Tuesday, May 27, 2008
Thom Forbes, May 27, 2008, 9:30 AM
  • U.S. Shift To Digital Signal Could Hurt Daytime, Late-Night TV The New York Times

    Ratings for daytime and late-night TV could take a hit nine months from now when the country converts to digital programming, because a significant percentage of America homes have secondary TV sets that will no longer receive a signal.

    A report being released today by Nielsen Media Research suggest that nearly 25 million homes have at least one television set that will stop functioning in nine months, while ten million don't have a single digital-ready set. For those 25 million, it's the kitchen and bedroom sets that will cease to function-not the primary TV in the living room or den-which could mean lower viewership for shows that people watch while getting ready in the morning or before going to sleep at night. Think the Today show, or Late Night with David Letterman.

    In preparation for the change, the government and the broadcast industry are running a $1 billion consumer education campaign. Broadcast television stations will switch to a digital signal from an analog signal on Feb. 17, 2009. Read the whole story...

  • Family Drama Behind The InBev, Anheuser-Busch Deal The Wall Street Journal

    As Belgian giant InBev considers an unsolicited bid for Anheuser-Busch -- an offer that could top $45 billion, say analysts, making it the largest beer acquisition in history-at least one member of the Busch clan is left to ponder his family's brand and legacy.

    August A. Busch IV is just 18 months into his tenure as CEO, and, along with his father, opposes the deal, according to those close to the family. How to stop it? Anheuser could buy the half of Mexico's Grupo Modelo that it doesn't already own.

    The other option? Let the deal go through-the Busch family controls less than 4% of the stock, so it can't block the deal even if a majority of the family opposes it-and be remembered as the son who let the St. Louis icon slip into foreign hands. Read the whole story...

  • Advertising Is A Waste Of Time, Money Advertising Age

    One of the most lauded TV advertisers in recent decades has found financial success after suspending its broadcast advertising. Retailer The Gap has been off the airwaves for several quarters now, focusing instead on merchandise initiatives, and profits are on the rebound.

    The Gap's marketing expenditures were trimmed 18% during the previous quarter, driven by the absence of TV ads for the Gap brand, company executives said. That contributed to a 40% jump in profits compared to the same period a year ago.

    "It's a waste of money [for the Gap brand to advertise right now]," said retail analyst Jennifer Black. "In this kind of an economic environment, traffic is slow anyway, and there's so much competition with advertising. ... If there was a time for them to do this, it's not that bad of a time." Read the whole story...

  • Hershey's Throws Itself A Party (Or 10,000) Promo Magazine

    Hershey's is experimenting with a different approach to marketing some of its new products: Chocolate house parties.

    In order to promote its new Bliss line, Hershey's staged 10,200 "House of Bliss" parties over the April 25 weekend. At each event, hosts invited friends and family to share stories of their own personal bliss while sampling three varieties of the bite-sized chocolate. Stories, photos and videos were posted online to spread the news about the events and attendees' reviews.

    More than 129,000 people attended the parties, which generated more than 22,000 digital photos and 15,000 blog entries. Attendees received goodie bags and giveaways from hosts, including grocery list pads, pens and fridge magnets. Read the whole story...

  • Buy A Car, Get The Gas For Free Brandweek

    As the price at the pump exceeds $4 a gallon in some areas of the U.S., a handful of savvy car manufacturers are trying to stimulate sales by offering to ease the pain for potential customers. Chrysler, Suzuki and Kia are all now running programs that center on cheaper gas for new owners.

    Consumers seem to like the idea. Chrysler-which is promising new customers gas at $2.99 a gallon for the first three years they own their car-reports showroom traffic up 10% to 20% in some regions; Web site activity is up 25%.

    "Gas is a high selling point now, and you see everyone using mileage claims in their message," said one automotive industry exec. "Marketing with that in mind is where the industry is right now." Read the whole story...

  • Despite PR Strategy, American Takes Flack For New FeesAdvertising Age

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  • Sears And LL Cool J Team For New Brand Chicago Sun Times

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