McNabb to head Mercedes' marketing

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Mercedes-Benz USA last week named Mark McNabb its VP-marketing. Mr. McNabb resigned late last fall from Nissan Motor Co. after his promotion to VP-sales and marketing for general overseas markets, from VP-general manager of Nissan Division in North America. He told Advertising Age he decided to leave Nissan after 20 years for personal reasons. His early Nissan years were on the regional sales side and overall operations in his later years, including VP-general manager of Infiniti Division. Mercedes-Benz USA has been without a VP-marketing since Michelle Cervantez bolted for the same job at Hyundai Motor America last August. QwikFIND aar44i

High court turns down tobacco advertising case

The Supreme Court declined to hear R.J. Reynolds and Lorillard Tobacco Co.'s accusations that California's anti-smoking ads, which attack the tobacco industry, represent a First Amendment violation, because tobacco makers are required to fund a campaign they disagree with. The tobacco makers had appealed a 2 to 1 appellate-court ruling that California's ad program represented government speech. Tobacco makers say the way the tax is structured, they essentially fund the advertising. QwikFIND aar43u

`Sporting News' on lookout for a buyer

The Sporting News, the weekly publication and media company acquired in 2000 by former Microsoft executive Paul Allen for more than $100 million, is exploring a sale of the company. The company, owned by Mr. Allen's Vulcan Ventures, said the search for a buyer is a response to continued "unsolicited interest" in Sporting News' multimedia properties. Sporting News publishes specialty sports titles and a weekly magazine, as well as operates a radio network (Sporting News Radio) and AM radio stations in New York, Boston and Los Angeles. Its Web site,, has over 1.6 million unique visitors per month. Mr. Allen said he expects the company to fetch a "substantial and fair price." QwikFIND aar44b

Study: Consumers think TV is better on TV

In this age of media on the go, consumers can get TV and video content for their iPods, laptops and cellphones. But the results of a study by Points North Group and Horowitz Associates found that consumers would really prefer to view TV shows the good-old-fashioned way-on the TV set. While 25% of Internet users surveyed expressed interest in watching downloaded TV shows and movies on their PCs, 38% of those surveyed preferred to watch that downloaded material on a TV screen. For 18- to 34-year-olds, there is even more preference for TV-set viewing: 68% would watch downloads on their TV while only 45% would watch on their PCs. QwikFIND aar44k

NBA to market line of upscale menswear

Four months after implementing a dress code for its players, and entertaining several offers from fashion houses, the National Basketball Association is teaming up with Colony Sportswear to create an upscale line of men's apparel that will feature blazers, dress shirts and ties, all emblazoned with NBA logos and team marks. Financial terms of the licensing deal were not disclosed.

The line will be made under the label 52nd & 5th, a nod to the location of the only NBA Store on Fifth Avenue in New York. Colony Sportswear is based in Summit, N.J. The collection will be available later this spring. Initial product offerings include wool and leather blazers at $348 and $648, respectively, that feature NBA and team logo embroidery on the inside lining. QwikFIND aar44f

Publicis launches unit to explore emerging media

Publicis Groupe last week launched a unit, dubbed Denuo, that will offer clients strategic consulting; partner with and invest in new ventures and individuals involved in emerging media; and provide resources to clients activating new ventures' business plans. Denuo's CEO is Rishad Tobaccowala, most recently chief innovation officer of Publicis Groupe Media; its president, Nick Pahade, formerly president of WPP's Beyond Interactive and managing director of Mediacom Digital. Publicis Groupe media executive Tim Halon is Denuo's senior VP. Offices are now in New York and Chicago. QwikFIND aar44d

Dow Jones unifies print, online `WSJ' editions

Dow Jones reorganized into three business units, one of which unifies the print and online editions of The Wall Street Journal under L. Gordon Crovitz, who had been head of electronic publishing. Mr. Crovitz was named exec VP of Dow Jones, president of Dow Jones Consumer Media Group and publisher of The Wall Street Journal franchise. The company also created an Enterprise Media Group, comprising divisions like Dow Jones Newswires and Dow Jones Licensing Services, and a Community Media Group, including its 15 daily and 19 weekly Ottaway newspapers.

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