The Week: Interpublic reports widened net loss

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Interpublic group of Cos. is making cost control a priority as it posted quarterly organic revenue gains in the first quarter but saw net losses widen. Overall revenue for the No. 3 ad-agency holding company was basically flat at $1.33 billion, but organic growth, an important metric in the ad business, grew 4.8% during the first quarter of 2006. Net loss was $182 million, up from $151 million during the same period last year. "Cost control will be a strong priority, because that's an indication of whether our turnaround is taking hold," said Chief Financial Officer Frank Mergenthaler in a call with analysts.

Derby sponsorship pays off for Yum Brands

it appears that Yum Brands' presenting sponsorship deal with the Kentucky Derby is already paying dividends. The Louisville-based parent of fast feeders such as KFC, Taco Bell and Pizza Hut earned nearly $2.8 million in exposure last week during NBC's telecast of the Derby, according to research firm Joyce Julius & Associates, which determines the value of the exposure by comparing the on-screen time and mentions received by the sponsor to the non-discounted cost of purchasing a 30-second commercial during the broadcast. The Yum logo appeared clear and in focus for three minutes, 15 seconds during NBC's 90-minute broadcast, while the presenting sponsor was also mentioned by the network's announcers on 18 occasions. According to news reports, the cost of the five-year sponsorship deal is estimated at just more than $1 million a year.

GM extends corporate ad effort

struggling general Motors Corp. is hoping a new corporate brand TV commercial that broke last week will have the same positive results of its predecessor, dubbed "Now and Then." GM said the first spot resonated particularly well with people under 35 years old, with its research showing 83% of them having a positive response. The first spot is also helping to persuade older consumers to change their perception of GM.

Both spots show a montage of historical footage and various new and old GM models. The music in both is Everclear's "AM Radio." The commercial includes shots of Buick spokesman Tiger Woods, Carmen Electra, Marilyn Monroe and comedian-actor Frank Gorshin. Interpublic Group of Cos.' McCann Erickson, Birmingham, Mich., handled.

The agency is working on an online execution for non-GM sites that will allow people to click on the video while it's playing to learn more about a specific scene.

Also last week, GM restated its first-quarter results that resulted in earnings of $445 million from an earlier-reported loss of $323 million.

Telemundo merges online operations with Yahoo

nbc universal's Spanish-language TV network Telemundo merged its online operations with Yahoo's Yahoo en Espanol last week to shake up the Hispanic online market with a co-branded Web site called Yahoo Telemundo ( No money changed hands, but the two companies are pooling Telemundo's ability to create original content and Yahoo's knowledge of online technology and operations. Ad revenue will be shared. The site will extend Telemundo's existing original TV programming online, and add made-for-broadband video, and user-generated content, using Yahoo's search tools, messenger and mail services. Right now the estimated $100 million Spanish-language online advertising market-forecast to grow by 32% in 2006-is dominated by the biggest Spanish-language network Univision's site.

Bauer pinches editor from AMI's 'Star'

bauer publishing hired Mark Coleman, an executive editor at American Media's Star magazine under Editorial Director Bonnie Fuller, apparently to come work at its rival celebrity tabloid, Life & Style Weekly. Mr. Coleman is actually a veteran of both magazines. He had been West Coast bureau chief at Life & Style until January 2005, when Star hired him away to run its Los Angeles bureau. He was named an executive editor in New York three months ago. His latest defection was another sign that the battle between the celebrity-tabloid publishers is heating up on all fronts. At Star, Joe Dolce continues as editor in chief and Jon Auerbach continues as an executive editor.
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