NEW YORK-Turner Broadcasting System Chairman-CEO Ted Turner's talks with General Electric Co. about buying NBC are said to be in high gear. But network executives are unclear how such a deal might be structured. Major TBS shareholders Time Warner and Tele-Communications Inc. gave Mr. Turner the green light to pursue an acquisition, but NBC executives said GE now appears interested in retaining a majority stake. Mr. Turner also faces regulatory and financial obstacles in acquiring the network. Separately, Capital Cities/ABC is rumored to be back on an acquisition path, and analysts believe syndicator King World may be its target. CBS is still considered to be in play.
EAST HAMPTON, N.Y.-Jerry Della Femina is at it again. Despite being arrested a year ago for placing an autumn-theme display of pumpkins outside his Red Horse Market-considered an illegal advertising display here-the adman/restaurateur/grocer put about 1,000 pumpkins out front this year. In case officials happened to overlook that, Mr. Della Femina last week ran an ad in a local paper announcing a $100 bill was hidden in one of the pumpkins. Some charges from last year's infraction are still pending.
LOUISVILLE, Ky.-KFC Corp. today starts teaming the colonel with the devil-Tasmanian, that is-in an animated spot supporting the chain's Looney Tunes promotion. "Enough food to feed your whole family, or one Tasmanian devil," quips the 30-second spot from Young & Rubicam, New York. KFC is offering four Looney Tunes mugs for $1.99 each with purchase of a $14.99 Mega Meal.
LONDON-Lawyers for former Bates Worldwide Creative Director Andrew Cracknell filed a writ on Oct. 28 against Bates Dorland and Bates Worldwide in High Court here. Mr. Cracknell, 48, asks for damages for alleged breach of his employment contract as creative director of Bates Worldwide, Bates USA and Bates Dorland. The writ's filing was delayed by problems that included Mr. Cracknell having trouble locating his employment contract.
NEW YORK-People and Voyager Co. this week unveil what may be the first mass-market CD-ROM, "People: 20 Years of Pop Culture." The $29.95 offering from Time Inc. features cover photos and articles gleaned from the magazine's 20-year history, a Di-o-rama charting the life of Princess Diana and interviews with staffers. In a tie-in with CompuServe, the CD-ROM will be distributed with software offering a one-month free membership.
NEW YORK-Rupert Murdoch, who boosted circulation but then triggered a newsstand price war in London, is employing a similar strategy at the News Corp.-owned New York Post. Starting today through Nov. 9, the tabloid's price has been halved to 25 cents.
ROSEBUD, S.D.-Hornell Brewing Co. last week won the right to continue marketing its Crazy Horse malt liquor. The Rosebud Sioux Tribal Court ruled it does not have jurisdiction to hear the case of a Crazy Horse descendant who filed suit claiming Hornell's product defamed his ancestor's reputation. Hornell also won a 1993 federal court case when a U.S. District judge in the Southern District of New York ruled a federal law banning use of the Crazy Horse name was unconstitutional.
TEANECK, N.J.-Haagen-Dazs named finalists for its estimated $10 million account, including Deutsch Inc., Partners & Shevack and Lord, Dentsu & Partners, all New York. Haagen-Dazs executives couldn't be reached for comment. Incumbent BBDO Worldwide is not participating.
NEW YORK-National Basketball Association and the NBA Players Association last week reached an agreement that will ensure the 1994-95 season will remain uninterrupted by strikes that have scuttled the baseball season and delayed professional hockey. The league and players agreed to honor terms of the now-expired collective bargaining agreement.
SECAUCUS, N.J.-Panasonic Co., kicking off the first major campaign tied to the 1996 Summer Olympics, on Oct. 29 began airing the first phase of a corporate image campaign promoting its sponsorship and status as official broadcast supplier of the games. The tagline in the spot from Grey Advertising, New York: "The athletes are getting ready. And so is Panasonic.
LOS ANGELES-Sponsors of Proposition 188, a watered-down California anti-smoking initiative financed by cigarette marketers, are mounting a TV and radio ad blitz through Dolphin Group here, reversing an earlier announced strategy. But the group pulled a TV spot after its star, a school administrator, retracted her testimonial.
SAUSALITO, Calif.-A product name's sound, rather than meaning, can influence consumers' perceptions, concludes research being released today by Lexicon Naming, a name-picking consultancy. The company found names beginning with V, F, S and Z sound the fastest; those with B, P and D connote dependability.
REDMOND, Wash.-Nintendo of America regained its lead over Sega of America in share of videogame hardware systems in the summer, according to figures compiled by market research group NPD Group, Port Washington, N.Y. Nintendo's share of all 16-bit systems sold from July through September reached 54% compared with Sega's 46%. But Sega maintains its overall share for the year at 55%; Nintendo was 45%. Both plan huge advertising pushes starting in November.
WICHITA, Kan.-Pizza Hut chose Kevin Miller to be its first VP marketing for dine-in business, and plans to name two more marketing VPs to handle carryout and delivery. Mr. Miller was management supervisor at Hal Riney & Partners Heartland, Chicago.
VIENNA, Va.-America Online and supermarket delivery company Shoppers Express today will deploy an online grocery and drugstore shopping service. AOL subscribers in participating cities can buy goods from Vons Cos., Kroger Co., Safeway and Eckerd Drug Co., and pay for them by credit card or check.
WASHINGTON-National Rifle Association returned to campaign politics this year in a curious fashion, using a 30-second message by Ackerman McQueen to attack Medal of Honor winner and Sen. Bob Kerrey (D., Neb.). He is a prohibitive favorite against Republican Jan Storey.
HOLLYWOOD-Paramount Pictures is lining up promotional partners for the Nov. 18 release of "Star Trek Generations." Jack in the Box will sell Star Trek merchandise and hold a sweepstakes promotion offering a walk-on part on a Star Trek TV show. The monthlong promotion begins today and is supported by a $5 million campaign from Cohen/Johnson, Los Angeles. AT&T Corp., Suncoast Motion Picture Co. and Sci-Fi Channel are also teaming for a consumer sweepstakes promotion in November.
LONDON-Electronic shopping, video-on-demand and online information services won't boom in Europe for 10 more years, said U.K.-U.S. research group Inteco in a report last week. Inteco warned cable and telecommunications companies that these U.S.-style services don't yet appeal to consumers in Germany, France, the U.K. or Italy, markets regarded as fragmented and at varying stages of development. Separately, home-shopping channel QVC last week said its U.K. version is performing less briskly than in the U.S., but it expects to break even by 1997.
CAIRO-Egyptian Tourist Authority moved its account of undisclosed size for Germany, Italy, Japan and the U.K. to CM Lintas, London, and local affiliate Look Advertising Co. Incumbent Saatchi & Saatchi Advertising did not pitch. Egyptian tourism took a beating after terrorists vowed to target foreign tourists in a campaign to topple President Hosni Mubarak's government; 11 visitors to Egypt have been killed in two years.
DUESSELDORF-Renault is discussing its $84 million German account with Lintas, Saatchi & Saatchi Advertising and other agencies. Renault in Germany is believed unhappy with Publicis, its main international agency, but has not called for a formal review. Separately, Daimler-Benz, Stuttgart, invited Lintas, Hamburg; Publicis, Frankfurt; and BBDO, Grey and Rempen & Partner here to pitch its $20 million worldwide corporate account, dormant for two years. Hildmann, Simon, Rempen & Schmitz/SMS handled the account previously.
TORONTO-Wal-Mart Canada will celebrate its national opening in late November with fliers and ribbon-cutting promotions. SMW Advertising handles with spots adapted from Bernstein-Rein, Kansas City, Mo. Allard Communication-Marketing, Montreal, handles French-speaking Quebec.
SYDNEY-"It's MTV on a surfboard," Coca-Cola says of "Coca-Cola nrg," a 16-week series starting on Nov. 6 as part of the national Network Ten's "Summer of Sport" programming. "nrg" will present rapid-fire clips of high tech surfing and other extreme sports, along with environmental tips and surf profiles. Coca-Cola also introduces a 24-can case nationally this week, supported by TV spots from McCann-Erickson.
TEL AVIV-A consortium of local companies, led by Regent Investments here, will bring Haagen-Dazs to Israel's supermarkets next summer. Regent has a 38% interest in the consortium. Frozen foods manufacturer Sunfrost and vegetarian food manufacturer Tivall hold 26% each, and a private investor holds 10%. Marketing plans are undecided.
HAMBURG-Tchibo Frisch Roest Kaffee moved its $68 million media buying account to Debis GFMO, starting in January. Carat-owned HMS handled previously.
WELLINGTON, New Zealand-J. Walter Thompson Co. closed its office here after dropping Caltex Oil's account internationally for a global alignment with Shell Oil. Local accounts move to Auckland. Caltex is considering Saatchi & Saatchi Advertising, Goldsack Harris Thompson and Lintas here, and Auckland agencies BSW Young & Rubicam; Bates; Mattingly & Partners; DDB Needham; DMB&B; Gestro Horne; and Walkers Advertising.
BIRMINGHAM, England-Rover Group is reviewing its $20 million German account with Lintas and incumbent Kevin Morley Marketing, both London. KMM signed a five-year agreement with Rover in 1992 for its $150 million European business, including Germany.
WARSAW-Paris-based TV channel Canal Plus was prevented from introducing Canal Plus Polska here after several members of the National Broadcasting Council said foreign owners hold too much of the channel. Poland restricts foreign stakes in domestic media ventures to 33%, a requirement Canal says it satisfies. Some analysts say political scheming to control airtime caused the conflict. This week Canal Plus Polska named JWT/Parintex to handle an introductory print campaign, estimated at $2 million.
BOMBAY-Chrysler is seeking a new partner to build and sell cars in India. Its previous partner, Mahindra & Mahindra, the nation's largest sport utility vehicle assembler, teamed with Ford despite a tentative agreement to market Chrysler's Jeep Cherokee in 1997. The development leaves Chrysler as the only Big 3 automaker unrepresented in India. Calcutta-based Hindustan Motors will assemble the Opel Astra for General Motors for a 1997 introduction.
Sega Europe, London, is reviewing its $38 million pan-European account, and is reportedly considering Lowe Howard-Spink, McCann-Erickson, Still Price Lintas, Abbott Mead Vickers/BBDO and U.K. incumbent WCRS, all London.
Trans World Airlines, St. Louis, to D'Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles from Bates USA, New York, for its $40 million domestic and international account.
Clairol, New York, to LCF&L for a $20 million marketing effort to reintroduce reformulated, environmentally safe Herbal Essence shampoo and conditioner products not advertised since 1979.
McDonald's Corp., Oak Brook, Ill., to Leo Burnett Co. for Venezuela, Colombia, Uruguay and Ecuador. Burnett affiliate Nucleo Pulicidad, Montevideo, will handle its home Uruguayan market; Burnett/Caracas has responsibility for the other three.
Anheuser-Busch, St. Louis, to DDB Needham Worldwide, Chicago, from D'Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles, St. Louis, for Bud Bowl advertising.
Ammirati & Puris/Lintas, New York, resigned the estimated $10 million Sterling Health USA account, following a conflict caused by the merger of Ammirati and Lintas, a longtime Johnson & Johnson agency.
Doubletree Hotels and Guest Quarters Suites, Phoenix, to RYP/Moss, New York, for their $6 million local and regional marketing account.
Learjet, Wichita, Kan., to the Richards Group, Dallas, from Barkley & Evergreen, Shawnee Mission, Kan., for its estimated $1 million to $2 million advertising and business-to-business account.
Good Humor-Breyers, Green Bay, Wis., to Ogilvy & Mather, Chicago, from McCann-Erickson Worldwide, New York, for its Popsicle brand frozen novelties.
Conde Nast Publications, New York, to Berlin Cameron Doyle from Warwick Baker & Fiore as agency of record.
Carl Portale to publisher, Elle, New York, from custom publishing director, Hachette Filipacchi Magazines. He succeeds Diane Silberstein, now publisher, The New Yorker.
Andrew Kitching to VP-marketing, a new post at the New York Daily News from promotions director, News International, London.
Alan Katz, 35, to associate publisher, a new post at New York, from ad director.
Park Communications, an Ithaca, N.Y., publicly traded company including nine TV stations, 22 radio stations and 106 daily and weekly newspapers, agreed to a $711.4 million buyout by private investors.
Andy Bonaparte to director-product and marketing strategy, Burger King Corp., Miami, from group account director, UniWorld Group, New York. He succeeds Keith Snelgrove, now marketing director, Burger King Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Also: Sandy Salinas to director-ethnic marketing, a new post, from account supervisor, Sosa, Bromley, Aguilar & Associates, San Antonio; Robert Halterman to director-worldwide field marketing from franchise manager, Northeast Region, succeeding Julio Ramirez, now VP-operations and sales, Latin America.
Rick Estabrook, 44, to senior VP-group director on the MasterCard International account, Ammirati & Puris/Lintas, New York, from a similar post at D'Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles. He succeeds Howard Lesman, senior VP now overseeing the Burger King account. Also: Matt Heller, 34, to senior VP-management supervisor on the Burger King account, a new post, from senior VP-account director, Deutsch Inc.
Steven Stanbrook, 37, to president-CEO, Sara Lee Bakery, Chicago, from VP-corporate development of parent Sara Lee Corp. He succeeds Judith Sprieser, now senior VP-chief financial officer, Sara Lee Corp.
Tom Thomas, 51, to exec VP-creative director, a new post at Lowe & Partners/SMS, New York, from consultant. He previously was co-founder and creative director of Angotti, Thomas, Hedge.
Charles J. Busta to VP-general manager, cosmetics and fragrance products for the U.S., a new post at Procter & Gamble USA, Hunt Valley, Md., from general manager.
Howard Bernick, president, Alberto-Culver Co., Melrose Park, Ill., adds the CEO title, previously held by Leonard Lavin, who remains chairman. Also: Carol Lavin Bernick to president, a new post at Alberto-Culver USA, from exec VP-consumer marketing, product development and strategic planning.
Albert Weiss to director-national marketing communications, a new post at Mercedes-Benz of North America, Montvale, N.J., from director-brand advertising and marketing communications. He assumes the duties of Marc Gratt, manager-product communications, who left.
Rochelle Klein to executive creative director, a new post at Angotti, Thomas, Hedge, New York, from co-creative director. She assumes the duties of Dion Hughes, co-creative director, who left. (For more people news, see Page 37.)
Kmart Corp. will test home delivery of most in-store products beginning Nov. 7. The service in Phoenix is a joint venture with Shoppers Express, a Bethesda, Md.-based home shopping company. The service will be promoted in newspaper inserts. Separately, a Springfield, Mo., Wal-Mart Supercenter is testing home shopping and delivery in a project with Home Shopping Alternatives.
Florida's 1st District Court of Appeals last week sided with a lower court that struck down a state Revenue Department attempt to impose a sales tax on advertising services. The William Cook Agency, Jacksonville, sued after a 1989 state audit concluded the agency owed $1.1 million in sales taxes.
"Natural Born Killers," due for U.K. release last week, was held by censors considering cutting the film or restricting screenings. Ireland one day earlier banned the film.
National Food Processors Association wants the Food & Drug Administration to change its food labeling regulations, barely 6 months old, to allow greater flexibility in making health claims on labels. The FDA reacted coolly to the request.
McDonald's Corp. plans to blitz New York with 16 of its smaller Express restaurants in the next 12 months. The Oak Brook, Ill.-based burger titan expects to be able to run highly profitable outlets in locations that would not support a full-scale McDonald's, Crain's New York Business reported.
American Home Products Corp. last week introduced Bonamil, a low-price infant formula produced by its Wyeth-Ayerst Laboratories unit. Marketing will be aimed at doctors and hospitals.
IBM Corp. acknowledged it had found and was fixing a minor bug in its new OS/2 Warp personal-computer software, backed by a $50 million fourth-quarter marketing blitz from Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide, New York.
Halloween advertising and promotions by beer marketers came under attack last week by a coalition of groups, including Mothers Against Drunk Driving, that accused brewers of using Halloween themes that appeal to children. The Beer Institute rejected the plea, arguing such ads and promotions are intended for adults only.
B.A.T Industries plans to fight to acquire American Tobacco Co. despite formal opposition by the Federal Trade Commission.
Ad industry and legal groups attacked Baltimore's ban on outdoor tobacco advertising. Four ad industry groups last week told the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, Va., that the U.S. District Court in Baltimore, erred in upholding the constitutionality of the ordinance by failing to consider whether the ban would accomplish the goal of reducing smoking by minors.
Motorola introduces low-price wired and cellular portable computer modems for consumers with a page ad Nov. 1 in The Wall Street Journal and a later TV campaign from McCann-Erickson Worldwide, Atlanta.
U.S. resident domestic travel is expected to slow to 3% to 4% growth in person trips (one person traveling 100 miles or more) in 1995, down from 5% growth in 1994, the U.S. Travel Data Center predicts.
General Motors Corp. starts a yearlong test of a marketing partnership between the automaker's GM Card and Kroger Co. on Nov. 1. Shoppers at Kroger's 66 Detroit area stores will earn 6% rebates to be applied to the purchase of a GM vehicle. McCann-Erickson Worldwide, New York, is creating print and spot radio ads with Atkinson Group, St. Louis, providing direct marketing support.
Miller Brewing Co. today adds a new twist to its humorous Miller Lite network TV campaign from Leo Burnett USA, Chicago, that combines offbeat sporting events. In one spot, a beer drinker and his dog are zapped into a televised football game, where they make the winning play.
Cadbury Schweppes last week said it held unsuccessful talks with Dr Pepper/Seven-Up Cos. in September about acquiring the U.S. soft-drink marketer, but may have future talks.
Robert A. Becker Euro RSCG, a New York healthcare agency, is the latest to try a guaranteed-results compensation plan. Becker will agree to forfeit fees for subpar sales performance in exchange for the opportunity to increase them for above-average performance. Becker President-CEO Sander Flaum said the concept, tried unsuccessfully by DDB Needham Worldwide, is already used for several pharmaceutical brands handled by the agency.
N W Ayer & Partners, New York, is the new name of N W Ayer.