Chrysler extends Dr. Z, discount effort

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chrysler group, as expected, extended its employee discounts through Aug. 31, using the same "Dr. Z" ads featuring DaimlerChrysler Chairman Dieter Zetsche that failed to jump-start its sales in July. The automaker needed some sort of deal in August to clear the decks of 2006 models to make room for crucial new 2007 products. John Murphy, auto analyst at Merrill Lynch, said Chrysler Group's inventory at the end of July was the highest it's been in five years. "It sounds like Chrysler is still desperate," said John Bulcroft, president of auto consultant Advisory Group and a former ad chief of Porsche and Audi. The marketer reported that its sales last month for Dodge, Chrysler and Jeep fell 37% to 150,349 vehicles compared with last July.

Men more likely to skip commercials

men are more likely to skip commercials than women, according to Roper Reports' 2006 Media, Advertising and Brands survey. Roper surveyed 1,000 people, and of the 24% of respondents who were DVR owners, 65% of men said they skip commercials to cut down on the viewing time of recorded shows. Meanwhile, 56% of women said they fast-forward through the ads.

FCC orders Time Warner to put NFL Net back on air

the federal Communications Commission ordered Time Warner Cable to immediately put the NFL Network back on the Adelphia Communications and Comcast cable systems it acquired as part of its acquisition of bankrupt Adelphia. The FCC responded swiftly to a complaint filed by NFL Enterprises last week that customers of the affected systems got insufficient advance notice the network was being discontinued when Time Warner on July 31 closed its $12.5 billion deal for Adelphia. The NFL contends a 30-day notice is required.

Toyota rides sales peak to No. 2 spot, passes Ford

while the overall U.S. auto industry's new-vehicle sales dropped 14% in July, Toyota Motor Sales USA surprised analysts with a 16.2% jump in sales of Toyota, Scion and Lexus models. The 241,826 units Toyota Motor sold last month was enough to sneak past Ford Motor Co. for the No. 2 slot by just 426 units. For Toyota, its July sales translated to a record market share of 16.2% for the month, according to a report today from Merrill Lynch.

Google taps Naughton as New York ad chief

google has named Eileen Naughton, the former president of Time magazine, as head of ad sales for the web giant's New York offices. Ms. Naughton, who is scheduled to begin in several months, will report to Penry Price, eastern sales director at Google, and will be responsible for strengthening the search leader's ties with Madison Avenue. After a 15-year career at Time Inc., Ms. Naughton left in December amid a companywide round of layoffs. As president of Time, Naughton managed the magazine's global publishing operations, including brand management, business development, circulation and ad sales.

Wilhite quits Nissan to take Hyundai COO role

steve wilhite, senior VP-global marketing at Nissan Motor Corp., has resigned and will join Hyundai Motor America as chief operating officer. Mr. Wilhite, based in Japan, resigned his position effective immediately, a Nissan spokesman confirmed. Hyundai Motor said in a release that Mr. Wilhite will take over as operating chief Aug. 16 and be responsible for strategic development, sales, marketing, communications, parts and service.

McClatchy sticks with CareerBuilder, reduces stake

in a deal that ensures McClatchy Co. newspapers won't defect to, the publishing giant will retain its stake in publisher-backed jobs site McClatchy surprised some industry analysts after reaching a deal with CareerBuilder co-owners Gannett Co. and Tribune Co. to remain a stakeholder in the $1.55 billion site. The company will reduce its holding from 33% to 15%, however. Previously The Philadelphia Inquirer and Philadelphia Daily News, former Knight-Ridder titles flipped to private owners by McClatchy, dropped CareerBuilder for rival
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