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[Greensboro, N.C.] VF Corp., owner of Wrangler, Lee, and North Face, is talking to several agencies about consolidating its $115 million media-buying account, according to executives familiar with the situation. Agencies involved include Omnicom Group's OMD, Havas' MPG, WPP Group's Mediaedge:cia and Publicis Groupe's Optimedia. A decision is expected in October. Representatives for the agencies either didn't return phone calls or declined to comment. A spokeswoman for VF declined to comment. See QwikFIND aaq93r

`Washington Post' launches triangle ad

[Washington] The Washington Post launched what it said to be the first regular triangle-shaped ad block in newspapers on Sept. 16 with an ad in its Weekend section for the movie "In Her Shoes." Appearing on a page with short movie review listings in the tabloid section cut in around it, the nearly quarter-page ad will be offered for a premium to advertisers. The Post said it is an attempt to respond to movie advertisers' request for something different.

Consumer sentiment sees 12-point drop

[Ann Arbor, Mich.] The University of Michigan's September preliminary Index of Consumer Sentiment plummeted to 76.9 from August's 89.1, the lowest level since October 1992 and biggest one-month drop since December 1980 as consumers grew sharply pessimistic following Katrina and the spike in fuel costs. The number was far below the average of 85 predicted by a Bloomberg survey of economists, but economists held out hope that confidence will turn up in the next few months as consumers get past the shock of Katrina. (See related story, P. 46)

GM to launch national video-on-demand effort

[Detroit] General Motors Corp. will start in early October a major, national video-on-demand buy with a trio of the largest cable systems, Brent Dewar, VP-marketing and advertising told Ad Age. Subscribers to Comcast, Time Warner and Cox will be able to learn more about any GM model in a new digital space, dubbed Driver TV. GM will account for as much as 60% of its content. "It's an auto shopping experiment," he said. "We are pioneering it." Terms weren't disclosed.

Sony moves House to new CMO position

[New York] Sony Corp. put marketing in the forefront with the appointment of PlayStation marketing chief Andrew House to a newly created CMO role last week. More changes are expected this week as Chairman-CEO Howard Stringer is scheduled to announce a new corporate strategy at a news conference in Japan on Sept. 22. Mr. House's promotion marks Mr. Stringer's first move to deliver on his promise to make divisions work more closely together since being named to the top post in June.

Nintendo shows off `revolutionary' controller

[Tokyo] Nintendo shocked the gaming industry Sept. 16, and possibly changed its future, by unveiling the "freehand-style" controller that comes with its next-generation gaming platform called Revolution. The device allows users to create movements onscreen by simply moving it through the air. The announcement from Japan sent the gaming industry abuzz late last week, with many speculating on how the wireless motion-sensitive device might change game play, and revive Nintendo's console business. The Revolution is scheduled for debut in 2006, after competitor Microsoft's Xbox 360 this year, and on track with Sony's PlayStation 3.

Army gives Leo Burnett yet another extension

[Washington] The U.S. Army, which extended Leo Burnett USA's advertising contract for nearly 18 months beyond its stated end without competitive bidding, is readying to extend it again. While still hoping to award a new ad contract by yearend, the Army said it intends to award a "bridge contract" extending Burnett's contract through March with the possibility of two more three-month extensions that will carry it through September 2006. The Army cited the need to ensure advertising if a transition is needed.

NHL breaks first part of new ad campaign

[New York] The National Hockey League has broken the first part of a comprehensive ad campaign to draw fans back to the sport, which canceled the entire 2003-04 season due to labor problems. The league plans to make an announcement regarding the campaign on Sept. 21, but broke print ads in major newspapers last week to say that tickets were on sale. The tagline for the campaign, from boutique New York agency Conductor, is "My NHL."

FYI ...

Spirits marketer Pernod Ricard USA is conducting a media agency review in wake of picking up Beefeater gin, Stolichnaya vodka, Kahlua liqueur and other brands from Allied Domecq, executives said. ... Sears Holdings Corp. subsidiary Lands' End, Dodgeville-Wisc., selected Fresh Grey, a unit of WPP Group's Grey Worldwide, New York, to handle advertising duties after a review. Print creative, media buying and planning are not included. ... Chris Mitchell resigned as publisher of Details magazine, part of the Fairchild Publications division of Advance Publications, to join a furniture company, BDDW, as chief executive. He will be succeeded at Details by Paul Jowdy, associate publisher at Vanity Fair, which is part of Fairchild sibling Conde Nast Publications. ... BMW's Mini USA unit is expected to announce as soon as today a consultant to handle a review for its $25-million creative, planning and non-traditional buying account. ... Panera Bread Co. hired Ed Valle as VP-marketing from Subway Restaurants where he was director-strategic planning.

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