The Week

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Publicis Groupe's Leo Burnett USA, Chicago, will be the agency of record for Song, the new low-fare airline introduced Jan. 29 by Delta Air Lines as a cost-conscious competitor to JetBlue, Southwest and AirTran, executives at the agency and Delta Air said. Last April, Delta met with Omnicom Group's BBDO Worldwide about the launch (AA, July 22, P. 3). Burnett has handled Atlanta-based Delta since 1999. It is not known what the spending will be for Song, nor when the creative will launch. Song, which replaces Delta Express, will launch its service on April 15 and will initially fly from the three New York-area airports to Orlando, Fort Myers, Fort Lauderdale, Tampa and West Palm Beach. QwikFIND aao39L

Pepsi Twist was best-recalled ad

Intermedia Advertising Group's survey of 42 Super Bowl XXXVII commercials yet again proved that pop culture icons are the way to ensure advertising is recalled. But as Ted Sann, chairman-chief creative officer of Omnicom's BBDO Worldwide, New York, said: "If the ad is recalled but not liked, what's the point?" BBDO's ads dominated the best recalled list, with the top spot going to PepsiCo's Pepsi Twist ad featuring the Osbournes, (also the third most liked) while FedEx's castaway spoof was the second most-recalled spot (second most liked) and in third place was Visa's spot featuring NFL stars, Ronde and Tiki Barber (15th most liked). When asked about the relatively poor performance of AOL Time Warner's America Online's "see Super Bowl ads online" spot-28th on the most-recalled list, but ranked 40th out of 42 on the likability list-Mr. Sann admitted that for informational spots, being liked isn't always of such importance. See IAG chart: QwikFIND aao39p; See videos: QwikFIND aao37p

Kellogg raises cereal prices up to 2.5%

Kellogg Co. will hike prices 2% to 2.5% for its cold cereal brands, a move that analysts think is likely to be good for ad budgets. While the increase on cereals such as Special K and Cocoa Krispies was prompted largely by higher commodity prices for wheat and cocoa, which are likely to gobble up much of the profit margin, one food analyst said that Kellogg's decision will probably drive its marketing budget as well. The price hike "keeps the funds in place to raise advertising, which Kellogg has said it wants to do," the analyst said. Kellogg's U.S. $154 million cereal accounts are handled by Publicis Group's Leo Burnett USA, Chicago. Expectation is that rivals, including General Mills and Kraft Foods, will follow suit. QwikFIND aao39k

Philip Morris Cos. morphs into Altria

Ads supporting the launch this week of Altria Group, the new corporate moniker for Philip Morris Cos., ponder questions such as "Where do we grow from here?" Earnings results this week from Altria and its Kraft Foods unit implied an easy answer is not in the offing. The ads are part of an integrated effort from Leo Burnett USA, Chicago, and spotlight units Kraft, Philip Morris International and Philip Morris USA. But Altria this week reported a fourth-quarter profit drop of 18% due to increased expenditures on cigarettes, and Kraft warned that its 2003 profits would come closer to $2.10 earnings per share than the previously estimated $2.25, due to higher benefit costs and economic issues in Latin America. Kraft executives have pledged to continue ad spending levels and new product innovation rather than cut back in those areas to drive short-term top-line growth. Additionally, Philip Morris said it will launch a discount Marlboro Blend No. 27 in April.

Tribune, NYT post increases

Tribune Co. and New York Times Co. both posted better fourth-quarter results, helped by improved advertising sales in December. But both companies said the threat of war makes the first quarter hard to predict. Tribune posted an 8% increase in revenue to $1.43 billion, and a 24% increase in net income to $193.5 million over the year-ago period. The New York Times Co. reported $107.5 million in net income, up 45.1% from the same period in 2001, on a revenue increase of 7.6% to $840.2 million. Advertising revenues grew 10.1% to $578.2 million, but were practically flat for the year, at $2.05 billion. QwikFIND aao38t, aao39b

Powell: Anti-war ad was not censored

The chairman of the Federal Communications Commission last week saw no reason to become involved in a controversy over cable network Comcast's refusal to air an anti-war commercial during CNN's coverage of President Bush's State of the Union speech. The group behind the ad, the Anti-War Video Fund, charged that the cable giant's refusal to run a political opinion commercial was an act of censorship made possible by media consolidation. FCC Chairman Michael Powell said, " That ad was about Washington, D.C. The fact that Comcast might own assets in another part of the country to which the ad wasn't even placed" doesn't matter. QwikFIND aao39d


Procter & Gamble Co. reported sales of $11 billion, up 5.8 % from a year ago, for its fiscal second quarter ended Dec. 31 and said it will continue to increase marketing behind Pantene, Clairol, Tampax and Olay. QwikFIND aao38o. ... Verizon Communications cut ties with Interpublic's Lowe & Partners Worldwide, New York, but a review is not planned, a spokesman said. QwikFINDaao38z

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