The Week

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A lawsuit, filed in Los Angeles Superior Court against Anheuser-Busch Co. and SABMiller, accuses the beer makers of advertising to minors and seeks $4 billion. The suit also seeks an injunction barring any further efforts to reach an underage audience. The lawsuit was filed by Steve Berman, a class action lawyer from Seattle who successfully sued tobacco makers in 13 states by charging, in part, that they targeted youth. Francine Katz, an Anheuser-Busch VP, said in a statement that Anheuser-Busch did not believe the lawsuit "has merit." Miller did not return repeated calls for comment. QwikFIND aap35p

Nielsen/TiVo deal to track DVR users

Nielsen Media Research struck a long-awaited deal with TiVo to track digital video recorder use. The absence of audience measurement of the technology has led to much criticism of Nielsen by TV and advertising executives. TiVo and Nielsen will collect data on a permission basis, utilizing an "opt-in" panel that allows users to volunteer to be monitored. The new service will collect data on approximately 5,000 to 10,000 TiVo users. Second-by-second data on viewing patterns and trends will be provided, said a TiVo spokeswoman. The agreement is separate from Nielsen Media Research's national and local TV audience measurement QwikFIND aap36d

`WSJ' to produce tabloid in Spanish

The Wall Street Journal will launch a Spanish-language U.S. Hispanic edition in March as a weekly eight-page insert in at least four major Hispanic newspapers. The tabloid-style insert, first reported on, will appear in Tribune Co.'s Spanish-language Hoy dailies in New York, Chicago and Los Angeles, said Bill Casey, VP-special editions. It's modeled on The Wall Street Journal Americas, which circulates to 1.7 million readers in Latin America. QwikFIND aap35k

AT&T leaves `Ma Bell' behind

AT&T, the nation's No. 1 long distance carrier whose "Ma Bell" moniker has been synonymous with telephone service for 125 years, repositioned itself for the telecom future with a $200 million campaign tagged "The world's networking company." The first major effort under chairman Dave Dorman includes a business-to-business effort focused on digital connectivity and a consumer campaign using the ampersand in AT&T as a device to show how the company helps people. Networking "is a fertile ground and no one owns it," said Connie Weaver, AT&T exec VP-public relations, marketing and brand. WPP Group's Young & Rubicam, New York, handles.

FDA wants DTC ads revamped

The Food and Drug Administration told pharmaceutical companies to reduce and revamp the brief summaries that accompany print ads as part of the draft guidelines announced last week for the $2.6 billion direct-to-consumer industry. The FDA also said the risk information was often overshadowed by the amount of information, and that it was communicated in difficult-to-read fine print, and urged a less-cluttered, more consumer-friendly format. The FDA is also encouraging drug makers to produce more disease awareness spots on TV. QwikFIND aap35n


Market research firm Information Resources Inc. named Scott W. Klein, who was president of the consumer industries and retail business of EDS, to succeed CEO Joe Durrett, who left the company. QwikFIND aap35d ... Primedia reorganized last week. "Primedia has not always been an easy company to understand," said new CEO Kelly Conlin. The segments are enthusiast media, consumer guides, business information and education and training. The company said it expected revenues to grow in low single digits, after they fell 3.8% in `03, based on what Mr. Conlin termed an assumption of "improved fundamentals" in its magazine businesses.

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