Wednesday, February 21, 2007

William Spain, February 21, 2007, 12:00 PM
  • John Deere Launches Review Ad Age

    John Deere & Co. has bid adieu to Interpublic's DraftFCB and is launching a review of its ad account. FCB, Chicago, has been creative agency for Deere since 2000, while Draft came onboard in 2004. The shop will not participate in the review, which is being handled by consultancy Hasan & Co. in Raleigh, N.C.

    Deere is looking for an agency to handle national brand strategy, creative and direct-response advertising for its commercial- and consumer-equipment division. Spending for that unit is about half of the company's total media budget of $40 million. A final decision is expected in early May.

    Retail advertising duties, handled by Malone Advertising, are not involved in the review. According to TNS Media Intelligence, Deere spent $29 million in 2005 and $21 million for the first nine months of 2006, not including direct response or retail. Read the whole story...

  • Maytag Ads Look For New Repairman Associated Press

    Maytag is looking for a new repairman -- and about 200 men recently auditioned to take on the cap and uniform of the iconic advertising character. In an open casting call Tuesday, one husky salesman sang "One Is the Loneliest Number" to an imaginary washer and dryer, while a hospital worker tried to fit the cap over his dreadlocks and a young actor talked to an appliance like it was an underappreciated wife.

    Clearly, the next Maytag Repairman is going to look different from the older fellows with hangdog expressions. Whirlpool bought the brand last year, and company executives say finding a new repairman is part of a plan to revitalize it. They say they want the new repairman to be energetic, young at heart and outgoing -- and male. The country is not yet ready for a repairwoman, according to their market research.

    "If you think of other advertising icons out there ... where is Ben Crocker? Where is Juanita Valdez? Where's the Pillsbury doughgirl?" asks Jeffrey Davidoff, Maytag's vice president of brand marketing. "I think there is something that (consumers) see the repairman partially as a person, but really as a character. To be true to that character, one of the things we had to stick with a man." Read the whole story...

  • Newspapers Spend On Ads, Too Little On News

    A study from the University of Missouri has found that newspapers are underspending on newsgathering activities, while overspending on circulation and advertising. And researchers analyzing financial data of small to medium-size newspapers with a circulation of 85,000 or less found that news quality most directly affects the bottom line.

    That assessment was made using a mathematical formula that breaks down revenue and expenditures from news, advertising and circulation departments, then predicts profitability. Esther Thorson, a professor of advertising and associate dean for graduate studies at the School of Journalism and one of the study's leaders, also notes that newspapers have lost some of their appeal to high-dollar advertisers, such as automobile dealerships and major retail establishments to specialized Web sites. Read the whole story...

  • "Sexy" Ad Campaign Raises Eyebrows in San Fran

    A new ad campaign tagged "Volunteering is Sexy" for a nonprofit backed by San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newson and launched by his former campaign manager Alex Tourk is raising some eyebrows.

    While the media push for San Francisco Connect has been in the works for months, it was created with the help of Tourk, who recently resigned after learning that the mayor was sleeping with his wife. Newsom fessed up to the dalliance this month, then said he had a drinking problem.

    In December, at a meeting held for SF Connect supporters and donors, Newsom said he had heard about the new slogan from Tourk: "I said, 'No way. I can't get away with that,'" generating laughter. The push hits bus shelters this week and then billboards, airwaves and magazines just as Newsom's re-election campaign gets underway. It was created pro bono by Goodby, Silverstein and Partners. Read the whole story...

  • National Ad Premium Fading At Local Papers Media Life

    Media buyers have long groused about placing national clients in local newspapers, since those clients are usually charged more than local advertisers -- by as much as 30%. And while that national premium is not going away, at least on paper, it is being severely trimmed. Over time, it could eventually disappear.

    Papers in major markets are seeing the premiums negotiated down under pressure from media buyers concerned about big drops in circulation and by the rise of new competitors in their markets. "Newspaper advertising prices are increasingly being determined by negotiations between the newspaper and agency or advertiser," says Len Kubas, president of Kubas Consultants, a Toronto consulting firm that works with newspapers.

    "The national premium has long been an issue for newspapers' advertisers, but individual negotiations can mitigate the actual premium. The resultant premium usually isn't the difference that is published in the retail and national rate cards." Read the whole story...