The Week

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Pizza Hut, Wieden relationship `done'

Just recently, Omnicom Group's BBDO Worldwide was thought to be in trouble on the $140 million Pizza Hut account, as second agency Wieden & Kennedy, Portland, Ore., was about to break work. Now BBDO appears to be as solid as ever after Pizza Hut, a unit of Yum Brands, Dallas, split with Wieden last week. Pizza Hut spokeswoman Patty Sullivan confirmed the agency's work was "done," adding that she did not know if it would be giving future assignments to Wieden & Kennedy or others in the future. Wieden earned a spot on the roster in March, but its work for Pizza Hut's "Insider" pizza ran for less than a week in May. BBDO broke work on Pizza Hut's "Stuffed Crust" pizza during the July 4 weekend. See the spot at QwikFIND aan76s

Land Rover says farewell GSD&M

The last major work from Omnicom's GSD&M, Austin, Texas, for Ford Motor Co.'s Land Rover North America broke over the weekend-a sole :30 TV spot for the 2003 Discovery sport utility. The marketer confirmed last week it's consolidating its $50 million account from GSD&M to WPP Group's Y&R Cos., Irvine, Calif., effective Oct. 10. The move was expected.Y&R's London office handles the brand in the rest of the world. Y&R also handles Ford's Jaguar brand globally. "It was the right business decision and in no way disparages our relationship with GSD&M," said Jon Williams, VP-marketing at Land Rover. The move "was especially disappointing since it was made not for cause, but rather based on corporate decisions that had nothing to do with the success of our work," said Roy Spence, president of GSD&M, which won the account in March 2000 shortly before Ford acquired Land Rover. "When we came up with the Land Rover idea `the most well-traveled vehicles on earth' we didn't know they would take it literally when it came to agencies." This will be Land Rover's third U.S. agency since it started selling here in 1987. QwikFIND aan76j

Watchdog group apologizes to WWE

Media watchdog group the Parents Television Council agreed to pay World Wrestling Entertainment $3.5 million in damages for false statements, as well as issuing apologies for wrongly identifying advertisers who were never sponsors, and blaming the WWE for the death of a Florida child by another child allegedly mimicking the moves by WWE wrestlers. L. Brent Bozell, president of the PTC, said he "was incorrect and wrong to have blamed WWE or any of its programs for the death." Additionally, he said, "I want to be clear that various statements made by MRC [Media Relations Center], PTC, and me were inaccurate concerning the identity and number of WWE `Smackdown!' advertisers who withdrew support from the program."

Coen revises down 2002 ad spending

Ad spending will increase 2.1% in the U.S. this year to $236.2 billion and rise 2.1% to $214 billion outside the U.S., according to revised numbers from veteran forecaster Robert J. Coen. The numbers are slightly lower than a 2.4% growth rate predicted in December by Mr. Coen, senior VP-director of forecasting at Interpublic Group of Cos.' Universal McCann. However, he remains bullish on 2003, and projects spending will increase 5.5%, both in the U.S. and abroad. Mr. Coen's forecast is in the upper range among recent 2002 projections, which range from an increase of 2.5% in U.S. spending estimated by Taylor Nelson Sofres' CMR to a drop of 0.5% called by Zenith Optimedia Group. Mr. Coen said U.S. spending will benefit from political advertising in the second half, which will hike local ad spending by 2.4%, particularly on local TV, which will grow 5%. But weak cable and magazine growth-where spending will drop 3.5% and 1%, respectively-will hold national media spending growth at 1.9%. Separately, Unilever Co-Chairman Niall FitzGerald told attendees at the Allen & Co. media conference in Sun Valley, Idaho, last week he foresees a soft market for media advertising continuing for the next 12 to 24 months. QwikFIND aan76r

Lottery assignment prompts lawsuit

A group of Pennsylvania taxpayers, including two state senators and Brian Tierney, founder of Interpublic Group of Cos.' Tierney Communications, filed a lawsuit July 10 against the state's Department of Revenue over the request-for-proposal process used to select agencies that will develop campaigns for the Pennsylvania Lottery. The complaint alleges the Department of Revenue failed to "discharge its duties so as to assure fair, competitive access to Commonwealth agency procurement by responsible contractors." It uses examples from the most recent account review, from August 2001 to February 2002, which was eventually awarded to Marc USA over Tierney, the 25-year incumbent on the Lottery account, and Blattner Brunner. The suit asks the Department of Revenue to cancel the RFP for the most recent review; prevent the department from negotiating with or signing a contract with Marc USA; and asks for a new RFP and review for agencies. Holly Oughton, press secretary for the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue, said "We have just received the complaint and are reviewing it." QwikFIND aan77g


Simon lloyd has left as deputy chairman of Zenith Optimedia Group and chief executive of Zenith Optimedia Group Europe, jointly owned by Publicis Groupe and Cordiant Communications Group. When the group was formed last year under one holding company, Zenith Chairman John Perriss got the top job as chief executive. Mr. Lloyd had developed Optimedia worldwide. Steve King, Zenith's worldwide CEO, and John Taylor, Optimedia's international director of operations, will assume his responsibilities. ... South African Breweries' acquisition of Miller Brewing Co. from Philip Morris Cos. was completed, forming new company SABMiller, London, which becomes the world's No. 2 brewer after Anheuser-Busch Cos. QwikFIND aan76i ...Wyeth is not running ads for its Prempro hormone-replacement drug in the wake of a study suggesting the drug could increase the risk of heart disease and breast QwikFIND aan77e

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