The Week

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Gary Bassell will replace Daisy Exposito as chairman-CEO of WPP Group's Bravo Group, New York, starting in January 2005. Mr. Bassell, 44, has been president of Miami independent La Comunidad, one of the fastest-growing and most creative U.S. Hispanic ad agencies for the past two years. La Comunidad has won major clients such as Citibank and Best Buy, and introduced them to original Spanish-language creative. Ms. Exposito is leaving Bravo after 23 years. Bravo's president, Linda DeJesus-Cutler, adds chief operating officer to her title. QwikFIND aaq13s

Ikea broadens base with Secret Weapon

Ikea, moving to broaden its customer base beyond the hip, edgy consumer to a more mainstream target, has moved its advertising account to Santa Monica, Calif., shop Secret Weapon, agency for Jack in the Box and Activision. Ikea began shifting work to Secret Weapon in recent months, starting with ad assignments for a group of Los Angeles and Tempe, Ariz. stores. Spots show a young man taking wine orders from friends at a party. After bring two stemmed glasses from a shelf, he takes out a plastic cup. The line, "It's time," is the call to action. Rich D'Amico, regional marketing manager, said Ikea's brand has been centered on modern, contemporary furnishings, but wants to broaden its image to include the traditional products it sells. Mr. D'Amico praised former shop Crispin, Porter & Bogusky, which garnered the top prize at the 2003 Cannes film festival with its "Lamp" spot, but said "at the end of the day we had a view where we wanted to take the brand and the strategies were different."

Kraft taps A&E, `People' for promo

Kraft Foods this holiday season stitched together a cross-platform promotion using A&E Networks, TiVo and Time Inc.'s People magazine, with help from its media-buying agency, Publicis Groupe's MediaVest USA. In the cable portion of the deal, Kraft will be the exclusive sponsor of A&E's "Hollywood Home Movies," a two-hour holiday special about how celebrities, such as Goldie Hawn and Ben Stiller, celebrate the holidays with their families. The program was developed in part with the marketer. Along with tweaking the content of the show to better suit Kraft, A&E also agreed to change its original schedule to fit with the timing of Kraft's holiday print promotion with People. In addition to running on A&E, the special will be available on Time Warner Cable and Comcast video-on-demand platforms, furthering Kraft's reach. (Madison + Vine, Nov. 10).

Turns out TiVo is ad-friendly after all

Digital-video-recorder company TiVo will soon roll out another way to hook consumers who like to be in control, even of what ads they see. TiVo, which is best known for its technology that allows consumers to fast forward through TV ads, will in March present a graphic from an advertiser that appears on a bit of the screen as the consumer is fast forwarding, inviting the consumer to seek more information. Called a "tag," the graphic can be crafted in the form of the marketer's product-like a car, a logo or any other form. It's available to existing TiVo advertisers. If consumers want to learn more about an advertiser's product or service, they can click on the tag through a button on their remote. This tag will be added to the tag TiVo currently offers, which merely says "thumbs up for more information."

Weight Watchers reacts to low-carb

With the surging popularity of the Atkins and South Beach diets challenging its market share, Weight Watchers International awarded its $45 million advertising account to WPP Group's Young & Rubicam, New York, following a review. Y&R beat out the New York offices of Omnicom Group's TBWA/Chiat/Day and Interpublic Group of Cos.' Lowe. Weight Watchers split this summer with its creative agency, Seiden Group, New York, in order to look for a larger agency. Boston-based consultant Pile & Co. managed the review. During its recent third-quarter earnings call with analysts, Weight Watchers executives said the company had seen attendance at its weight-loss centers in North America continue to decline, albeit more slowly than in its second quarter. In August, Weight Watchers introduced a Core Plan diet designed to accommodate those on carb-restrictive diets. The company had not substantially innovated beyond its points-based portion-counting system since launching that plan in 1997. QwikFIND aaq13k


Yahoo hired WPP Group's OgilvyOne to handle interactive marketing. The agency will open an office in San Francisco and hired Mark Yesayian as managing director. He was senior VP-agency services at Digital Impact. QwikFIND aaq13d.

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