The Week

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Internet advertising grew to a new high of $2.7 billion in the fourth quarter of 2004, according to the latest independent research conducted by PricewaterhouseCoopers for the Internet Advertising Bureau. That marks the fifth record-breaking quarter of online ad revenue.

"There are a few breakaway marketers who are really capitalizing on the medium," said Greg Stuart, president-CEO, IAB.

Estimates for full-year 2004 online revenue totaled just less than $9.6 billion-a 32% increase over the $7.3 billion spent in 2003. That tops the previous ad-spending high-the dot-com boom year of 2000, when annual ad revenue online reached $8.1 billion. The $2.7 billion in fourth-quarter ad spending marked a nearly 24% spike from the same quarter in 2003, at $2.2 billion, and a 17% increase over the third quarter, with reported spending of $2.3 billion. The ad-spending total is reached by surveying and aggregating 2004 fourth-quarter data from the top 15 online ad sellers. QwikFIND aaq35g

Time Inc. kills `Suede' magazine

Highly touted multicultural fashion title Suede was put on hiatus last week by Time Inc.'s Essence Communications Partners. The April issue, its fourth, will be its last. "We couldn't grow it fast enough to get it to a level that makes the costs reasonable," said Group Publisher Michelle Ebanks.

Despite making an outsized splash in the magazine world for a 250,000-circulation title, an insider confided that consumer sales were very slow. Ms. Ebanks said that the company was trying to place Suede's 46 staffers within Time Inc. in hopes the title will retool and relaunch. At press time it was uncertain whether Suede's flamboyant fashionista Editor in Chief Suzanne Boyd will remain with the company. QwikFIND aaq35p

Interpublic's Roth salary north of $1M

About a month into his tenure as CEO of Interpublic Group of Cos., Michael Roth received a pay hike. Interpublic, which owns such ad agencies as McCann Erickson and Lowe & Partners, raised Mr. Roth's annual salary $600,000 to $1.1 million.

In filings earlier this month, he was also granted 450,000 shares of restricted stock-worth about $6 million at the time of filing-and an option to buy another 450,000 shares of common stock. Last month, Mr. Roth, who had been chairman, was named to replace David Bell as chief executive. Mr. Bell took on the title of co-chairman, a more client-focused role.

Omnicom happy about spending shift from TV

Marketers are "bullish" in their 2005 budgets, compared to past years, Omnicom Group CEO John Wren noted last week while unveiling results for the fourth quarter . Some clients are shifting spending from broadcast TV advertising to other activities, but that should have a good effect on Omnicom's margins, he said. "Instead of money going out to the third party, which would be a TV network, it's being spent on activities which we're more closely participating in," he said. Mr. Wren also said business has improved enough that the company has increased its staff incentives back to pre-recession levels. Omnicom Group reported net income grew 15% in 2004, to $723.5 million on revenue of $9.75 billion, up 13%. Fourth-quarter revenue was up 11% to $2.79 billion and net income grew 12% to $236.5, up 12%. QwikFIND aaq35c


Molson Coors Brewing Co. last week dropped Interpublic's Deutsch, Marina del Rey, Calif., as an agency of record, leaving fellow Interpublic shop Foote Cone & Belding, Chicago, as the sole agency with that distinction. Coors Brewing in 2002 tapped Deutsch and Havas' Arnold Worldwide, Boston, to expand its creative roster. It dropped Arnold in early 2004. QwikFIND aaq35j ... As expected, Air America named former Artemis Records head Danny Goldberg to CEO. He's the third CEO since its inception in March 2004. Before Artemis, he was CEO of Mercury Records Group, Atlantic Records and Warner Brothers Records. Air America is now available in 48 markets and on XM and Sirius Satellite Radio. ... Chiquita Brands International will acquire Peformance Food Group's Fresh Express unit for $855 million. The purchase of Fresh Express, the U.S. leader in the packaged-salads category with a 40% market share and roughly $1 billion in sales, is expected to help the marketer diversify beyond the volatile banana market it is best known for. In recent years, that volatility has driven Chiquita to file Chapter 11 bankruptcy, and the company has long sought to expand into other arenas. Chiquita will continue to use the Fresh Express name to market value-added bagged salads, but will convert Fresh Express's fresh-cut fruit products to the Chiquita name. QwikFIND aaq35k

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