The Week

Published on .

WPP Group and Grey Global Group pushed back the date when either side can call off the engagement if marriage plans run into trouble. U.K.-based WPP, the No. 2 advertising holding company, agreed Sept. 11 to buy New York-based Grey, the industry's No. 7 firm, in a deal initially valued at $1.52 billion in cash and WPP stock. Under that pact, either side could cancel the deal if it hadn't closed by nine months later-June 11, 2005. Under revised terms filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Dec. 1, either side can walk away if the deal hasn't closed after 11 months-Aug. 11. WPP declined to comment, but the change in terms likely is tied to an antitrust review. The change came a week after the deal ran into an unexpected obstacle when the European Commission, Europe's antitrust regulator, asked for more information from WPP. Grey had expected to wrap the sale in January, but the European Commission's move could delay the closing. QwikFIND aaq16d

Schwab taps Euro to redefine image

Charles Schwab & Co. will focus on the basics next year, when it breaks a brand platform from its new agency, Havas' Euro RSCG. The $110 million account moved to Euro after a review that included Wieden & Kennedy, Publicis & Hal Riney and Grey Worldwide. The agencies were asked to build on Schwab's heritage as an advocate for the individual investor, said Becky Saeger, exec VP-brand management and marketing communications. The new work will try to break through the brokerage-ad clutter and redefine Schwab, which had lost a bit of its brand identity as it expanded into new services via acquisitions such as U.S. Trust and Soundview. Ms. Saeger added that company founder Charles Schwab, who returned to his former post as CEO last summer, won't be an ongoing advertising spokesman, but he could make an appearance in future ads. QwikFIND aaq15v

Tyco TV ads aim to deflect past woes

Tyco International launched a TV ad campaign aimed at turning attention away from the conglomerate's scandal-dominated recent past and onto its business operations. The ads, created by Interpublic Group of Cos.' Hill, Holliday, Connors, Cosmopulos, portray the wide variety of products, from home-security systems to electrical connectors manufactured by Tyco. The company's actual business has been obscured by the high-profile trial of former CEO Dennis Kozlowski and former CFO Mark Swartz, who haven been accused of stealing $600 million from Tyco. That ended in a mistrial and the two are set to be retried beginning in January. QwikFIND aaq15z

Coors CMO exits as sales stall persists

Already looking for a president for its U.S. business, Coors Brewing now is searching for a new chief marketing officer. Ron Askew, who joined the company in late 2001, is leaving Dec. 14. He launched the "Rock On" campaign, which was heavy on music and bikinis, for Coors Light in April 2002. While the effort was popular with young adults, it didn't move the sales needle. The brewer recently shifted its marketing message to emphasize the beer's cold-filtered-brewing process. The third-biggest brand of light beer is poised to post its second straight year of falling sales. QwikFIND aaq15w

Mag expands field in relaunch

Interweave Press's Natural Home will change its name and relaunch as Natural Home & Garden with its March/April 2005 issue. The move marks an editorial shift to a broader definition of eco-friendliness, in roughly the same way that Rodale's launch of Organic Style expanded the audience and editorial possibilities of Organic Gardening. The new publisher is Susan McNamee, formerly VP-sales at Yoga Journal, and Polly Perkins of media investment banker AdMedia Partners will serve as general manager. Natural Home's circulation, which is unaudited, is 100,000, Ms. Perkins said. The cover price will remain $4.99 and a one-time, full-color ad page is $5,000.

Most Popular
In this article: