The National Football League added another blue-chip marketer to its roster of corporate partners, signing a three-year, $18 million deal with IBM Corp. last week, executives close to the situation said. IBM, which will also spend $15 million to $25 million annually in media buys, is the NFL's first technology partner since a deal with Zenith Data Systems ended in 1996. Like other corporate sponsors, IBM will be allowed to use the NFL shield and Super Bowl marks in its advertising. The league's corporate sponsors include Visa USA, Pepsi-Cola Co., Coors Brewing Co., Southwest Airlines, Motorola and General Motors Corp.'s Cadillac. AdAge.com QwikFIND aao86y
'Seventeen' names editor, publisher
Hearst Magazines moved the editor of its highly successful teen title CosmoGirl! to helm its newly acquired Seventeen. Atoosa Rubenstein takes over at Seventeen, which Hearst acquired for $182.4 million in cash in April, while Jayne Jamison, VP-publisher of Redbook, shifts over with the same role to Seventeen. Ms. Rubenstein will be replaced by her CosmoGirl! executive editor Susan Schulz. Ms. Rubenstein succeeds Sabrina Weill, and Ms. Jamison succeeds Ellen Abramowitz at Seventeen. All appointments are effective immediately. Ms. Jamison's replacement was not named. Through June, Seventeen's ad pages fell 7.8% to 537.5, and its newsstand sales fell 24.1% in the last half of last year. Hearst will slash Seventeen's rate base by 11% to 2.1 million, effective with its January, 2004 issue. AdAge.com QwikFIND aao87e
Pa. power and light rolls first TV spots
Charlie Riegel, a 99-year-old former employee of Allentown, Pa.-based PPL Corp., recalls the power-and-light company's early days in its first-ever TV branding campaign, which aims to position PPL as a part of the community it serves. The spots, directed by David Cornell, begin to air in prime time today. The over $1 million campaign was created by McCaffery Ratner Gottlieb & Lane, New York.
Mediaedge buys stake in Leverage
Mediaedge:cia is now in the entertainment business. The WPP Group media unit acquired a 20% stake in Leverage Group, an entertainment marketing company that also works with "cause-related" non-profit organizations. The terms were all-cash but executives at the agency would not disclose the amount. According to Charles Courtier, worldwide executive chairman of Media-edge:cia, the shop's investment in the Leverage Group will increase to 100% over time. Leverage is based in New York and Los Angeles and was launched in 1999 by Richard Yaffa, the company's president. Its client list includes Sony Music, the Tribeca Film Festival and LavaLife. AdAge.com QwikFIND aao86s
Study: Networkers heavy Web users
Marketers looking to target affluent, social and professional networkers will find them online. The group, dubbed "Influentials" in a new study by RoperASW, represent 10% of the U.S. population but their attitudes and influence extend to the other 90%, the study asserts. The group is online for banking, travel plans, and news. Among the findings: The Web is the top media used by Influentials to research new places to visit (86%), what to buy (82%) and is second (78%) only to newspapers (83%) for political news . Six in 10 , or 59%, spend at least one hour online each day (excluding e-mail), more than they spend with any other medium. The Washington Post Co.'s WashingtonPost/Newsweek Interactive teamed with RoperASW for the study. AdAge.com QwikFIND aao86w
Kmart on hunt for new agency partner
Kmart, the nation's No. 3 discount retailer which emerged from Chapter 11 bankruptcy in May, has begun a search for a new advertising agency, executives familiar with the situation said. Abigail Jacobs, brand and product communication manager, declined to discuss the review. Kmart spent $267 million in measured media during 2002, according to TNS Media Intelligence/CMR. Omnicom Group's TBWA/Chiat/Day, New York, won the account two years ago. Since then, Kmart has run through five marketing directors; Karen Austin, chief information officer, is currently in that role. Kmart's print advertising is handled by Meridian Advertising, Troy, Mich., and its multicultural efforts by Altura, Denver. AdAge.com QwikFIND aao87a
Coty's Lancaster Group Worldwide launches a new scent, Still Jennifer Lopez, this month, tapping a mature, sophisticated 25-plus demographic versus the younger target for its successful first J. Lo fragrance, Glow. Ads, from Select Communications, New York, are part of an extensive $8 million-plus effort... Hearst Newspapers said it would be forced to put its Seattle Post-Intelligencer up for sale, following a judge's refusal to move up a Sept. 12 hearing date in the legal battle between the Post-Intelligencer and the Seattle Times. The Times formally filed notice in April that it had lost money for three consecutive years, thereby opening an 18-month negotiating period to dissolve the joint-operating agreement under which both papers publish. Hearst claims that the losses in the three-year period are not legally valid, owing to extraordinary events such as Sept. 11 and two newspaper strikes. ... Brown-Forman Beverages last week named Mark McCallum chief marketing officer for the company's spirits brands. He was most recently exec VP-marketing for Darden Restaurants' Red Lobster, a post he left in January.... A survey of some 1,000 media buying and media planners released by Viacom's CBS last week, said the adult 25-54 demographic is the single most important demographic for advertisers. The network said this disputes the long held myth that adults 18-49 is the more desired demographic by national TV advertisers.