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Lowe, FCB make finals in Diet Coke review

[atlanta] Coca-Cola Co. narrowed its search for an Interpublic Group of Cos.' agency to handle its estimated $10 million to $12 million Diet Coke account, said people close to the situation. Incumbent Lowe, New York, and a New York and Chicago team from Foote, Cone & Belding Worldwide will present in the finals. Eliminated were Gotham, New York, and Martin Agency, Richmond, Va. Coca-Cola did not return calls. The agencies involved declined to comment.

Rawlings exits Pizza Hut; Hearl is new president

[dallas] Pizza Hut President-Chief Concept Officer Michael Rawlings resigned from the Yum Brands unit and will be succeeded by Exec VP-Chief People Officer Peter R. Hearl, 51. Mr. Hearl previously served as exec VP-chief operations officer for Yum Restaurants International. Mr. Rawlings joined Pizza Hut in 1997 from Omnicom Group's DDB Worldwide, Dallas, where he had been president. Omnicom's BBDO Worldwide, New York, handles Pizza Hut.

Forecaster sees '03 with 6% ad growth

[waltham, mass.] U.S. ad spending was forecast to grow 6% next year by economic consulting firm Global Insight. For 2002, Global Insight said spending in the fourth quarter will help ad spending reach $228 billion for the year, 2.8% above 2001. It forecast gains for all major media categories as corporate profits start to rebound in 2003, but predicted cable TV, radio and the Internet will benefit the most, while newspapers and broadcast TV face loss of market share to other media. (See related story, P. 3.)

BMW reviewing shops for multicultural ads

[woodcliff lake, n.j.] BMW of North America opened a review for its multicultural advertising account. Incumbent Washington Daniel Advertising, Chicago, won the account in July 2000 and will defend, BMW said. Spending was not disclosed. The review is being handled in-house. A decision is expected by the end of the first quarter.

Web's TriggerStreet gets Bud film debut

[st. louis] Anheuser-Busch Cos. will debut a 7.5-minute short film, "The Best Man," from Omnicom Group's DDB Worldwide, Chicago, by the end of the year on actor Kevin Spacey's Based on Budweiser's "True" campaign, "The Best Man" is linked to DDB's "Toast" spot for Bud and features a character who says inappropriate things at a wedding reception.

Cuts at Playboy eliminate 70 jobs

[chicago] Playboy Enterprises said it will cut 70 positions, or 8% of its workforce, including the Chicago-based managing editor of Playboy magazine. The new cuts follow the October elimination of 92 positions, representing 13% of the company's staff. The company said 20% of the posts to be eliminated in the new move are currently not filled.

Media ownership issues on McCain Senate agenda

[washington] Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), who assumes control of the Senate commerce committee in January, said media ownership consolidation, privacy and broadcasters' public service obligation will be high on the panel's agenda in 2003, including concern about the ad rates charged by broadcasters for campaign ads this year.

FCC `indecency' review sought after CBS show

[washington] Federal Communications Commissioner Michael J. Copps, speaking after last week's telecast on Viacom's CBS of "The Victoria's Secret Fashion Show," called for a broader federal standard for indecency in TV and radio programming. Mr. Copps, a Democrat, said "of the nearly 500 indecency complaints received [by FCC] in the last year, only a tiny number have resulted in any action. Our definition must better protect kids against indecent material."

FYI . . .

Dow Jones & Co.'s The Wall Street Journal Online said its publisher, Neil Budde, resigned to pursue other opportunities. Mr. Budde, 46, led the team that launched the Dow Jones & Co. unit in 1996. A successor was not immediately named. The WSJ Online quoted Mr. Budde as saying that since the online news site was a fairly stable business "it was an appropriate time to move on to new things." ... Brown-Forman Corp. said it gained full control over the marketing of Finlandia vodka and will "significantly increase" brand spending to as much as $18 million in the next year in the U.S. and other important vodka markets. Brown-Forman disclosed it increased its stake in joint venture Finlandia Vodka Worldwide to 80% from 45% by paying its partner, Finland's state-owned Altia Corp., about $70 million. Finlandia is handled on a project basis by various agencies, Brown-Forman said. The marketer said it split last June with Finlandia's then-global agency Bozell, New York, a unit of Interpublic. ... Interpublic's Dailey & Associates, Los Angeles, named Michael Folino senior exec VP-chief creative officer, a new post and No. 2 creative exec at the agency under Dailey Chairman-CEO-Corporate Creative Director Cliff Einstein. Mr. Folino had been a creative director at Fallon Worldwide and TBWA/Chiat/Day, both Los Angeles. ... Laura Desmond was named CEO of MediaVest USA, New York, a unit of Publicis Groupe's Starcom MediaVest Group, effective Jan. 3, succeeding Donna Salvatore, who is taking the new post of chief investment strategist at the media agency. Ms. Desmond is currently CEO of Starcom MediaVest Group Latin America. ... Greg Johnson, marketing director and one of the original members of the management team for Nike's Jordan brand spinoff, will leave the marketer Dec. 31 to pursue a career in the ministry, Nike said. ... Recreational Equipment said it split with Interpublic's Sedgwick Rd, Seattle, and is "evaluating" future directions with independent agency Copacino, also Seattle. REI spent $3 million in measured media from January through August, according to Taylor Nelson Sofres' CMR. ... The Jeep division of DaimlerChrysler's Chrysler Group will be the first official vehicle of an Army-Navy football game during the Dec. 6 telecast on CBS. The deal includes commercial time and auto exclusivity during the broadcast. Spending was not disclosed. ... Denmark's Lego Co. signed a multi-year global merchandising and marketing alliance with the National Hockey League. Terms were not disclosed. The deal includes the launch of NHL-themed products under the newly formed Lego Sports brand beginning in the spring of 2003. ... Professional services company SBI & Co., Salt Lake City, agreed to acquire online marketing firm Razorfish for $8.22 million.

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