Starbucks inks deal to market movie

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Starbucks Corp. last week formalized its long-awaited entry into motion pictures when it announced a deal with Lions Gate to market and distribute the Apr. 28 release of the film "Akeelah and the Bee."

In the works for about a year, the coffee giant's partnership with Lions Gate and producer Mark Cuban's 2929 Entertainment will tap Starbucks' 5,500 U.S. and Canada cafes to promote the film much the same the way the chain has done with music. Starbucks will receive an undisclosed portion of the film's box-office sales.

In addition to screening the film to coffee-shop baristas ahead of the debut, the chain will run in-store promotions, sneak previews for customers and a Wi-Fi network promotion. QwikFIND aar30s

For TV nets, stability is as good as growth

A look at fourth-quarter 2005 ratings indicates that in today's media-fragmented world, stability, it turns out, is just as good as growth. CBS's 4.0 adult 18-to-49 rating puts it in first place in 2005 but was only good for fourth place during the fourth quarter of 1997, according the latest Magna Global primetime report. The report compared fourth-quarter ratings for the six broadcast networks over the past decade and found CBS and ABC got where they are not by growing their audiences, but by retaining them while others have bled viewers. ABC, for example, is challenging CBS for the lead among adults 18-to-49 with virtually the same rating, a 3.9, that was good for last place in 2001. NBC, meanwhile, went from a 4.9 rating and 13 share in adults 18-to-49 five years ago to today's 3.2/9, and Fox dropped from 4.4/12 to 3.1/9 during the same period. QwikFIND aar30a

Hilton unveils first TV effort in 10 years

Hilton Hotels Corp. launched its first TV advertising campaign, featuring the tagline "Travel should take you places," in more than a decade last week when it rolled out four spots. The campaign, for the Hilton brand, is a collaborative effort from Y&R's Irvine, Calif., and Chicago offices. The four spots made their debuts on ABC's "Boston Legal" and "Desperate Housewives." A large cable buy includes CNN and the Food Network, among other networks. A fifth spot will be rolled out later this month. Spending was not disclosed. QwikFIND aar30e

`WSJ` looks to beef up consumer ads with new hire

Dow Jones & Co. continued its bid to capture more consumer advertising by naming Richard Skeen the new director of The Wall Street Journal's consumer advertising group. Mr. Skeen had been VP-advertising at Massive, where he played a major role in developing and introducing Massive's video-game advertising network. Business-to-business advertising, once the unshakable foundation for The Journal's model, has become undependable at best, so executives are increasingly eager to pump up consumer advertising, which now comprises about 25% of domestic advertising in The Journal. QwikFIND aar29x

Frank Lowe to name agency partners

Frank Lowe will announce the full lineup this week of partners for his new London agency, and may have a second client to reveal, too. Last month Mr. Lowe stunned the ad industry with the news that he was starting his own London shop two years after retiring from Interpublic Group of Cos. and had nabbed his former agency's biggest U.K. account-the $85 million Tesco supermarket chain at Lowe London. The lineup of partners, which already includes Mr. Lowe, former Lowe London Chairman Paul Weinberger,and ex- DDB London Chief Executive Paul Hammersley, is almost certain to include Ed Morris, currently executive creative director of Lowe London. Also likely is Mark Cadman, JWT London's managing director, and perhaps David Hackworthy, DDB London's chief strategic officer. QwikFIND aar30u

Judge allows Saatchi action against Burns to proceed

New York state Supreme Court Judge Herman Cahn denied former Saatchi & Saatchi Vice Chairman Mike Burns' request that the suit filed against him by his former employer, Saatchi & Saatchi North America, be dismissed. In a decision Jan. 9, Judge Cahn said Saatchi can proceed with the claims it made in the suit filed against Mr. Burns last March. The judge did limit the time frame that Saatchi can pursue its claims and said that Mr. Burns, who left the agency last March, is free to take a job at any agency, even one that works with his former client at Saatchi, General Mills. QwikFIND AAR29Q

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