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McNeil breaks $40 mil campaign for Splenda

[new brunswick, n.j.]--Johnson & Johnson's McNeil Specialty Products today launches an estimated $40 million integrated effort for Splenda, the no-calorie sweetener launched nationally in October. The campaign, from Lowe Lintas & Partners, New York, aims to portray the excitement over the product, which is made from sugar but contains no calories. TV ads feature the moon breathing a sugar-like air that spreads around town to touch baked goods, coffee and other foods and beverages that onlookers are amazed could contain an artificial sweetener. The copy claims, "pretty amazing, huh?" Print and radio as well as Internet activities and marketing efforts directed at healthcare professionals will also support the brand.

Treasury Dept. may use paid ads to market bonds

[washington] The Department of the Treasury hinted it would begin using paid advertising to market savings bonds and other bonds it offers. The department, which currently uses Ball Advertising, Lancaster, Pa., for its mostly public-service advertising, announced it would solicit bids for a program that could spend up to $33 million over five years for advertising, public relations and media relations. Normally bidding figures used by the government are significantly higher than what will actually be spent.

CBS nearly sells out Super Bowl ad inventory

[new york] CBS is close to selling out its ad inventory in this month's Super Bowl with fewer than 10 30-second units to sell. Only two dot-com advertisers have bought commercial in-game inventory so and 17 last year. For and, this is the third consecutive year of buying commercials in the Jan. 28 event. Another dot-com, E-Trade, is sponsoring the half-time show. CBS has said it is inking deals at an average $2.5 million for a 30-second commercial. But media executives believe

the network's prices are somewhat lower, given the weakening ad market.

Henkel acquires Colgate business

[frankfurt] Henkel announced it's acquiring Colgate-Palmolive Co.'s Mexican laundry-detergent business for an undisclosed price in the European consumer-products giant's latest move to expand in the Americas. Y&R Advertising had handled Colgate's Mexican detergent business; Henkel did not disclose who would receive the assignment. The deal comes as Dial Corp., which also competes in laundry

detergents in Latin America, scales back its joint venture with Henkel. Henkel also owns 27% of Clorox Co.

Schering-Plough, Merck narrow review

[madison, n.j., and whitehouse station, n.j.] Schering-Plough Corp. and Merck & Co. narrowed the agency review for their co-marketed cholesterol-lowering drug to two shops, DDB Worldwide and Grey Worldwide, both New York, according to executives close to the situation. Y&R Advertising, New York, was cut from the process. The product, known by the generic name ezetimibe, is expected to hit the market in two years.

Ex-Y&R North America chief joins HSBC

[london] Peter Stringham, former chairman-CEO of Young & Rubicam North America, has joined London-based HSBC Holdings, a leading international financial-services company, as head of group marketing. Mr. Stringham, 51, left Y&R in October when the agency was acquired by WPP Group.

Census Bureau says population rose 13.2%

[washington] The U.S. Census Bureau last week officially unveiled the population count at 281,421,906 people as of April 1, 2000. The figure marks a 13.2% increase over the last 10 years, and surpassed Oct. 1 estimates by more than 6 million. The success of the census is in part attributed to a $168 million mass advertising campaign, said J. Kenneth Blackwell, the secretary of state of Ohio and co-chairman of a board that monitored the census.

Kraft introduces Grape Nuts bowls

[white plains, n.y.] Philip Morris Cos.' Kraft Foods hopes to expand consumption of its Grape-Nuts ready-to-eat cereal as a hot cereal this winter with the launch of microwaveable single-serve bowls. The 3-oz. packages, rolling out nationally, will be touted in stores through special displays featuring a steaming bowl of Grape-Nuts and the offer to "Try it hot!" The bowls follow an estimated $5 million ad effort in November, from Ogilvy & Mather, New York, to encourage consumers to make the Grape-Nuts Hot recipe.

Survey shows slower online holiday shopping

[san francisco] Investment bank Robertson Stephens reported a slowdown in traffic as well a drop in customer-satisfaction levels during week six (Dec. 18-Dec. 24) of its second annual Holiday Online Shopping Study. The survey, done in conjunction with, gathered data from more than 3,700 respondents. Robertson attributed the slowdown to consumers' fears that last-minute purchases couldn't be delivered in time for the holidays. As a result, it believes that most e-tailers were unable to take advantage of last-minute purchases.

Court denies class-action status for tobacco

[winston-salem, n.c.] R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. won out Dec. 29 when a Philadelphia court rejected class-action status for a lawsuit alleging that the company misrepresented the health risks of light cigarette brands. The suit was filed on behalf of all Pennsylvania smokers who used light or ultralight cigarettes made by the company, including popular brands Camel, Salem and Winston.

Ericsson said to reconsider two agencies

[new york] Swedish wireless-communications powerhouse Ericsson, which last week dropped incumbent Y&R Advertising from the review on its $100 million consumer account, is said to be taking a second look at Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO, London, and TBWA Worldwide, New York and London, previously thought to be discounted. Bartle Bogle Hegarty, London and New York, also is in the review. Ericsson declined to comment.

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