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Olympics advertisers rap NBC's make-good plan

[new york] NBC's steep ratings slide for the Sydney Summer Olympic Games, and its subsequent make-good policy, has advertisers displeased. NBC had said all advertisers would be offered make-goods within the Games broadcast, and added a minute of commercial time per hour. But advertisers now are complaining NBC is placing some Olympic make-goods in even poorer-performing sports programming, such as the Major League Baseball divisional playoffs. The New York-Oakland game aired Oct. 3, for example, earned NBC a 3.7/6, the worst performance ever for a playoff game. "They promised to deliver 90% to 95% of our gross rating points. So to get you to 95% they are giving you lesser-valued inventory," one veteran agency media executive said.

Minority ad shops win support from president

[washington] President Clinton on Oct. 6 issued an executive order that could force federal offices to use minority ad agencies as prime contractors to reach minority consumers. Under the order, each federal department that wants to "bundle" ad contracts, letting a prime contractor select its partners, would have to demonstrate the cost benefits. The new order also requires federal offices to ensure "that all creation, placement and transmission of federal advertising [is] fully a reflection of the nation's diversity." The change comes eight months after a U.S. Army review drew an outcry from minority agencies and congressmen.

Cingular Wireless to name agency

[atlanta] Cingular Wireless, the newly merged company formed from SBC Communications and BellSouth Corp., this week will make a decision in its estimated $300 million ad review. BellSouth incumbent WestWayne, Atlanta; SBC shop GSD&M, Austin, Texas; and BBDO Worldwide, Atlanta and New York, are finalists. Cingular last week launched print ads for its new name, via GSD&M.

FCC considers violence ratings

[washington] The Federal Communications Commission is asking if limits on the number of ads in kids shows should also apply to program announcements and whether ads should be rated for sex and violence to prevent inappropriate messages from being aired during kids shows. The issues were raised in a "notice of proposed rulemaking" Oct. 5. The FCC also questioned whether broadcasters should be barred from linking on-screen icons to Web sites during kids shows, and whether requirements to devote three hours to kids shows should apply to all media streams.

Timing of BCom3's IPO may be in flux

[chicago] Recent comments by BCom3 Group CEO Roger Haupt have raised doubts among some employees about the timetable for the company's initial public offering, Crain's Chicago Business reports today. In March, Mr. Haupt said BCom3, the parent of Leo Burnett Co., would go public "probably within 12 to 18 months," or by September 2001. But some who heard Mr. Haupt address a meeting of 150 Burnett employee-shareholders late last month came away with the impression the IPO timetable might be pushed back. "I really, clearly picked up that what he was saying is `Don't be surprised if it doesn't happen by then,' " said a company spokeswoman who attended the meeting. Another executive said, "It has been announced internally that the earliest the IPO will go out is the end of 2001." Mr. Haupt last week said his comments were misconstrued and insisted the IPO timetable hasn't changed.

Ellen Hoenig on family leave

[new york] Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. executive Ellen Hoenig, who is named in our "Power 50" special report this week, is on family leave from the company. Tom Chetrick has taken over as Bristol-Myers' VP-consumer and patient marketing. A spokeswoman said it was unclear whether Ms. Hoenig would return.

GM moves corporate account to McCann after 28 years at Ayer

[detroit] General Motors Corp. on Oct. 6 announced that its corporate ad account is moving to McCann-Erickson Worldwide, Troy, Mich., without a review, from the Troy office of N.W. Ayer & Partners. The GM account was the only one at Ayer's Detroit area office, which had the businessfor nearly 28 years and now will close. Creative on the corporate account was handled by Ayer's New York office. GM's spending on the account, mostly in print ads, had dwindled to less than $10 million in 2000 from roughly $30 million a few years ago. McCann already handles GM's Buick account.

`SI' teams with CBS for `Sportsman' special

[new york] Sports Illustrated will broadcast a "Sportsman of the Year" show Dec. 14 on CBS, its first since a 1995 broadcast on Fox. Four $1.4 million ad sponsorships have been sold to Capital One Financial Corp., IBM Corp., Lincoln Mercury Co. and State Farm Insurance Cos. Sponsorships net the marketers four 30-second spots and two billboards during the telecast, as well as a spread in this year's "Sportsman of the Year" issue and their names and logos in all SI promotions for the show in Time Inc.'s Entertainment Weekly, Fortune, People and Time.

Arnold ready to name shop's new top managers

[boston] Arnold Worldwide Partners' flagship Arnold Communications will hold an employee meeting Oct. 10 to introduce new leadership for the U.S.' No. 24 agency. Arnold Managing Partner-Chief Creative Officer Ron Lawner and Managing Partner-Chief Marketing Officer Fran Kelly will assume leadership roles, as expected (AA, Sept. 25). Ed Eskandarian is expected to remain chairman of the network.


Floyd Miller, chairman-CEO, Miller/Huber Relationship Marketing, San Francisco, a leading expert on one-on-one marketing, is moving to New York to establish Miller/Huber in that market through its equity partnership with Lowe Lintas & Partners Worldwide. . . . Revlon will launch two new cosmetics lines, Skinlights Face Illuminators and Vitamin C Absolutes, at mass retailers in January, via in-house agency Tarlow Advertising.

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