The Week

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Verizon corporate goes to new shop

Verizon Communications added New York-based start-up independent McGarry Bowen to its roster of ad agencies to develop corporate brand and image advertising. Verizon's account is split among a number of agencies owned by Interpublic Group of Cos.: Bozell, New York, handles Verizon Wireless; DraftWorldwide handles direct marketing and Lowe has handled corporate branding, among other assignments. Verizon's relationship with Lowe is "evolving, and will evolve," Verizon spokesman John Bonomo said. An Interpublic spokesman referred calls to the client. The two-month-old shop was founded by John McGarry, a former senior executive of WPP Group's Young & Rubicam, and Gordon Bowen, formerly of WPP's Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide. Billings for the account could not be determined. According to Taylor Nelson Sofres' CMR, Verizon spent $31 million during 2001 on corporate communications advertising, $7.5 million to advertise its business, personal and residential services, and $50 million on its long-distance. QwikFIND aao16j

Bates' chairman Morris steps down

Mark Morris, a decades-long employee of Cordiant Communications' Bates Worldwide, will relinquish his duties as chairman of Bates North America and worldwide client director. Effective Jan. 1, 2003, Mr. Morris, 61, will work three days per week, maintaining his relationship with Pfizer, one of Bates' largest clients. Howard Courtemanche, currently exec VP, Bates USA, responsible for direct-to-consumer healthcare advertising, assumes Mr. Morris' former role as worldwide account director. No one at Bates was available to comment on whether the chairman duties and title will be given to other executives.

IBM launches new business campaign

IBM Corp. launched a series of TV spots Nov. 3 to support its previously released print and Web ads for its new "e-Business on Demand." On the heels of introducing e-Business several months ago, the fully integrated campaign from WPP's Ogilvy & Mather, New York, is built around the idea that successful businesses today need to provide goods and services "on demand." Three commercials aired on National Football League telecasts on Viacom's CBS and News Corp.'s Fox, as well as several news programs including "Meet the Press." The print campaign was launched Oct. 31 with eight-page inserts in Dow Jones & Co.'s The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times andKnight Ridder's San Jose Mercury News. See the spot at QwikFIND aao16o

Gemstar-TV Guide to restate earnings

On Oct. 31, Gemstar-TV Guide International announced it expects to restate revenues it took in via a licensing agreement with Scientific-Atlanta that expired in 1999. The company said $113 million in fees came into the company following the expiration of the agreement. Gemstar did not yet know how much the restatements may be, but said it would affect revenues taken in between July 1999 through March 2002. Last month Gemstar founder-CEO Henry Yuen and his longtime associate, chief financial officer Elsie Leung, stepped down from their positions, as Rupert Murdoch's News Corp., which owns 42.3% of the company, tightened its control. At midday on Oct. 31, Gemstar's stock was down 1 cent to $3.60, far off its 52-week high of $31.00.

Martha Stewart income drops 42%

Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia posted a 42% drop in net income to $2.8 million, even as revenue rose 4.2% to $70.9 million. During a conference call with analysts, management admitted results were affected at least partially by the investigation into Chairman-CEO Martha Stewart's stock trades. While publishing revenue rose 5.7% and ad pages rose 9% in the company's flagship title, Martha Stewart Living, renewal rates have seen a modest decline, said President-Chief Operating Officer Sharon Patrick. Ms. Patrick noted ratings for the syndicated TV show "Martha Stewart Living" have dropped. She added Omnimedia won't produce its annual prime-time network holiday special this year due to cost and the uncertainty surrounding Ms. Stewart. MSLO plans to launch Everday Food in the fourth quarter, a title which will not carry Ms. Stewart's name. QwikFIND aao16s

`Other white meat' is unconstitutional

A federal judge ruled that fees collected from hog farmers to fund advertising for pork, including the one touting it as "the other white meat," are "unconstitutional and rotten." The Michigan decision last week overturning the pork advertising program that funds the $30 million "other white meat" campaign from Interpublic's Campbell Mithun, Chicago, could make a second U.S. Supreme Court case on the issue of commodity advertising programs more likely, advertising lawyers said. Some producers of pork claim assessment for industry marketing programs represent forced speech, and the judge agreed with that claim. Agriculture Secretary Ann Veneman has asked the Justice Department to seek a stay while the ruling is appealed. QwikFIND aao15y

FYI ...

William E. Sprague, retired chairman-CEO of Creamer/FSR, Pittsburgh, and a member of the Pittsburgh Advertising Federation Hall of Fame, died Oct. 26 of pulmonary complications. He was 79. He began his agency career in Cleveland in 1951 and spent 20 years with Pittsburgh's Ketchum MacLeod & Grove before joining Creamer/FSR in 1978. He retired from that agency in 1990. At Ketchum, he was credited with convincing Time magazine to run its first ever ad directed at women, for Ketchum client Tappan. ... Oxygen Media launches this week an ad campaign that introduces a new logo and features celebrities from pop singer Madonna to fashion designer Isaac Mizrahi.

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