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Clorox, P&G form joint venture

Rivals clorox Co. and Procter & Gamble Co. signed an agreement to form a joint venture in the U.S. food-storage wrap business. Under the terms of the agreement, Clorox's Glad bags and wraps operations would be combined with P&G's Impress food wrap and related business. The venture, agreed to in principle, will be jointly owned by the two marketers but managed by Clorox, according to Gerry Johnston, Clorox chief operating officer. The board of the joint venture will include Robert McDonald, president of P&G's fabric and home-care business. "We believe this area of alliances is going to be the wave of the future," Mr. Johnston said. QwikFIND aao20p

Gap uses discounts to lure shoppers

The gap plans an aggressive marketing push to jumpstart holiday sales with discounts, something the specialty store retailer traditionally avoids. In addition to holiday TV spots, the struggling retail chain will mail a 37-page holiday gift guide to customers that includes a "mystery" gift card, with discounts ranging from $5 to $100. Customers must take the card to a Gap to determine its value. Gap also will distribute, via newspapers, a 25-page gift guide in 10 markets. In it, consumers will receive another card entitling them to $10 or 15% off a $50 purchase, depending on the region. The marketing changes come as Gap has shifted direction under new CEO Paul Pressler, who's been on the job for about a month. Gap sales at stores open for at least one year increased 11% for the four weeks ended Nov. 2, the first increase in 29 months. The holiday campaign centers on the theme "Give Color!" According to Taylor Nelson Sofres' CMR, Gap stores spent $96 million in measured media in 2001. For the first eight months of the year, Gap spent $55 million. QwikFIND aao20n

Grey revenue down 1.9%

Grey global group last week reported a surge in third-quarter earnings due to changes in its accounting procedures, though revenue was down 1.9% vs. the year-ago period, to $290.4 million from $295.9 million. A slowdown in international markets, particularly in Europe, caused the decline, the company said. Net income for the period ended Sept. 30 was $2.8 million compared with $1.5 million over the year ago period. QwikFIND aao20c

Riney would like to open new shop

Hal riney already knows what he's going to do when his contract with Publicis Groupe ends: start a new shop. Mr. Riney, chairman emeritus of Publicis & Hal Riney, San Francisco, announced his intention to start another ad agency during an acceptance speech at an awards dinner of the 2002 American Association of Advertising Agencies' Creative Conference last week. He said his Publicis contract ends "within a year or so," and added he would like to open another shop "if the rules of my contract allow it." Mr. Riney and Phil Dusenberry, formerly chairman of Omnicom Group's BBDO Worldwide, New York, were the first two recipients of the 4A's Lifetime Achievement award. Mr. Riney, 70, added he expects to win another such award "in my next agency lifetime." He sold Hal Riney & Partners to Publicis Groupe several years ago and announced his retirement earlier this year. QwikFIND aao20o

Comcast, AT&T cable deal approved

Comcast and at&t Broadband are expected to merge their cable operations this week into Comcast AT&T following approval of the deal by the Federal Communications Commission and the Department of Justice. The deal-originally announced as worth more than $47 billion, but now much less due to stock price declines-will create a single company with 27 million subscribers, nearly double the number of customers of any other cable company. QwikFIND aao20i

FYI ...

Cmr/tns Media Intelligence named Steven J. Fredericks as president-CEO of the parent of Taylor Nelson Sofres' CMR. He replaces David Peeler, who resigned after seven years with the research firm. Mr. Fredericks was previously president-CEO of JASSNet, New York, an Internet program guide. ... ...Through the first two weeks of November, NBC is ahead in the key adults 18-49 demographic race with a Nielsen Media Research 5.0 rating. The network is down slightly, 4%, versus last year. ABC is in second place, having improved 5% versus a year ago to a 4.3 rating. CBS earned a 4.1 rating, down 15% versus a year ago. Fox is down 43%, to a 3.4 rating. Because of scheduling changes brough on by Sept. 11, Fox ran baseball playoffs and World Series in last year's November sweep period, making this year's comparisons tough. A much improved network is The WB - up 10% so far to a 2.1 rating. UPN is down 14% to a 1.8 rating....Barry Diller will become interim co-CEO of Vivendi Universal's entertainment assets. Music, movies, TV networks, video games and theme parks fall under his leadership. Mr. Diller last year sold assets such as USA Network to Vivendi and took on the post of CEO of VU Entertainment, which included movies, theme parks and some TV... QwikFIND aao20v...Anheuser-Busch Cos. will experiment with long-format commercials-from 7.5 minutes to half an hour. Omnicom Group's DDB Worldwide is handling one version based on Budweiser's "True" campaign, but the brewer is talking with other agencies about 30-minute films as it seeks to reach consumers bored and annoyed with 30-second spots....Joe Abruzzese, former CBS president of network sales, now president at Discovery Networks tapped Scott McGraw, the top executive in sports sales at Viacom's CBS, to join him as exec VP-ad sales for Discovery Networks U.S. QwikFIND aao19w

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