The Week

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After twice delaying year-end and fourth-quarter earnings, agency holding company MDC Partners was back on track last week, unveiling its first-quarter results. The Toronto- and New York-headquartered company said it needed additional time to comply with regulatory filing requirements associated with changing its status from being a foreign stock issuer to a U.S. issuer. The results reveal a loss of $3.8 million, or 17¢ a share, compared to earnings of $8.5 million, or 41¢ a share, in the year-ago period. Revenue rose 35% to $92 million from $68 million. Revenue from the marketing-services unit, which includes agencies such as Crispin Porter & Bogusky, Miami, and Kirshenbaum Bond & Partners, New York, rose 49% to $75.2 million, up from $50.3 million in the prior-year period. QwikFIND aaq55r

Raider Icahn to join Blockbuster board

Last week, Carl Icahn, the renowned corporate raider whose previous targets have included TWA, USX and Texaco in the 1980s, joined Blockbuster's board, according to preliminary vote counts. He is the largest single shareholder in the video-rental chain. Mr. Icahn's two nominees-entertainment industry veterans Strauss Zelnick and Edward Bleier-were also slated to join. Mr. Icahn is waging a fierce and public battle against Blockbuster CEO John Antioco, criticizing everything from his million-dollar bonuses to his overall strategy, including its "end of late fees" ad strategy that resulted in settlements in 47 states. The vote knocks Mr. Antioco off the board. Mr. Antioco remains CEO, and board members said they will convene again to place Mr. Antioco back as chairman. QwikFIND aaq56e

Motorola taps FCBi for relationship marketing

In the third move this year to realign it agencies, Motorola awarded the digital and relationship-marketing portion of its estimated $100 million global account to FCBi, part of Interpublic Group of Cos.' Foote Cone & Belding. The activity has promoted speculation that Motorola's agency of record, WPP Group's Ogilvy & Mather, is losing its grip on the $100 million account. Motorola executives, however, repeatedly have endorsed Ogilvy. Other contenders for the consolidated account included Havas' Euro RSCG 4D and two WPP shops, OgilvyOne and Wunderman. In February, Motorola moved its U.S. media from Interpublic's Universal McCann to Aegis Group's Carat. In April,Motorola hired independent 180 Amsterdam for an undisclosed branding assignment. QwikFIND aaq56f

Wendy's gives away ice cream post-scandal

Hoping to move on from the finger incident that hurt its image and cost it $2.5 million, Wendy's International planned to give away more than 14 million Frosties over the past weekend. The No. 3 burger chain supported the giveaway with national TV and print via Interpublic Group of Cos.' McCann-Erickson, New York. "Our customers stood by us ... so now we're showing our appreciation," said Tom Mueller, Wendy's president-chief operating officer. In March Anna Ayala claimed she found a finger in her chili; she has since been charged with attempted grand theft.

Beavis to join Kia as marketing head

Veteran auto marketer and adman Ian Beavis joins Kia Motors America May 17 as VP-marketing. Mr. Beavis, 52, has had his own marketing consultancy since resigning last fall as senior VP-marketing, product development and public relations from Mitsubishi Motors North America. Over his 30-year career, he's worked for Ford Motor Co., Toyota Corp. and several auto ad agencies. Mr. Beavis succeeds Wally Anderson, who has been ill for the past year. Kia spent $245 million last year, according to TNS Media Intelligence. In 2005,it will start a new-model blitz.


Conagra Foods is looking for a new chief as Chairman-CEO Bruce Rohde plans to step down after an eight-year run. ...Viacom's MTV Networks has a new president, Christina Norman, who was president of sibling network VH1. Tom Calderone moves from exec VP-music programming and talent for MTV and MTV2 to general manager of VH1. QwikFIND aaq55v

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