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[Washington] Political spending, which this year hit an off-year-election record of $515 million, could reach or exceed presidential-year levels in 2006, a year without a presidential election. Evan Tracey, chief operating officer of TNS Media Intelligence's Campaign Media Analysis Group, said spending next year could beat the $1.7 billion spent during 2004's presidential-election year. "It's the only sector of the advertising economy that is growing," he said. See QwikFIND aar12g

Coke's last work from Berlin breaks today

[Atlanta] Coca-Cola Co. breaks the final creative from WPP Group's Berlin Cameron & Partners, New York, today. The animated spot shows the now-iconic baby polar bear frolicking with a flock of dancing penguins. It is scheduled to run in the U.S., Canada, Mexico and select markets in Europe. Coke last month shifted its domestic advertising to Wieden & Kennedy, Portland, Ore.

Novartis joins peers, institutes guidelines

[New York] Novartis is planning to introduce a new commercial model for its direct-to-consumer advertising campaigns, joining several of its peers-notably Pfizer and Bristol-Myers Squibb-who have already instituted self-imposed guidelines for marketing in the $4 billion category. Details are unknown at this point, but it appears Novartis' communications will become more patient-centric.

Aegis' directors don't want Bollore on Board

[London] French financier and Havas chairman Vincent Bollore will not be offered a seat on Aegis' board of directors, according to an executive familiar with the thinking of the company's board. Mr. Bollore has not asked for a seat. As of Nov. 11, he owned 24.9% of Aegis and is its largest shareholder. A spokesman for Mr. Bollore did not return a call for comment and an Aegis spokeswoman declined to comment.

TBWA considers options as Nissan bolts California

[New York] Omnicom Group's TBWA said it is working with Nissan North America to determine how to best service the $1 billion plus global account as the auto manufacturer moves its marketing executives and other headquarters staff from Gardena, Calif., to the Nashville area starting in mid-2006. "At this time no final determination has been made in terms of what support from TBWA/Chiat/Day will be based in Tennessee," the agency said in a statement.

ABC, CBS dominate first week of sweeps

[New York] The first week of November sweeps (Nov. 3-Nov. 9) held few surprises, with ABC's 4.5 18-to-49 rating leading the pack and CBS a hair behind at 4.4. NBC and Fox have so far averaged a 3.3 and 3.0, respectively.

Miller ads charge that Bud Light has changed

[Milwaukee] Keeping up the heat on Anheuser-Busch, Miller Brewing Co.'s latest work for Miller Lite says Bud Light has "changed." The ads don't elaborate. But in a memo to wholesalers, Miller said "we have detected a statistically significant change in both Budweiser and Bud Light since we first began our direct comparisons two years ago." The changes were in bitterness and carbonation, said a Miller spokesman. He added "we're not saying this was an intentional change" or reformulation. A-B representatives did not return calls. MDC Corp.'s Crispin Porter & Bogusky, Miami, handles Miller Lite.

FYI ...

WPP's Y&R, New York, hired Gary Goldsmith as chief creative officer, seven months after he left the chairman-chief creative officer post at Interpublic's Lowe, New York. ... Andersen Corp. last week hired independent Gabriel deGrood Bendt, Minneapolis, to develop a national brand campaign for its windows line, the company said. Andersen had worked with Interpublic Group of Cos.' Campbell Mithun, Minneapolis, since the 1930s. Campbell Mithun retains media planning and buying. ... Steve Greenberger, who left his post as the top print specialist at Zenith Media last month, was named to the newly created position of senior VP-strategic marketing officer at DJG Marketing, a media and marketing services company in New York and Miami. See QwikFIND aar12t ... Luxottica Retail last week tapped DDB Worldwide, Chicago, to handle its $54 million Lenscrafters account, the company said on Nov. 11.

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