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Miller cuts MindShare from $240M review

[milwaukee] Miller Brewing Co.'s $240 million media review is down to two. The No. 2 brewer has eliminated WPP Group's MindShare after hearing pitches last week, leaving nine-year incumbent Publicis Groupe's Starcom USA and Havas' Carat to battle for the account during follow-up interviews that could occur as soon as this week. Spokesmen for Miller and all three agencies declined to comment.

Nissan merges media, interactive staffers

[gardena, calif.] Jan Thompson, VP-marketing at Nissan North America, said she merged her interactive group of 36 staffers with the five-person media unit to develop more holistic campaigns and better ROI measurements. Steve Kerho will head the consolidated group, moving from director-interactive marketing to director of media and interactive marketing.

Bausch & Lomb ads address health scare

[rochester, n.y.] Bausch & Lomb took out print ads in regional and national newspapers over the Easter weekend urging consumers not to use one of its contact-lens-solution products "for the time being." The company also pulled the product from store shelves. The ads-in the form of a letter from company CEO Ron Zarrella-addressed concerns from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention about ReNu with MoistureLoc lens-care solution. The CDC found 109 cases in 17 states of Fusarium keratitis, a rare fungal infection that damages the cornea. Federal health officials have made no direct link between MoistureLoc and the infections, but a high incidence of affected patients interviewed had used the cleaner.

Sprite unveils site ahead of relaunch

[atlanta] To tease Sprite's June relaunch, Coca-Cola Co., has launched a viral Web site at The site, created by interactive shop Butler, Shine, Stern & Partners, Sausalito, Calif., features grainy 60: second videos of people "proving" a feat on video, from a Chicagoan swishing a basketball from three stories high to an Atlantan performing several back handsprings. The site also features the brand's new logo as well as countdown clock ticking away to the launch. Crispin Porter & Bogusky, Miami, handles the general account.

Mars purchases Greenies manufacturer

[mclean, va.] Mars will soon add Greenies dog and cat treats to its pet foods business. The privately held marketer of M&M's, Uncle Ben's, Whiskas and Pedigree brands said it has signed an agreement to buy S&M NuTec, the privately held manufacturer of Greenies, for an unnamed sum. Mars said recently that monies garnered from cutting brands and ineffective trade funds would be poured into acquisitions. Pet snacks is the fastest-growing segment of the pet food category. Del Monte Foods Co. in March acquired Milk-Bone Dog Biscuits from Kraft Foods for $580 million.

Networks sue FCC over obscenity fines

[new york] Major broadcast networks filed two separate suits on April 14 challenging the Federal Communications Commission's March 15 obscenity decisions and fines, calling them "unconstitutional" and "inconsistent." The broadcasters, ABC, Fox, CBS and Hearst Argyle Television, argued the FCC overstepped its authority in issuing the fines.

Mazda marketing VP gets boosted ad budget

[irvine, calif.] Mazda North American Operations, which has three new model launches this year, will have its biggest ad budget ever in the fiscal year that started April 1, according to VP-Marketing Don Romano. Mazda spent $194 million in measured media in calendar 2005, according to TNS Media Intelligence. The all-new CX-7 15-second TV teasers from Doner, Southfield, break May 1.

Pfizer launches unbranded Viagra effort

[new york] Even as it readies a branded campaign for Viagra, Pfizer introduced a second unbranded ad campaign for erectile dysfunction aimed at boosting sagging sales by motivating men to discuss the condition with their doctor. Pfizer's new tagline is "Just Ask Today." The campaign is designed to educate men about the causes and varying degrees of erectile dysfunction and consists of a Web site,, a toll-free number and national TV spots featuring sexual health expert and TV and radio host Dr. Drew Pinsky. Interpublic Group of Cos.' McCann Healthcare, New York, handles. Spending was not disclosed.

Newspapers report dismal first quarter

[new york] Newspapers made a bit of a grim display this week when they reported their first-quarter earnings. The New York Times Co. reported perhaps the brightest results, even though first-quarter profit fell 68.5% to $35 million from $111 million a year earlier.The Tribune Co. reported that its first-quarter earnings fell to the tune of 28%, with flat ad revenue. McClatchy Co., which agreed last month to buy Knight Ridder, reported a 14.2% decline in first-quarter net income. Gannett turned in perhaps the most surprising report on April 12, announcing that net income sank 11.5% in the first quarter.

FYI ...

Land Rover unveiled its global broadband TV station, accessible at, at the New York Auto Show. It will offer lifestyle and adventure stories in recorded and real-time videos. The Ford Motor Co.-owned brand said it hopes the offering will engage prospects. The site will be promoted with ads. WPP's MindShare handled. ... Keith Green, a New York broadcasting and cable veteran for the past 25 years, passed away suddenly last month. Mr. Green had been living in Woodbury, New York. He began his career in research at ITVS in 1980, and then entered sales at Blair Television in 1981. He moved to Katz Communications as a team manager in 1984 and remained there until 1996 when he moved to The Food Network as an account executive. Mr. Green was most recently with Sportslink L.A. He is survived by his sons, Adam 18, and Sam 16.
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