Pfizer throws Lipitor into review

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Using its usual modus operandi, Pfizer has put its $112 million Lipitor account into review. The pharmaceutical maker said it is seeking new ideas on the anti-cholesterol drug's business-but it also said that before putting Relpax, Viagra and Aricept into eventual reviews that resulted in the accounts changing hands. The Lipitor account is currently with Omnicom Group's Merkley & Partners, New York. A Pfizer spokesman said, "Agencies with broad consumer experience and a reputation for innovation have been invited to develop new advertising approaches." QwikFIND aaq67q

Subway puts Jared under hot lights in new ad

The Subway restaurant chain will poke fun at the Major League Baseball scandal with a national TV spot that coincides with the league's All-Star Game. Instead of steroids, the 15- and 30-second spots via independent McCarthy Mambro Bertino, Boston, broke June 26 and put weight-loss hero Jared Fogle under investigation for his successful dieting strategies. "It's really funny," said Chris Carroll, senior VP-marketing for the Subway Franchisee Advertising Fund Trust.

Tobacco cos. may strip ads from library mag copies

Tobacco companies gained another opportunity, should they choose to accept it, to limit the exposure of their print ads to high school and middle school students. Under an agreement between the National Association of Attorneys General and Washington Post Co., publisher of Newsweek, and Time Inc., publisher of Time, People and Sports Illustrated, tobacco companies can have their ads pulled, at no extra cost, from copies of the magazines that are destined for school libraries. A 2003 deal between publishers and tobacco companies prevents tobacco ads from appearing in "classroom editions" of magazines, but school libraries often subscribe to the regular editions. QwikFIND aaq67k

NBC wraps up upfront with $2B in commitments

NBC concluded its 2005-2006 season upfront, booking between $1.9 billion and $2 billion in upfront ad commitments, said industry executives. The figure excludes winter Olympic sales. The network sold around 75% of inventory. NBC Universal TV Group President Jeff Zucker told reporters June 22 at Promax, a TV promotions conference, that the drop was higher than expected, but would not result in internal cutbacks. While advertisers on the whole did not give NBC's programming for next season a warm embrace, new shows with strongest appeal included sitcom "My Name is Earl" and the Jerry Bruckheimer drama "E-Ring," starring Benjamin Bratt.

Drake: Advertising Week will focus on issues

This year's Advertising Week, September 26 to 30, has a clear mission, said O. Burtch Drake, president of the American Association of Advertising Agencies, to raise advertising's visibility, celebrate creativity and its contribution to the economy and attract young people to the industry. Last year's Advertising Week, a now annual event conceived by the 4A's, drew criticism from many who felt iconic characters, such as Ronald McDonald and the Aflac Duck, overshadowed the discussion of the issues the industry faces, such as ROI. This year, the centerpiece will be individual conferences, meetings and special events from 31 of the week's organizing committees, such as the Radio Advertising Bureau and American Business Media. Around those will wrap industry-wide social events and public exhibits. While there will again be a procession of icons, including the Budweiser Clydesdales, Advertising Week is "primarily a B-to-B event, consumers are the last audience," said Mr. Drake. QwikFIND aaq68n

FYI . . .

DirecTV confirmed it has parted with Exec VP-Marketing Neal Tiles. He had been at the company just over a year and brought in the satellite broadcaster's creative agency, Omnicom Group's BBDO Worldwide, New York. Mr. Tiles was not immediately reachable. QwikFIND aaq67x ... Carrabba's Italian Grills named Kirshenbaum Bond & Partners, New York, as its creative agency of record, following a review. The Outback Steakhouse chain picked independent shop over independent Doner, Southfield, Mich. QwikFIND aaq67v .. Sara Lee International is reviewing its pan-European media planning and buying business, estimated to be worth $190 million. The company, based in the Netherlands, is planning to cut its roster from nine shops to two. A spokeswoman said, "This review is not driven by dissatisfaction with any of our agencies." Sara Lee works with Zenith- Optimedia, Havas' MPG, Aegis Group's Carat, WPP Group's MindShare, Publicis Groupe's Starcom Mediavest, MediaCom and Omnicom's OMD.

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