Rising material costs cut into K-C ad spending
rising raw-material costs are damping growth in advertising spending for Kimberly-Clark Corp. as the company nears naming its first-ever global chief marketing officer. Raw-material inflation for the year will come in at $300 million to $350 million for the $16 billion company, up from the $250 million previously anticipated, CEO Thomas Falk said. Besides hoping to step up price increases to make up the $50 million to $100 million difference, K-C is cutting costs, including pulling back on plans to use restructuring savings to increase ad spending. On a conference call last week, Mr. Falk said he had "interviewed several candidates" and is "making good progress" toward naming a global CMO, adding: "I hope to get something done in the next several months."
Wendy's restructures team; will cut 375 jobs
amid a massive corporate layoff, Wendy's is once again restructuring its marketing group. The No. 3 burger chain said it's making several changes in order to better align departments and incorporate operations into the marketing unit. Chief among them is combining three groups into a team called the innovation and strategy group. That group includes Lori Estrada, senior VP-research and development; Casey Minton, VP-strategic insights and innovation; and Mike Watson, senior VP-operations innovation, a new role. The group will be led by a senior strategist who will be named later. The marketer also handed out pink slips as part of a plan to trim up to 375 corporate and divisional jobs and $100 million in costs by the end of the year.
Poll finds beer back on top of adult beverages
a just-released Gallup poll found that beer is once again the alcoholic beverage Americans drink most often, beating wine by a 41% to 33% margin. (Liquor, however, climbed to 23% from 21% last year.) "We think this is a real sign that things are starting to turn," said Bob Lachky, VP-global industry development at No. 1 brewer Anheuser-Busch Cos. "This is a reflection that, in terms of real sales, people still look to beer more often."
Ad Council launches $300M V-chip effort
the media industry and the Ad Council launched their public-service campaign for the V-chip with the goal of tempering congressional complaints and answering critics' calls for greater controls on TV content. The effort is valued at $300 million and features a spot created by Interpublic Group of Cos.' McCann Erickson. The chip has been included in TV sets for several years, but critics charge that parents have no idea it's there or no knowledge of how to use it.
MSLO results show strong gains for second quarter
martha stewart Living Omnimedia posted a smaller-than-expected operating loss of $1.8 million for the second quarter, continuing to improve its fortunes following Ms. Stewart's release from prison. Revenue rose to $67.4 million in the second quarter, up 47% from the second quarter of last year, largely on the strength of ad-revenue gains at magazines such as Martha Stewart Living and Everyday Food. The publishing division increased revenue to $40.9 million from $31.7 million; broadcasting revenue rose to $23.1 million from $1.8 million, although the "Martha" syndicated TV show remains a money-loser. Merchandising revenue was flat at $10.2 million, and internet operations had revenue totaling $4.6 million.
julie mcgowan is the new publisher of Travel & Leisure. Ellen Asmodeo-Giglio is stepping down as the title's senior VP-publisher after six years in the post. ... TiVo will slice audience data down to the second with the launch of a separate division, Audience Research and Measurement. OMD and Nissan have signed on to participate in the company's initial offering.