The Week

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An early start in the negotiations between the Screen Actors Guild, American Federation of Television and Radio Artists and the ad industry led to an early resolution. The voting members of SAG and AFTRA approved a new labor contract-by a 95% majority-with a day to spare before the old one expired. Next up: negotiations for film and TV contracts. Highlights of the pact, between the actor/producer groups and the Association of National Advertisers and the American Association of Advertising Agencies, include a 1% hike in pension and health plans, from 13.3% to 14.3%, and a 5% fee increase for on-camera performers for national cable use. The deal also creates a subcommittee to study multiplexing, or broadcasting programs simultaneously on different channels of the same network.

WPP snares more Yahoo! business

Yahoo! shifted its media buying and planning business to WPP Group's MindShare from Interpublic Group of Cos.' Initiative Media. Yahoo! spent $41.2 million on measured media in 2002, according to TNS Media Intelligence/CMR. Yahoo! announced in August it was splitting with its nine-year creative partner Euro RSCG Worldwide's Black Rocket, San Francisco, to begin working with Soho Square, a newly formed unit of WPP Group. The client is choosing to work with several WPP Group companies, which are yet to be disclosed. QwikFIND aap11L

Whoopi, Conan in City Harvest ads

Interpublic Group of Cos.' Foote Cone & Belding Worldwide, New York, partnered with City Harvest, a charity that feeds the hungry, to launch a campaign timed for the holiday season. The two companies held an event last week to ask media outlets to donate space for the pro bono campaign created for print, TV, Web and radio. The print campaign features celebrities including Whoopi Goldberg, Harrison Ford, Conan O'Brien and Susan Sarandon.

IPG, Dooner in contract talks

John Dooner, chairman-CEO McCann-Erickson WorldGroup, is renegotiating his contract with Interpublic. Mr. Dooner's current contract, which expires Dec. 31, pays him in excess of $1.25 million annually. The initial contract was signed almost 10 years ago and current talks are centered on length of the upcoming contract. A spokeswoman for Mr. Dooner said: "He's staying and he's extending his contract." An Interpublic spokesman said it was company policy not to discuss contract negotiations. QwikFIND aap11a

MSLO, Primedia report weak Q3

Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia and Primedia reported weak third-quarter results and dialed down expectations for the rest of the year due to falling ad pages. Omnimedia reported a net loss of $3.84 million for the quarter on revenue of $51.2 million, down 27.8% from the year-ago period. Publishing revenue was down 37.3% due to lower circulation, newsstand sales and ad pages, partly offset by the launch during the quarter of Everyday Food. Ad pages were down 39% year-over-year and are expected to be down 40% in the fourth quarter, said James Follo, chief financial officer. Primedia reported a loss of $38.8 million on revenue of $323.7 million, down 3.2%; the figures exclude New York magazine, which the company has placed on the block, and Sprinks, an Internet ad unit it sold to Google earlier this month. Difficult conditions are expected to continue through the rest of 2003, including weakness in single-copy sales and ad-page decreases among B-to-B and consumer titles, said Dean Nelson, Primedia's chairman. As a result, he said, Primedia has revised its outlook for the fourth quarter to call for a drop of 2% in revenue, from its previous forecast of 5% growth.

P&G partners with appliance maker

Procter & Gamble Co. and appliance maker Applica Consumer Products will put a combined $40 million-plus in marketing support behind two new products to spring from an agreement the two companies announced last week. Both products will be featured in infomercials breaking early next year, and the first will ship to retailers in April, said Applica President-CEO Harry Schulman in a conference call Oct. 30. He would not comment on the nature of the products, but said they would carry names of "billion-dollar" P&G brands and appliance marketer Black & Decker. Analysts expect the first product to be a Folgers-Black & Decker branded Coffee Pod system. Mr. Schulman would not comment during the call, and a P&G spokeswoman declined to comment. Publicis Groupe's Saatchi & Saatchi, New York, handles Folgers.


Tommy Hilfiger Corp. signed singer David Bowie as spokesman for a premium ready-to-wear line, H Hilfiger. Mr. Bowie and his wife, model Iman, will appear in the spring 2004 launch campaign, created in-house, to appear April 2004 in U.S. men's and women's lifestyle magazines. H Hilfiger is a new collection of premium ready-to-wear for men and women with prices slightly higher than the main Tommy Hilfiger brand and aimed at a slightly older consumer. ... Alzheimer's Association begins its first major branding effort and plans to spend around $20 million on a campaign with help from three Omnicom Group agencies: Porter Novelli International, Rapp Collins Worldwide and philanthropic services firm Changing Our World. The Chicago-based association is attempting to unite its national office and regional chapters under a single mission. The agencies will work on an integrated campaign, which includes advertising, direct marketing and public relations.

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