fall. Deutsch continues to handle media planning and buying. Monster's measured media spending in the U.S. for 2004 was $39 million, according to TNS Media Intelligence. AdAge.com QwikFIND aaq62e

Trojan ads appear on prime-time TV

Church & Dwight Co.'s Trojan broke the condom category's first network prime-time advertising last week, and yet another condom brand is said to be seeking approval for a prime-time push of its own, according to people familiar with the matter. "We don't have any current plans [for prime-time network ads], but it's always a possibility," said Paula Etchison, VP-marketing and business development for Ansell Healthcare, marketer of LifeStyles condoms. SSL Americas' Durex is not planning new TV advertising for prime time, according to Ted Conley, VP-consumer marketing. The first 30-second ad in the "Make a Difference" campaign for Trojan from Publicis Groupe's Kaplan Thaler Group aired on The WB's "Smallville" after 9 p.m. and NBC's "Law & Order" after 10 p.m. last week. A plan for serious-minded ads that focus on disease prevention and could run in network prime time was part of the pitch that won the account in March, said Linda Kaplan Thaler, CEO of the agency. WPP Group's Maxus, New York, handles media planning and buying. (See AdReview, P. 52) AdAge.com QwikFIND aaq62b

Games lead in downloads of content for cellphones

The downloading of games and other content on mobile phones has more than doubled in the past year, Verizon Wireless unveiled at a San Diego conference last week. Verizon found that 120 million applications were downloaded from its Get It Now service in the past 12 months, up from 61.5 million downloads during the prior 12 month period. In the first five months of this year, more than 56 million applications were downloaded, up from 34 million during the same period in 2004. Games, led by Jamdat Mobile's Tetris at No.1., are the most downloaded, more popular than ringtones and wallpaper.

FYI...

Nielsen Media delayed its people meters transition in Washington, D.C., and Philadelphia until the end of the month in response to requests from local stations and the Media Rating Council. The transition was slated for June 2. Nielsen said many clients "require more time to understand the impact." The Don't Count Us Out Coalition, which is heavily funded by Fox, said the delay "reinforces" its charge that the meters disproportionately undercount minorities. ... The Supreme Court returned farmers and producers challenges to farm and commodity ad programs for milk, and pork and for alligator skins to lower courts May 31, a week after it had ruled in a beef-industry case that the ad programs were government speech and assessments to fund them weren't easily challenged as violating growers' First Amendment rights against compelled speech. AdAge.com QwikFIND aaq61w

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