The Week

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ABC's Mike Shaw, president-sales and marketing at the lagging Walt Disney Co. network, said ABC sold an additional $800 million to $900 million in non-prime-time advertising, with demand particularly strong for the company's evening news broadcast. The network took in $1.6 billion to $1.7 billion in upfront commitments, slightly down from last year on lower inventory sales. Viacom's CBS was the top performer, bringing in $2.4 billion, while sibling UPN raked in up to $350 million, up from $250 million last year. General Electric Co.'s NBC meanwhile finished at around $2.9 billion, down from last year; News Corp.'s Fox Network remained flat, selling an estimated $1.6 billion while Time Warner's WB brought in $675 million, also down on last year. Syndication negotiations are now ongoing. QwikFIND aap72j

`Sun-Times' reveals circ irregularities

Hollinger International's Chicago Sun-Times revealed June 15 it had overstated circulation figures "over the past several years," and that it was conducting an internal review into those figures. Audit Bureau of Circulations audits conducted in 2003 and 2002 found very little variance with the Sun-Times-reported figures, however, and ABC announced June 16 it was recalling several recent Sun-Times circulation reports pending its own investigation. In its statement, ABC said its audits "are not designed to detect a concerted deliberate intent to misstate information." The Sun-Times said its own review could be completed by the end of July.

`Do not e-mail' list rejected by FTC

Rejecting the concept of a national e-mail registry akin to the telemarketing Do Not Call Registry, the Federal Trade Commission on June 15 told Congress it favors spam controls based on authenticating technologies that can verify the source of an e-mail message. Some legislators viewed the widely acknowledged success of the national do-not-call telemarketing list as the most likely model for controlling the tidal wave of unsolicited pitches that wash across the nation's e-mail networks every day. FTC Chairman Tim Muris explained that a do-not-e-mail list could actually have the opposite effect, because it would provide spammers with a vast store of working e-mail addresses they could use to blast consumers. QwikFIND aap72u

Rubbermaid taps Berlin Cameron

Newell Rubbermaid's Foodservice Products, North America, whose brands include Stainshield, Serve-n-Saver and TakeAlongs food-storage containers, last week tapped WPP Group's Berlin Cameron/Red Cell to handle advertising and sibling company MindShare for media buying. A former brand manager at Coca-Cola Co., Charles Robinson, VP-brand management, Foodservice Products North America, worked closely with Berlin Cameron's Ewen Cameron, CEO, and creative director Izzy DeBellis on the launch of bottled water Dasani. "They have an uncanny knack for figuring out [a product's] most salient emotional benefit to users," Mr. Robinson said. The $5 million business was previously handled by Interpublic Group of Cos.' McCann Erickson and Universal McCann, both New York..


ING Direct, a unit of Dutch bank ING Group, has split with Bartle Bogle Hegarty, which handled its TV and print advertising for the financial services firm since March 2002, an ING Direct spokeswoman said. Asked if a review is planned, she said, "nothing has been decided." ... Tom Burrell, CEO of African-American marketing agency Burrell Communications, Chicago, will turn over the reins to three newly named managing partners, according to the agency. Mr. Burrell, 65, is taking on the title of chairman emeritus at the agency, which is 49% owned by Publicis Groupe. QwikFIND aap73c

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