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[Detroit] General Motors Corp. said it will give away 1,000 of its 2004 models in what it calls the biggest auto promotion ever, backed by a $50 million, 56-day "Hot Button" blitz breaking today on CBS. Consumers will be told they can go to a dealer of any GM brand, sit in a designated model and push the car's OnStar button to find out instantly if they've won. Interpublic Group of Cos.' McCann-Erickson Worldwide, Troy, Mich., handles and worked with sibling McCann WorldGroup shops on print ads, a 6-million-unit direct mail program, online ads and a Web site at See QwikFIND aap25s

AOL intros `Top Speed'; Wieden is shooting ads

[Dulles, Va.] The Super Bowl marketing push of Time Warner's America Online will center around speed. Wieden & Kennedy, Portland, Ore., is shooting three spots on the East and West coasts that will promote AOL Top Speed, a technology that AOL says improves download times for both broadband and narrowband users. Omnicom Group's BBDO Worldwide, New York, is no longer producing pre-game commercials as had been planned. Instead, Super Bowl TV network CBS produced 10-second teasers to promote the newly titled "AOL Top Speed Super Bowl XXXVIII Halftime Show" and was scheduled to begin airing them Jan. 4. Spending was not disclosed.

Dems boost ad spending in early primary states

[Washington] Democratic presidential candidates, buoyed by receipt of federal matching funds, are dramatically stepping up ad spending ahead of the Jan. 19 Iowa caucus and Jan. 27 New Hampshire primary. The Joe Lieberman campaign said spending would hit $1 million a week, from $1 million a month, mostly in New Hampshire but also in states with Feb. 3 and Feb. 10 primaries. Separately, Sen. Lieberman (D- Conn.) said Jan. 2 that as president he would urge media companies to be more responsible about their depiction of violence against women, especially in video games, and if elected would convene a summit meeting of entertainment leaders and domestic violence experts to raise media awareness.

General Mills and CNN partner for Total cereal

[Minneapolis] General Mills, for its Total cereal, launches an eight-week integrated-marketing partnership Jan. 5 with Time Warner's CNN. In on-air healthy-living segments themed "New You Resolution," CNN medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta will help five people break bad habits and get healthier. Total is the on-air sponsor, with billboards, tune-in spots and promos on CNN and Headline News. will devote an online area to the promotion, and co-branded tune-in ads will run in USA Today, The New York Times, Washington Post and others. General Mills will promote the CNN series on Total boxes. Publicis Groupe's Saatchi & Saatchi, New York, handles Total. Spending on the promotion was not disclosed.

Select Resources enters PR agency review field

[Santa Monica, Calif.] Select Resources International is expanding its agency-review consultancy practice to include public relations. Dan Orsborn, formerly partner-general manager at Omnicom's Porter Novelli, Los Angeles, was named senior partner and will lead the PR area at Select Resources. Select Resources initiated a number of practices which have become widespread in the agency review process. It expanded operations in recent years beyond its West Coast base to handle pitches for East Coast and global clients.

Borders wins work on Valvoline brand

[Lexington, Ky.] Ashland's Valvoline division consolidated its creative and media account with roster shop Borders, Perrin & Norrander, Portland, Ore., which handles Valvoline's Eagle One brand. Interpublic's Lowe, New York, was the incumbent on the Valvoline brand. Spending was not disclosed. Measured media spending on the Valvoline brand in 2002 was $24 million, according to TNS Media Intelligence/CMR.

MSN `Butterfly' speaks in new ads by McCann

[Redmond, Wash.] Microsoft Corp. Jan. 8 launches a new version of its MSN Internet network with a multimedia campaign aimed at users of high-speed broadband connections. More than a dozen spots, from McCann-Erickson, San Francisco, feature its previously silent Butterfly character giving advice on everything from pregnancy mood shifts to office politics. The campaign, tagged "It's better with the Butterfly," includes print and online efforts. Spending was not disclosed.

AT&T Wireless contacts shops about new project

[Redmond, Wash.] AT&T Wireless is contacting agencies about a new project, believed to be Olympics-related, said executives close to the company. AT&T Wireless did not return calls. WPP Group's Ogilvy & Mather, New York, and Omnicom's Goodby Silverstein & Partners, San Francisco, handle AT&T Wireless. A Goodby executive said he was unaware of other agencies being contacted about a project.

FYI . . .

FedEx Corp.'s $2.4 billion acquisition of privately held Kinko's, announced Dec. 30, combines two advertisers served by Omnicom agencies, FedEx by BBDO Worldwide, New York, and Kinko's by GSD&M, Austin, Texas. The two agencies were unable last week to say how the acquisition would affect arrangements with their clients. Kinko's, which is shifting more of its marketing spending toward non-traditional e-mail and direct marketing, spent only $2.4 million in measured media between January and August of 2003, compared with $22 million for all of 2002, according to TNS Media Intelligence/CMR. ... Investment manager American Century Cos., after a review, to Interpublic's Draft, Chicago, to handle direct marketing, from Digitas, Boston. Rubin Postaer & Associates, Santa Monica, Calif., remains American Century's branding agency. Select Resources International, Santa Monica, was the review consultant. Spending was not disclosed. ... Cable TV system operator Charter Communications today breaks a campaign, its first from McCann Erickson, Detroit, with the tagline "Get Charter and get hooked." TV spots tout Charter's product offerings, including its new Charter DVR, a TiVo-like service, with the line, "go where satellite can't." Spending was not disclosed. Charter spent $7.7 million in measured media in 2002, according to TNS Media Intelligence/CMR. Charter did not return calls. ... Samsung is contacting agencies about its cellphone business, two executives familiar with the situation said. One executive said it was unclear whether the talks would lead to a review. A Samsung spokeswoman said she was unaware of any review. Interpublic's Foote, Cone & Belding , New York, the global Samsung agency, denied there is a review. ... Robert Denniston was named director of the White House national youth anti-drug ad campaign, from associate director. He succeeds Alan Levitt. ... Casio awarded its advertising account to MDC Partners' Margeotes Fertitta & Partners, New York, following a review involving New York agencies Wolf Group and Interpublic's Hill Holliday Connors Cosmopulos. Incumbent Rotter-Kantor, New York, did not participate in the review. See QwikFIND aap25k ... Pentax USA tapped Della Femina Rothschild Jeary & Partners, New York, to develop a broadcast, print and online campaign after a review that included Kirshenbaum Bond & Partners West, San Francisco, and Vitro Robertson, San Diego. Launch, Denver, the incumbent, did not participate. See QwikFIND aap25j ... Meow Mix catfood brand icon "Mr. Meow" gets exposure as "author" of children's book "Mr. Meow's Amazing ABC Adventure," due March 15.

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