The Week

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Blue, Vanilla new entries in soda wars

The cola category could heat up this summer with the launch of two soft drinks: PepsiCo's Pepsi-Cola North America's Pepsi Blue, rolling out in August and Coca-Cola Co.'s Vanilla Coke, launching now. Marketing for berry-flavored Blue will mimic that of blockbuster sibling Mountain Dew Code Red with Internet, outdoor and nontraditional efforts, said Dave Burwick, Pepsi's senior VP-marketing of carbonated soft drinks. Pepsi's agency is Omnicom Group's BBDO Worldwide, New York. Coca-Cola, meanwhile, unveiled its cream-soda-like flavored drink last week. Interpublic Group of Cos.' Martin Agency, Richmond, Va., handles the campaign. QwikFIND aan46s, aan49b

KFC abandons toys for kids' meals

KFC expands its focus on children's meals, but says it plans to ditch the practice to include plastic toys. In June, the Tricon Global Restaurants chain will roll out its $2.99 Kids Lap Top Pack, which features packaging that delivers food in a lap-top tray printed with games to take the place of toys, which in the past have been a choking hazard. "With all the safety concerns about plastic toys and [the revelation] that older kids couldn't care less about the toy, we just wanted something that would fit more into our brand strategy," said Cynthia Koplos, KFC director of marketing. KFC will also try to attract children with a tie-in with Paramount Pictures' December release, "The Wild Thornberrys," based on the Nickelodeon TV series, as the centerpiece of its fourth-quarter kids' meal promotion using on package images and games. Omnicom's BBDO Worldwide, New York, is KFC's ad agency. QwikFIND aan45k

Unilever to bring Axe to U.S.

Unilever hopes Axe strikes the blow that puts it atop the U.S. antiperspirant and deodorant category as it launches the world's leading male deodorant brand here in late August. Among ads that will back the $90 million TV and event marketing effort, according to executives familiar with the situation, will be "Ideal Woman," an ad that has played successfully overseas from U.S. agency of record Bcom3 Group-backed Bartle Bogle Hegarty. Alan Jope, chief operating officer of Unilever Home and Personal Care, U.S., said creative will be drawn from all over the world, including from Interpublic's Lowe Worldwide, which handles Axe in several countries. The $600 million brand has double-digit market shares in most places it competes, he said. "We've been getting our business right for [this launch in the U.S.], and the time is right for this product." QwikFIND aan47b

Latest privacy bill draws criticism

Bipartisan privacy legislation that would affect offline as well as online marketers-known as the Consumer Privacy Protection Act-was introduced last week in the House of Representatives by Cliff Stearns, R-Fla., chairman of a House Energy and Commerce Committee, and quickly drew criticism. The bill would require marketers above a certain size, even those offline, to have a privacy policy. Business groups, including retailers, said the bill's requirement to give consumer privacy policies appeared unworkable, cluttering stores and making it difficult for clerks to call back customers when merchandise arrived. Meanwhile consumer groups warned the bill would diminish, not improve privacy. They said under the legislation tough state laws would be abolished and consumers would lose the right to sue for damages. QwikFIND aan48y

ANA counsel Weil dies at 89

Association of national Advertisers General Counsel Gilbert H. Weil died April 22 in New York at age 89. Mr. Weil had served as chief legal adviser to the association for 49 years at the time of his death. In 1985, he was also named an honorary lifetime member of the ANA board of directors. He was present at ANA's regular board meeting earlier in April and also served as general counsel to the Advertising Research Foundation. As a young attorney, Mr. Weil first began working with ANA in 1935. In the 1960s and 1970s, he was a key adviser to industry leaders as advertising was forced to come to terms with increasing supervision by Congress and the Federal Trade Commission. In addition, he played a significant role in 1976 when the ad industry won recognition from the U.S. Supreme Court that truthful advertising was a form of "commercial speech" protected under the First Amendment from unjustified government interference.


Grey Global Group named Eduardo Arrocha president and regional manager for Latin America, from president-CEO of Grey Worldwide in Argentina. He succeeds Mike Gaertner, who returns to international account management. Mr. Arrocha, 50, will remain in Buenos Aires. ... The movie-like BMW Films integrated campaign by Publicis Group's Fallon, Minneapolis, won Best of Show at the One Club awards May 10 at New York City's Waldorf-Astoria hotel. ... Garry K. McGuire Jr., 31, a Silicon Valley marketing veteran who has worked for Nortel Networks and Tandem Computers among others, has joined independent Butler, Shine & Stern, Sausalito, Calif., as managing director, a new position. He reports to Greg Stern, agency president.

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