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Costco to start selling P&G's Pampers again

[cincinnati] Costco is preparing to re-instate Procter & Gamble Co.'s Pampers brand after yanking it from stores in most of the country last year, according to people familiar with the matter. Costco made the move last year after Kimberly-Clark Corp., maker of rival Huggies, agreed to manufacture the private-label Kirkland brand and handle customer service. The move by Costco cost P&G an estimated $150 million to $200 million in annual sales. But it also cost Costco some sales, and the store relented, said Burt Flickinger, principal with Strategic Resource Group. He said P&G made some concessions in custom packaging and shipping terms to win back the Costco business. Executives of P&G and Costco could not be reached or did not return calls for comment.

Gap picks Carat for media planning

[san Francisco] Gap Inc. has chosen Aegis Group's Carat to handle media-planning duties on the Gap brand, executives close to the review said. Ad Age reported the review in April as a search for a partner to work with Gap's in-house media planning team. The assignment is strategic consulting for Gap and its various sub-brands including Baby Gap, Gap Kids, Gap Maternity and Gap Body. The retailer spent $96 million on media on its various in 2005, according to TNS Media Intelligence. The incumbent, Publicis Groupe's Starcom, split with Gap after winning the $200 million planning and buying account for Macy's. Other contenders included: Omnicom's PHD, independent Palisades Media Group and WPP's Mediaedge:cia. Gap confirmed the Carat selection.

Internet giants vow net-neutrality push

[Washington] In the wake of failed net-neutrality legislation, net marketers and consumer groups are hinting at a grass-roots campaign to rally consumers before the issue comes before the Senate. E-mails, public-service ad messages on Web pages and letters to advertisers and blogs could be part of the effort from companies such as Google, Yahoo, eBay, Amazon and Microsoft. E-mails have already been sent to Gmail subscribers, Google advertisers and more than a million eBay members.

LG taps BrandBuzz for North America business

[Englewood Cliffs, N.J.] LG Electronics has selected WPP Group's BrandBuzz as North American agency of record for its estimated $50 million print and broadcast business. Sibling agency Y&R Mexico will work in cooperation with BrandBuzz. BrandBuzz was agency of record of LG Electronics in the U.S. The agency will now handle strategy and execution for all brand-marketing and product divisions in North America. Omnicom Group's Merkley & Partners was the other finalist in the review. See for more.

Photographer calls off settlement with 'Shock'

[new york] One week after Shock magazine said it had settled a dispute over its first issue's use of a photo by Michael Yon, who called the use unauthorized, the deal collapsed. "The agreement with HFM fell apart," Mr. Yon said, referring to Shock publisher Hachette Filipacchi Media U.S. "They have been dealing in bad faith and committed willful copyright infringements after the agreement was written but before we signed." A spokeswoman for Hachette disputed that account. "We do not agree with Michael Yon's assertion that we have infringed on a proposed agreement," she said. "We thought we had a settlement that he even announced publicly on his site. But he appears to have changed his mind and doesn't appear open to a settlement and it appears to be using this as a platform for ongoing publicity."

Upfront starts moving; ABC holds out for more

[new york] CBS, Fox, NBC, and the CW have all begun upfront trading. ABC is holding out for the biggest increases of the broadcast networks, arguing agencies should be paying the Disney Co. network at least a 4% CPM increase over last year, according to media agency executives. The network did not comment, but is understood to still be talking to agencies, without any deals done. Fox appears to be the only other network that might command price increases. Elsewhere, CBS has moved ahead of the pack steadily writing business all week. Executives suggest that both Group M and OMD have done deals, though neither the network nor the agencies would confirm. One executive suggested CBS had written as much as a $1 billion in business as of June 9. NBC is believed to have written deals below last year's rates while others claim that CBS has also done select deals at below last year's pricing. A CBS executive refuted that claim. See for more.

McCann makes creative shifts on Microsoft biz

[san francisco] Interpublic's McCann Erickson has reshuffled creative on its $463 million Microsoft account, according to executives familiar with the situation. Jeff Huggins, co-executive creative director, who partnered with John McNeal, has left for Interpublic's Hill Holliday, Boston. Rob Bagot, who was hired as exec VP-executive creative for McCann's MRM Partners direct division, now is partnering with Mr. McNeal, a spokeswoman for the agency said.

Hoover's $30M media goes to Ten United

[canton, ohio.] Hoover has moved its estimated $30 million media account from Interpublic Group of Cos.' Universal McCann to independent Ten United, a Columbus-based agency currently handling the company's packaging and retail advertising duties, according to Dave Baker, VP-marketing at Hoover. Creative duties remain at Omnicom's TBWA.

FYI ...

American Express broke a 15-second TV spot during CBS's telecast June 11 of the Tony Awards-traditionally an exclusive domain for official Broadway partner Visa-to leverage its pre-sale for tickets to the revival of the musical "A Chorus Line."
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