New York City traffic was in knots one recent Friday night as BBDO Worldwide Exec VP-Director of Media and Programming Services Arnie Semsky created some hot news. More than 60 firefighters lined up outside 1285 Avenue of the Americas to squelch flames caused by a smoldering cigarette in Semsky's fourth-floor corner office.
Did K-III (Automobile, Seventeen) offer $540 million for Petersen Publishing (Motor Trend, 'Teen and Guns & Ammo)? And is sole owner Robert E. "Pete" Petersen holding out for $690 million? That's a report from inside K-III editorial ranks. Other plugged-in K-III sorts dismiss the rumor but agree K-III would be interested if Petersen goes on the block. One problem: Petersen Publishing reiterates it's not for sale. "Mr. Petersen's simply having too much fun," says Petersen's PR man. The K-III report is "out of left field" and no offer has been "formally made," he said, adding "there is no incentive" to sell. Petersen rumors constantly circulate; Hachette (Car & Driver) has been another supposed suitor. Petersen, 69, last month had an appendectomy, which may have contributed to recent rumors of health problems, but the veteran publisher looked fit in his recent visit to the N.Y. Auto Show.
The pundits think Quaker Oats' Snapple purchase was an overpriced snap, crackle, flop. What they overlook is Quaker synergy. As in Mikey, the freckle-faced Life cereal kid. Kirshenbaum Bond's idea to repurpose Mikey cereal footage in the new Snapple spot saved Quaker considerable cash. If Snapple can recycle a few more Quaker personalities, such as oatmeal taskmaster Wilford Brimley, then Adages is convinced the $1.7 billion acquisition will pay off. And we now know Mikey is the answer to the philosophical question that's been dogging us for a year: What Is the Repurpose of Life?
Why Adages thinks executives at a certain top-five U.S. ad agency will have a hard time winning reviews managed by a certain search consultant: "You can tell when one of them is walking down the hall," the consultant says, "because they leave a trail of slime." ... The American Association of Advertising Agencies, American Marketing Association and UCLA plan a conference on marketing to seniors, "Where's the Beef? The New & Improved Older Market," scheduled for May 3 in Los Angeles. Info: (310) 312-0531.
Compiled by Bradley Johnson with news from Mark Gleason, Keith J. Kelly and Pat Sloan.
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