The Week

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HP picks post-merger agencies

Hewlett-packard co.said brand advertising will appear in September to tout the merged HP and Compaq Computer Corp. Publicis Groupe's Optimedia, San Francisco and London, handles consolidated global media-buying. Interpublic Group of Cos.' Initiative Media, New York, handled media buying for Compaq, and retains a small piece of European business. Publicis' Publicis & Hal Riney, San Francisco, and overseas siblings, which handled HP's broadcast buying, retain media-planning duties. Omnicom Group's Goodby Silverstein & Partners, San Francisco, will remain lead agency for global brand advertising and will continue to do brand media planning, according to Gary Elliott, VP-HP marketing communications. Publicis Groupe Worldwide will be responsible for products and solutions advertising. The consolidation occurred without a review. Mr. Elliott said a direct review is under way. Interpublic's Draft- Worldwide, which has handled Compaq's direct business, will participate; Mr. Elliott declined to specify other participants. A decision will be made in mid-July. Compaq's pre-merger agency, Interpublic's Foote, Cone & Belding Worldwide, New York, will transition off in early August. QwikFIND aan61p

Coke scores NCAA deal for $500 mil

Less than three months after losing sponsorship rights in the National Football League to archrival PepsiCo, Coca-Cola Co. signed an 11-year deal with the National Collegiate Athletic Association. The deal is valued at more than $500 million and includes marketing and media rights to 87 NCAA championships, including the Division I Men's Basketball Tournament on Viacom's CBS. Coca-Cola reportedly paid a $14 million rights fee and will pay $22 million in media this first year of the contract. Ironically, Coke replaces Pepsi in the NCAA deal. Pepsi had the rights since 1995. QwikFIND aan60s

Apple takes aim at `horrid' PCs

Eschewing its nearly five-year-old "Think Different" mantra, Apple Computer went on the offensive in a multimillion-dollar ad campaign that broke last week. The effort, created by Omnicom Group's TBWA/Chiat/ Day, Playa del Rey, Calif., targets "switchers," or consumers disaffected by Microsoft Corp.'s dominant Windows PC franchise. TV and print ads use real Apple customers ; one refers to a Windows-based PC as "that horrid little machine." Apple's push takes a page from its archrival and sometime partner; Microsoft's MSN Internet portal has run a "switcher" campaign for a year targeting customers of America Online Time Warner's AOL.

HBC gets a deal and antitrust suit

Univision signed a deal to acquire leading Spanish-language radio company Hispanic Broadcasting Corp. for $3.5 billion in stock on the same day the radio operator and its largest shareholder, Clear Channel Communications, were sued by rival Spanish Broadcasting System for antitrust violations. The suit alleges that various actions by radio giant Clear Channel and Hispanic Broadcasting (including attempts to hinder Spanish Broadcasting's acquisitions of other stations as well as its 1999 initial public offering) kept the Hispanic-owned radio company from competing in the marketplace. Clear Channel, which retains a 7% stake in the newly merged Hispanic Broadcasting, denied all allegations. QwikFIND aan61c

Arnold bows out of San Francisco

The poor technology sector and West Coast economy have led Havas' Arnold Worldwide to shutter its San Francisco office, three years after it acquired what became known as Arnold Ingalls Moranville. Seventeen people were laid off; agency President Jim McGinn and Creative Director Stu Cooperrider will return to Arnold's Boston headquarters this summer. They were appointed earlier this year. The office had employed 50 people. Projects for current clients-including Gulf Lubricants, Keynote Software and be wrapped up over the next few weeks. Arnold MPG and Magnet public relations employees are affected. QwikFIND aan61f

Reddi-Wip ups spending for ads

Conagra foods launched an integrated campaign from Grey Global Group's Grey Worldwide for its Reddi-Wip refrigerated dairy topping. In addition to TV, print and Internet marketing, Reddi-Wip is unveiling its new tagline, "Let the Fun Out," and launching a customer sweepstakes. ConAgra said it is increasing the ad spending on the brand by 44%. Last year, Reddi-Wip spent $3.5 million in measured media, according to Taylor Nelson Sofres' CMR.

FYI ...

Unisys corp. kicked off a global brand campaign using print, TV and interactive created by darkGrey, the tech and telecom unit of Grey's Grey Worldwide, New York. Larry Weinbach, chairman, president and CEO of Unisys, declined to say how much the company was spending, except that it will be "substantially more" than the $13.3 million it spent in measured media in the U.S. in 2001, according to Taylor Nelson Sofres' CMR. QwikFIND aan61g ... John Berg, president of Omnicom's DDB Worldwide, New York, will next month become president of Havas' Euro RSCG MVBMS, New York. He will also serve on the executive team of Euro RSCG MVBMS Partners. Omnicom's DDB Worldwide will not replace Mr. Berg. QwikFIND aan61e ... Fox Broadcasting Co. has finally found an exec VP- marketing, hiring Roberta Mell, senior VP-marketing, HBO, to fill the position. She will be in charge of all the network's on-air promotion, print advertising, national media, affiliate and national promotion, publicity and creative services. She will report to Gail Berman, president of Fox Entertainment. Fox has been without a head of marketing for almost 18 months. Senn Moses previously had the job, coming to Fox from Sony Pictures Entertainment. QwikFIND aan61j

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