Michelin offers refunds for F-1 debacle

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Michelin Tire Co. has decided to offer fans who attended the June 19 Formula One U.S. Grand Prix race in Indianapolis a full refund, the company said. At an average ticket price of $100, the gesture will cost the Paris-based tire company $12 million-plus another $5 million that Michelin has pledged to buy tickets to the 2006 U.S. Grand Prix. The move follows a public relations disaster for both Formula One and the tire company, which advised the 14 drivers who used Michelin tires to boycott the race after discovering a design flaw (AA, June 27). "Michelin deeply regrets that the public was deprived of an exciting race and therefore wishes to be the first, among the different groups involved in the Indianapolis race, to make a strong gesture towards the spectators," the company said in a statement. AdAge.com QwikFIND aaq70v

Miller, Orbitz among Logo advertisers

Miller Lite was the first advertiser to run a commercial on MTV Networks' gay-targeted digital channel, Logo, which launched June 30 in 13 million households. The brewer was the sole sponsor of Logo's inaugural telecast, a documentary titled "The Evolution Will Be Televised" and joins a wave of charter advertisers, including Motorola, Tylenol PM, Key West, Subaru and Orbitz. Logo, the first ad-supported cabler to target the gay community, last week signed a distribution agreement with DirecTV, which makes the network available to its 14 million subscribers as part of a premium package.

Winchell, voice of Tigger and many ads, dies at 82

Paul Winchell, best known for his role as the voice of Winnie the Pooh's bouncy friend Tigger, died June 24 at his home in Moorpark, Calif. The ventriloquist, children's show host and inventor was 82. Mr. Winchell began voicing Tigger for Disney's "Winner the Pooh and the Blustery Day" in 1968 and continued as the voice of the character until 1999. His famous voice was also part of many ad campaigns, including voiceovers for Tootsie Roll Pops in the '60s and the famous line "We do the work, so you don't have to" in Dow's "Scrubbing Bubbles" TV spots. Mr. Winchell's death came just one day before John Fiedler, the voice of Piglet, died at age 80.

Paris fails to heat up sales for Carl's Jr.

Despite the whirlwind of publicity generated by its Paris Hilton ad, the controversial spot does not appear to have significantly increased Carl's Jr. restaurant sales. The CKE Restaurants' chain posted a 1.7% gain in same-store sales for the four weeks ended June 20. Analysts expected much higher returns in the wake of the attention paid to Carl's Jr. courtesy of Ms. Hilton's erotic car-washing escapade in the ad. During a conference call with analysts last week, Anton Brenner of Roth Capital Partners said: "It doesn't appear that there is a noticeable boost" from the ad. CKE President-CEO Andrew Puzder said the burger Ms. Hilton promotes had already been out for two to three months, so it didn't have the "newness" factor. AdAge.com QwikFIND aaq70l

Former Primedia CEO takes helm of TiVo

Tom Rogers was named president-CEO of TiVo last week, ending a six-month search for a successor to co-founder Mike Ramsay with little surprise. Mr. Rogers, the former CEO of Primedia and president of NBC Cable, has been on the TiVo board since 2003, and is widely credited with driving the deal with Comcast cable to redistribute TiVo digital video recorders. TiVo said in January that Mr. Ramsay would retain the chairman title once a new CEO was found; however, Mr. Ramsay retired the chairmanship as well and will instead chair the company's technology committee.

Court highlights ad scrutiny in Grokster ruling

The U.S. Supreme Court, ruling in a file sharing case, made scrutiny of ad and marketing plans more central to the legality of new technologies that permit copyright violations. A 1984 Sony-Betamax case resolved similar issues by relying only on whether a new technology could be used legally. The court's new ruling against Grokster said a product could be illegal even if the technology permits fair use if its marketing plan depends on inducing copyright infringement.

FYI...

Integrated-marketing agency TracyLocke, Dallas, part of Omnicom Group, hired former Coors CMO Ron Askew as CEO. AdAge.com QwikFIND aaq70t ... Sam Howe to chief marketing officer at Time Warner Cable from senior VP-marketing, voice-services division. AdAge.com QwikFIND aaq70x ... Nearly a quarter of Web users who read newspapers now read their daily paper online, according to a new study of 36,000 Web users by Nielsen//NetRatings. AdAge.com QwikFIND aaq70k

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