Friday, January 25, 2008
Thom Forbes, January 25, 2008, 11:16 AM
  • Carlsberg, Heineken Agree On $15.3 billion S&N Deal Reuters

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  • Top Marketing And Sales Execs Leave Sprint The Kansas City Star

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  • Palm Shutting Down All But 1 Retail Shop San Jose Mercury News

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  • Source Says Hill Will Succeed Drake As 4As Leader Ad Age

    Nancy Hill, a former executive at Lowe Worldwide and BBDO, will be named the next president-CEO of the American Association of Advertising Agencies, according to an executive familiar with the situation, pending the approval of the 4A's board. The appointment follows a long search for a successor to O. Burtch Drake, who has run the 91-year-old organization since 1994.

    If approved, Hill will take on an important symbolic role at a challenging time for the ad business. Many of the 4A's member agencies born during the relatively straightforward TV-dominated era are now trying to make themselves over for a more complex, digital world. The largest ad agencies in particular are fending off challenges from smaller, nimble rivals as well as digital specialists.

    In recent years, Madison Avenue has been criticized for not doing enough to foster diverse workplaces. Hill will also be dealing with those knotty issues, she'll have to continue the 4A's generally well-regarded lobbying operations. Hill's last post was as North American CEO of Lowe Worldwide. Read the whole story...

  • Bloggers Impact Beauty Marketers Women’s Wear Daily

    Beauty companies' traditional marketing strategies are being forced to adapt to the scores of blogs that are largely dedicated to opinions and reviews of beauty products. Unlike magazine writers, whose lead times are measured in weeks and months, bloggers may review a product within hours of receiving it, immediately followed by reader feedback.

    And "blogs are more interactive," says Procter & Gamble's Esi Eggleston Bracey, vp and GM of global P&G cosmetics, overseeing the Cover Girl and Max Factor brands. "You get the benefit of dialogue rather than one-way communication."

    The honest voices and conversational tones of sites like Lipgloss and Laptops, Beauty Brains, Beauty News NYC and My BeautyBerry have gained a wide following. Moreover, blog commentary is virtually out of reach of the spin control of beauty marketers. The lack of influence over a blogger when trying to position a product "keeps everybody honest," says John Demsey, group president of the Estée Lauder Cos." Read the whole story...

  • Hops And Barley Shortages Squeeze Beer Prices MSNBC

    Just in time for the national drinking holiday known as Super Bowl Sunday, the main ingredients of beer--hops and barley-are in increasingly short supply. Prices for raw materials have leaped--by as much as 500% in the case of hops. "We were told about a week ago we wouldn't be able to buy hops again this year unless we were on a waiting list, and there [were] 100 brewers ahead of us," says Peter Martin, of Brown's Brewing Co. in Troy, N.Y.

    Microbrewers say the average cost of a six-pack of domestic beer would likely rise about a dollar by the end of the month, just a few days before the Super Bowl. Retail tracking services say beer sales traditionally rise as much 15% in the two weeks before the game. Larger brewers can more easily absorb the higher costs because they negotiated longer-term contracts when prices were lower, locking up supplies that are now too high for many microbreweries.

    Brewers blame a variety of culprits. High demand for corn-based ethanol has persuaded many farmers to devote more of their fields to corn and less to barley. Rain in Europe and drought in Australia also withered crops. Read the whole story...

  • Super Bowl Ad Addresses Teen Drug Abuse Ad Age

    A new spot from the White House drug office that will debut during the Super Bowl features a drug dealer complaining that his business is down because teens are getting high from abusing drugs in the medicine cabinet. It's part of a 12-week multimedia campaign that -- for the first time -- switches the focus from teens to their parents, and delivers a loud warning that it's no longer just illegal drugs that put teens at risk.

    Spending on the drug ad program has been declining. Only $60 million was authorized by Congress this year, less than half of the $130 million requested and less than one-third of the spending in the campaign's early days. The cuts led the drug office to suspend a second campaign aimed at parents and influencers and to concentrate on teens.

    The $14 million push, which will get $28 million in airtime, was produced by Interpublic Group of Cos.' DraftFCB for the Partnership for a Drug-Free America. Draft is the drug office's agency, but the creative is produced by a number of agencies. Read the whole story...

  • F.D.A. Wants Boots On The Ground Overseas The New York Times

    Food and Drug Administration commissioner Dr. Andrew C. von Eschenbach wants to have "boots on the ground" in nations like India and China and regions like Central and South America and the Middle East to improve the quality of the food and medicines increasingly flowing to the United States. As more products have been produced abroad for sale in America, the F.D.A. has been less able to ensure their safety. The agency inspects less than 1% of imported foods.

    The F.D.A. already sends inspectors to dozens of countries each year to inspect pharmaceutical plants and clinical trial sites. But von Eschenbach says he wants the its presence abroad to be on an "ongoing and continuous basis rather than episodic and periodic."

    The plan to post inspectors abroad is still in its infancy. Von Eschenbach is not sure whether he will ask for additional financing from Congress for the inspectors or find money in his present budget. He also says that he had yet to work out with the State Department how such inspectors might interact with other parts of the federal government. Read the whole story...