MDC, in acquisition spree, buys stake in Kirshenbaum
[New York] MDC Partners is embarking on a $100 million acquisition strategy over the next two years, having last week bought 60% of Kirshenbaum Bond & Partners. The deal is believed to be worth up to $75 million in cash and stock. Miles Nadal, chairman-CEO of MDC, said he is interested in many U.S. and European sales promotion, database management, customer research management, PR and interactive companies, including New York's Cliff Freeman & Partners as well as Boston's Modernista. According to Cliff Freeman, chairman, CEO of the New York City agency, no deal is imminent. Modernista said it has no plans to sell and is "proud of its independence." See AdAge.com QwikFIND aap33f
Sara Lee consolidates $200M biz at Starcom
[Chicago] Sara Lee Corp.'s decision last week to consolidate its $200 million media strategy, planning and buying for U.S. brands with Publicis Groupe's Starcom USA is the biggest piece of the plan to centralize marketing efforts at the formerly fragmented food, apparel and household products marketer (AA, Sept. 14, 2003). Lee Chaden, Sara Lee's first exec VP-global marketing and sales, said further explanation of which brands will receive the bulk of newly leveraged media and R&D efforts will be announced at the Consumer Analysts Group of New York meeting Feb. 18 in Arizona. See AdAge.com QwikFIND aap33j
Pfizer launches review for Caduet
[New York] Pfizer has put the creative account for its new combination medication Caduet into review, executives close to the situation said. Pfizer declined to comment. It is not known what agencies are involved or what the billings on the account will be. Caduet is a combination of the anticholesterol drug Lipitor and the hypertension drug Norvasc. Caduet is expected to receive Food and Drug Administration approval later this month.
OMD chief Uva joins board of TiVo
[Alviso, Calif.] TiVo has named Joe Uva, global CEO-president of Omnicom Group's OMD Worldwide, as a member of its board, an executive familiar with the situation said. TiVo, without an agency for more than two years, last worked with Omnicom's Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, San Francisco. The executive said corporate governance regulations would prevent any Omnicom shop from handling the TiVo account. TiVo had no ad spending for the first 10 months of 2003, and spent $6 million in 2002, down from its 2000 high of $48 million, according to TNS Media Intelligence/CMR. A TiVo spokeswoman declined to comment.
Stengel to revisit Artzt's new-media speech
[Cincinnati] Procter & Gamble Co. Global Marketing Officer Jim Stengel will revisit former P&G Chairman-CEO Edwin L. Artzt's famous call to action on new media when he addresses the American Association of Advertising Agencies Management Conference April 15 in South Beach, Fla., Mr. Stengel said Jan. 30. Mr. Stengel's speech will mark the 10-year anniversary of Mr. Artzt's speech to the same group in 1994, which is widely credited with helping unleash a torrent of experimentation in interactive media in subsequent years. In his speech, Mr. Stengel said he'll issue a report card on how the advertising industry has responded to Mr. Artzt's address, in which he warned agencies of dire consequences should they fail to take the lead in emerging media.
Harley-Davidson touts low-price Sportster
[Milwaukee] Harley-Davidson wants to "overcome some price misperceptions" that the average price for one of its motorcycles is $15,000, said Tom Watson, marketing director. So a new national :30 TV spot for its redone, entry-level Sportster, breaking Feb. 7, touts its $6,495 starting price. Interpublic Group of Cos.' Carmichael Lynch, Minneapolis, handles.
Samsung seeks cellphone creative
[Dallas] Samsung Electronics is contacting agencies for ideas about its advertising creative, executives familiar with the situation said. Samsung's advertising is handled by in-house shop, Cheil Communications. An executive familiar with the situation said Interpublic's Foote Cone & Belding, New York, which won the consolidated $400 million Samsung account, will remain "in place." FCB referred calls to the marketer. Executives at Samsung and Cheil did not return calls by press time. Samsung spent $3 million on measured media in 2002 for cellphones and $22 million for digital phones, according to TNS Media Intelligence/CMR.
AT&T Wireless launches new plan, ad campaign
[Basking Ridge, N.J.] AT&T Wireless is making a major strategy play to develop calling circles with an unlimited, no extra fee, domestic mobile-to-mobile call plan. The service will be available only to AT&T Wireless' 22 million customers. WPP Group's Ogilvy & Mather, New York, will develop the TV and print campaign breaking Feb. 6 during "American Idol," sponsored in part by AT&T Wireless. AT&T Wireless' branding shop is Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, San Francisco. A spokesman did not disclose spending, but described the effort as a "major campaign."
Comcast Cable is launching "Comcast Spotlight," a new name and identity for the carrier's local, regional, and national advertising sales offices, which sold $1 billion in spot cable inventory last year. An advertising campaign featuring the new brand will make its debut this month. ... Ford Motor Co.'s Lincoln and Mercury brands break nine new TV spots on national broadcast and cable Feb. 2. Mercury, trying to recoup from a 23% drop in unit sales in 2003 vs. 2002, launches its new 2004 Monterey minivan. WPP Group's Y&R Advertising, Dearborn, Mich. handles both. Lincoln saw `03 sales rise by 6%, mostly due to its luxury sport utilities. ... Media columnist Michael Wolff will leave New York magazine in March to write a column and features for Conde Nast Publications' Vanity Fair.