Zenith Media has been hunting down some big accounts lately-and making a killing. Last year, it scored more than $1 billion in new business. Not surprisingly, Adages has learned CEO John Perriss is a seasoned huntsman. Three days a week, in the Vale of Aylesbury, he and some hounds and a group of fellow Englishmen in clever red and black costumes snap their riding crops briskly on the hindquarters of snorting steeds and chase furry little foxes. Unfortunately for John, animal-rights groups in the U.K. are noisily spoiling this bucolic scene. The Labour government is about to ban the age-old sport. So on March 18, thousands of foxing enthusiasts will take to the streets of London screaming for the Prime Minister's head. John will be there. He is of the opinion that fox hunting is a fine tradition. What happens to the little critters? "The hounds rip them apart," says John. "There's nothing left but the head, actually. And then the crows and rats come and eat that."
Last week, Adages heard Ford was set to reveal, this past Tuesday, the retirement of vet exec Bob Rewey, group VP-sales and marketing. But it was postponed as talk swirled that Rewey's underling, Jim Schroer, global VP-marketing, was jumping ship to Chrysler Group with George Murphy, general marketing manager at Ford Division. Talk of Rewey's retirement is almost an annual event. Rewey himself said everyone retires sooner or later, but, "I'm not retiring now."
Bud Liebler, the senior VP-global brand marketing at Chrysler whom Murphy will replace, said his retirement after 21 years at Chrysler "is fairly sudden," but that German boss Dieter Zetsche told the gang whoever replaced the departed Ted Cunningham as exec VP-global sales and marketing-Schroer-would get the option to bring in his own team. Bud says, "I expect to work, but I don't know where." Regarding reports he would join JWT heading the Ford account: "I have Chrysler in my veins. No matter where I go, I won't stop rooting for them." Bud, being replaced by a Ford guy at now-troubled Chrysler, put in 10 years at Ford before jumping to then-troubled Chrysler with Lee Iacocca's gang.
Stop the presses! The American Sheep Industry Association's American Lamb Council is working on an ad campaign. It's the first lamb job in the history of meat marketing, the council claims. "In the end, the idea is to get U.S. lamb back in people's minds, in the media, on more menus," the council marketing director said in a press release. The council calls this its "culinary outreach" program. And who is the lucky agency for the task? Bozell, the butcher shop of advertising. Remember its fab campaign for pork, "The Other White Meat"? Hey, Bozell, here's a freebie courtesy of Adages. Sign up the original sock puppet, Lamb Chop, who's out of work. The kids love Lamb Chop. They'll be licking their chops in no time.
Contributing: Jean Halliday
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