The Week: Chrysler brings back employee discount

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Faced with ballooning inventory at dealerships, Chrysler Group is bringing the employee-discount back to the auto industry. The automaker plans to launch its program in early July, according to dealers. Ads from Omnicom Group's BBDO, Detroit, and the network's New York offices will feature Dieter Zetsche, promoted last September from Chrysler Group president-CEO to global chairman of Germany's DaimlerChrysler management board. A Chrysler spokeswoman declined to confirm any details of the upcoming program.

PricewaterhouseCoopers sees $230B in ad spending

Ad spending in the U.S. will surge to $230 billion in 2010 from $177 billion in 2005, for a 5.4% compound annual rate of growth, according to the Global Entertainment and Media Outlook report released by PricewaterhouseCoopers. The study contradicts others showing internet ad revenue quickly outpacing that in other media. In fact, only radio will see online ad revenue surpass its own-and that won't happen until 2009, according to the report. Magazines, which a recent Merrill Lynch estimate said would be overtaken by the web this year, will maintain their lead at least through 2010.

'Shattered' targets professional women

Several charter advertisers, primarily financial services and luxury goods, and corporate partners, including Lehman Brothers and UBS, have signed on for new women's magazine Shattered. The magazine is targeted at upper-income professional women worldwide and was launched June 8 with plans to publish monthly starting in September. "We're in a unique space," said Julie Ros, the founder, controlling director, publisher and editor in chief of the New York-based magazine. "I don't think there is anything we're up against." Through a network that includes professional women's associations, investment banks and universities and business schools in the U.S. and abroad, the magazine launched with a readership of 75,000. Ms. Ros hopes to get it on newsstands next spring.

Alberto-Culver to spin off beauty-products operations

Alberto-Culver Co. will spin off its retail and wholesale beauty-products operations in a $3 billion deal, and President-CEO Howard B. Bernick will retire upon the deal's closing, the company announced June 19. Both moves were widely anticipated after a deal to spin off the Sally Beauty stores and Beauty Systems Group wholesale operations to Regis Corp. fell through earlier this year. The plan will leave Alberto-Culver as a $1.4 billion consumer-products company marketing such brands as V05, St. Ives, TRESemme, Nexxus and Mrs. Dash. Mr. Bernick's wife, Carol Lavin Bernick, will remain as executive chairman. V. James Marino, 56, now president of Alberto-Culver Consumer Products Worldwide, will take over as president-CEO as was planned originally as part of the Regis deal.

FCC takes another look at ownership rules

The Federal Communications Commission is re-examining the nation's media-ownership rules in an action that could have far-reaching and long-term impacts on media companies. Opening the door to more public hearings, Chairman Kevin J. Martin promised a "vital process" that would include six hearings across the country. The FCC also will pay for independent research into some issues instead of relying on industry data, as it did last time. Mr. Martin said the commission "should take into account the competitive realities of the media marketplace" while also striving to meet diversity goals. Mr. Martin said the FCC research would examine how the public gets its news and information, the level of competition across media platforms, marketplace changes since its last look at the issue and the potential impact of changes on independent and family-friendly programming.

Time Warner makes first cuts at Court TV

About 50 Court TV staffers have been laid off as the network transitions into a new ownership structure under Time Warner's Turner Broadcasting unit. The layoffs affected employees in the communications department-which was approximately halved-as well as in finance and affiliate relations. A few finance staffers remain, and affiliate relations is on a staggered exit schedule through July. The ad-sales department has not yet been affected, with most of those cuts expected to come after the upfront. The downsizing had been expected since the ink dried on the acquisition. In May, Time Warner, which had joint ownership of Court TV, bought out Liberty Media's 50% share of the network for $735 million. Court TV is in 86 million homes.
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