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[New York] After nine months, Samsung Electronics' estimated $700 million global ad review seemed no closer to a decision last week, with agency executives unhappy about speculation that the review could continue into January. Gregory Lee is transitioning into the chief marketing role abandoned by Eric Kim, but apparently will not take the reins officially until January. WPP Group and Publicis Groupe are the two kept waiting; incumbent Interpublic Group of Cos.' Foote Cone & Belding remains a faint underdog, according to executives. Samsung declined to comment.

Coke marketing not up to par says Isdell

[Atlanta] Coca-Cola Co. management this week begins divisional business-plan reviews, as it prepares for a Nov. 11 briefing with analysts to unveil strategies for improving company performance. In the marketer's third-quarter conference call, Chairman-CEO E. Neville Isdell reiterated that "the world's greatest brand" wasn't yet producing the marketing it deserves, repeating criticisms about marketing that he made on Sept. 15. (See QwikFIND aap96h) Still, Mr. Isdell said he was "pleasantly surprised" at the work in progress, particularly for brand Coca Cola.

Popeyes seeks CMO to replace Krueger

[Atlanta] Popeyes Chicken & Biscuits has quietly begun a search for a new chief marketing officer as Larry Krueger internally announced his retirement by the end of 2004. With AFC's September agreement to sell its Cinnabon chain and continued exploration to sell its Church's Chicken, more executive moves are coming, warned executives close to the company. Last month, the company said President-Chief Operating Officer Dick Holbrook would resign at the end of `04.

XM launches effort to tout baseball deal

[Washington] XM Satellite Radio Holdings will launch a TV campaign for its $650 million programming deal with Major League Baseball on Tuesday during game three of the World Series (See The Week, P. 18). The 30-second spot-created by Interpublic Group of Cos' Mullen, Wenham, Mass., in just over two days following the announcement of the deal last week-will run throughout the series. The ad is another salvo in the growing battle between XM and competitor Sirius.

Nissan taps Vidal for $50M Hispanic account

[Gardena, Calif.] Nissan North America named independent Vidal Partnership, New York, to its estimated $50 million U.S. Hispanic account after a review against incumbent Ornelas & Associates, Dallas, and Miami-based Marca, partly owned by Marc USA. Jan Thompson, VP-marketing of Infiniti and Nissan brands, said the automaker, which only spent $20 million last year, wants to shift its Hispanic marketing and advertising "to the next level."

Marketers pull ads over anti-Kerry film

[New York] At least 50 advertisers, including Verizon Communications, Burger King Corp. and Ford Motor Co., planned to pull their commercials at press time from Sinclair Broadcast Group's airing of "A POW Story: Politics, Pressure and the Media," a program critical of Sen. John Kerry's anti-Vietnam War activities in the early 1970s, TelevisionWeek reports today. "We have a business relationship with them, and they have sucked us into their political agenda," said one angry media agency executive. "If I can help it, I'm not going to buy them."

McD's shifts sandwich creative back to DDB

[Oak Brook, Ill.] Two months after moving ad duties for its Oven Selects toasted sandwiches to Leo Burnett USA from DDB Worldwide, both Chicago, McDonald's Corp. is moving the work back to DDB, according to an executive familiar with the situation. The sandwiches are in test markets. Omnicom Group's DDB referred calls to the marketer. A spokeswoman for Burnett, part of Publicis Groupe, referred questions to McDonald's. McDonald's didn't return calls.

Foster Farms cuts off Goodby, moves biz to Y&R

[San Francisco] Poultry marketer Foster Farms, taking an axe to its 10-year old "Imposter" chicken campaign, has split with its creator, Omnicom's Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, San Francisco. Foster Farms initially said it was splitting its accounts between Goodby, Silverstein and WPP Group's Y&R, San Francisco, which now has the entire account. Foster Farms spent $6 million on advertising in 2003, according to TNS Media Intelligence/CMR.

Viacom, Disney pay big for violating FCC ad rules

[Washington] Viacom settled Federal Communications Commission charges that it ran 1,021 too many ads on its Nickelodeon cable channel during a 10-month period and also illegally ran ads for show-themed merchandise during kids shows. Viacom agreed to reduce the numbers of ads by that much in the next 10 months and pay a $1 million fine. Meanwhile, Disney agreed to a $500,000 fine for running program-themed merchandise ads on related cable shows on ABC Family Channel.

Campaigns unveil animal-themed spots

[Washington] The Bush campaign on Oct. 22 unveiled "Wolves," an ad similar to one Hal Riney did for Ronald Reagan's 1984 campaign featuring a bear in the woods. The Bush spot, from the campaign's Maverick Media ad team, uses wolves to represent dangers to the U.S. and to suggest its candidate would make America safer. The Democratic National Committee immediately released an ad featuring an eagle and ostrich, from ARP Media & Messaging, Chicago, and Murphy, Putnam and Shore, in Alexandria, Va. The voice-over says, in part, "Given a choice for these challenging times, shouldn't we be the eagle again?"

FYI ...

Jaguar Cars North America is reaching out to 25-to-35-year olds for its X-Type model with online short films arriving Oct. 25 at Global Beach, Irvine, Calif., Jag's interactive shop, handled the Webisodes. Jaguar's U.S. creative shop, WPP Group's Young & Rubicam Brands, Irvine, was not involved in the online film effort. ... Julie Bauer, formerly a top manager at Publicis Groupe's Saatchi & Saatchi, has moved to Motorola, where she will handle corporate branding and advertising in partnership with global communications director Leslie Dance, director.

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