The Week

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Nike faces trial in California in a closely watched "false advertising" case after the U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear its appeal before a verdict was reached in the California courts. Nike, backed by ad and public relations groups, had sought an early ruling on the First Amendment issues involved in the case, which it said chilled corporate rights to speak on public policy issues. The case centers around Nike's statements, in ads, op-ed articles and letters to the editor, about the labor practices of its overseas contract manufacturers, which werechallenged by a California activist who charged they were false advertising. Nike said it was pleased that comments on its appeal recognized free-speech issues and said its "fight to preserve the right to free and open debate moves forward."

Cordiant still pays ex-chief Bungey

While WPP Group and U.K. investment company Active Value fought for control of Cordiant Communications Group, Cordiant disclosed last week that former Chief Executive Michael Bungey is being paid $157,000 a year through 2004 as a consulant in addition to a $1.2 million payment he received when he left the company in March. It also said former Bates America President Bill Whitehead received a $1.3 million payment when he left the company. QwikFINDaao80z

Military shifts recruiting tactic

The defense department shifts its target in a new joint-service recruitment ad campaign to parents and others adults from recruitment-age young people. Creative, from Interpublic Group of Cos.' Mullen, Wenham, Mass., features testimonials from athletes, dentists, musicians and executives about what they gained from military service. Ads broke in Time Inc.'s People, Sports Illustrated, Time, Washington Post Co.'s Newsweek and other magazines last week. A public service TV spot will be distributed in July. Initial budget is estimated at $1.7 million.

DTC ad curbs defeated in Senate

Ad groups remained concerned that direct-to-consumer prescription drug advertising will remain a political campaign issue after the U.S. Senate defeated proposals by a contender for the Democratic presidential nomination to curb DTC ads by requiring more information disclosures. The DTC ad provisions, offered by Sen. John Edwards, D- N.C., were opposed by the ad industry. Industry officials said they would effectively kill broadcast DTC ads because of the airtime needed in a spot to provide the extra information. QwikFIND aao80u

Ice cream merger pits JWT, Goodby

The $2.8 billion combination of Nestle and Dreyer's Grand Ice Cream, cleared by federal antitrust regulators last week, is expected to spark an agency realignment. Omnicom Group's Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, San Francisco, handles the Dreyer's brands. Three of those brands (Dreamery, Godiva and Whole Fruit Sorbet) will be divested to appease government concerns. Other Dreyer's brands (including Edy's, Dreyer's and Starbucks-licensed ice creams) go to the new unit. WPP Group's J. Walter Thompson, Chicago, handles Nestle ice cream brands Haagen-Dazs and novelty ice cream products including Drumstick and Nestle Crunch Bars. QwikFIND aao80q

Alexander through as KFC pitchman

Yum brands' KFC is preparing to launch new creative in August after confirming last week that it's ended its two-year relationship with pitchman Jason Alexander. "This advertising campaign has run its course," said a KFC spokeswoman. Last month, KFC was negotiating with the actor's reps to extend his contract but talks fell through. Omnicom's BBDO Worldwide, New York, is developing new creative. Neither KFC nor Mr. Alexander's representatives would comment on claims by animal rights group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals that Mr. Alexander had agreed to lobby KFC on its behalf. BBDO referred calls to KFC. AdAge QwikFIND aao80a

Senate bill tightens media owner rules

The senate Commerce Committee, writing legislation to overrule liberalized media ownership limits enacted by the Federal Communications Commission, voted to eliminate a formula that lets station owners "discount" the household reach of UHF TV stations. Critics charged the formula allowed TV station groups to own stations reaching 90% of national TV households, far above the 45% set in FCC's new limits and the 35% ceiling in the old limit.

FYI ...

Roxio selected Venables, Bell & Partners, San Francisco, as its agency for its Napster division, which it will relaunch as a for-pay music online site. QwikFIND aao80o ... Donna Salvatore, 50, chief investment officer and former CEO of Publicis Groupe's MediaVest USA, New York, died June 20 of a brain aneurysm. AdAge QwikFIND aao78u...Jack Griffin, 42, Parade publisher, was named president of Meredith Corp.'s magazines, succeeding Jerry Kaplan, 56, who will retire at year's end. At Advance Publications' Parade, Exec VP-Associate Publisher Randy Siegel, 41, will succeed him. QwikFIND aao78u...CNN's President-sales and marketing Larry Goodman will retire; Greg D'Alba, exec VP-advertising, replaces him. QwikFIND aao79r

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