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Jim Samples stepped down from his position as general manager of Cartoon Network Feb. 9 as a direct result of his company's involvement in the previous week's "Aqua Teen Hunger Force" marketing snafu in Boston. The failed stunt cost parent company Turner Broadcasting $2 million (shared with its agency, Interference) and caused a temporary shutdown of key parts of Boston.

The Wall Street Journal confirmed that Judy Barry is stepping down as head of print-advertising sales and marketing, effective next month, and said it has begun the search for a successor.

Several top agencies are dropping out of the bidding for the U.S. Census Bureau's $250 million to $300 million three-year advertising campaign to boost participation in the 2010 census. Interpublic Group of Cos.' McCann Erickson, Martin Agency and Mullen; Omnicom Group's DDB Worldwide; Publicis Groupe's Leo Burnett; and WPP Group's Ogilvy & Mather and Grey Worldwide are among the agencies no longer chasing the account.

Mark Fields, president of the Americas for Ford Motor Co., told audiences at the Chicago Auto Show that the Ford Five Hundred sedan, Ford Freestyle crossover and Mercury Montego would be renamed Taurus, Taurus X and Sable when the 2008 upgraded models launch this summer (see editorial, P. 11).

Wal-Mart last week launched a video-download service with more than 3,000 movie and TV titles. Still in beta testing, the service is a result of deals with studios including 20th Century Fox, Disney and MGM.
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