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General Mills imposes guidelines on kids ads

[minneapolis] General Mills has imposed calorie and nutrition guidelines for the products it will advertise to kids seven to 12 in response to increasing governmental pressure for food companies to develop such guidelines in the fight against childhood obesity. A company spokesman declined to specify the percentage of products affected by these new guidelines, which require that kid-marketed products contain 175 calories or less per serving and meet Food & Drug Administration definitions of healthy or provide at least one-half serving of fruits, vegetables, low-fat dairy or whole grains.

Federated Media launches ad platform

[new york] Federated Media, the blog-publishing firm run by Wired and Industry Standard founder John Battelle, last week launched an ad platform designed to give marketers access to its klatch of highly-literate and well-trafficked blogs, including BoingBoing, Fark and Mr. Battelle's own Searchblog. A key part of the platform is a do-it-yourself planning tool that will allow companies, especially small ones, to plan, create and execute ad campaigns across Federated's blogs. See for a Q&A with Mr. Battelle.

CBS taps Cliff Freeman to brand individual shows

[new york] CBS has reached out for some outside creative firepower to promote prime-time shows during the 2006-2007 broadcast season, handing the project to Cliff Freeman and Partners, New York, for TV, print and out-of-home work. CBS is looking to brand shows individually because they can be watched on so many media. But they will still be branded so consumers know where the shows came from. Cliff Freeman beat out contenders including Omnicom Group's Goodby, Silverstein & Partners and Interpublic Group of Cos.' Martin Agency for the work.

Alfonso Rodes to be named CEO of MPG

[london] Alfonso Rodes, brother of Havas CEO Fernando Rodes, and current MPG chief corporate development officer and CEO of the company's operations in Spain, is poised to be named CEO of MPG, according to executives familiar with the matter. Calls to MPG were not returned at press time.

Diageo offers naming rights to Nascar race

[new york] Spirits maker Diageo has unveiled a unique promotional contest in which it will sponsor a Nascar race next year and award naming rights to the race to a fan. The (Your Name Here) 400 Presented by Crown Royal will be held next May at the Richmond (Va.) International Speedway. The winning fan's name will be recognized by Nascar and on the TV broadcast as the race's official name. Fans can enter the contest at Crown Royal's Web site and at various tracks.

Bridgestone to narrow field to two this month

[nashville] Bridgestone/Firestone North American Tire said it expects to cut the 30-plus agencies vying for its two brands' $20 million TV creative and buying account in mid-May. Incumbent Grey, New York, which has held the account since 1998, is defending. The consultant, Pile & Co., Boston, said a winner is expected to be named by mid-July.

Heineken signs Lil Jon, Dupri for latest effort

[white plains, n.y.] Heineken will launch a new TV spot next week from Burrell, Chicago, featuring hip-hop stars Lil Jon and Jermaine Dupri. The spots, which make their debut during TNT's coverage of the NBA Playoffs and run primarily during other sports telecasts throughout the summer, show the rappers using the green-bottled import brew to settle a wager. Heineken has used hip-hop to sell beer in the past, most notably in a 2003 spot starring Jay-Z. "We're targeting consumers with an urban sensibility," said Heineken Brand Director Andy Glaser.

FYI ...

BMW of North America's motorcycle division selected independent agency The Concept Farm, New York, to handle its advertising account, estimated at $2 million in billings. The Media Kitchen, a unit of MDC Corp.'s Kirshenbaum Bond & Partners, New York, won media planning duties. ... Interpublic's Universal McCann has named former Media Kitchen executive Graeme Hutton senior VP-director of consumer insights and research for the U.S. ... Staples has hired Davie-Brown Entertainment as its entertainment marketing agency of record. ... Chuck Sullivan, most recently director-business development marketing for Ford Division, has joined Omnicom's as group director-engagement manager. He'll be responsible for Web-site development, digital advertising and interactive marketing for the Jeep and Chrysler brands.
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