• Murdoch's Son Resigns As News Corp. Exec
    Lachlan Murdoch, a son of Rupert Murdoch and a possible heir to his father's leadership of News Corp., resigned his executive position with the company Friday and said he'd move to Australia with his family. Lachlan Murdoch, 33, deputy chief operating officer since October 2000, will leave that position Aug. 31 but remain as a director and advise the company. Lachlan Murdoch also ran the company's newspaper interests, including the New York Post, where he served as publisher.
  • Sign of the Times: Vertical Ad Craze Sweeps City
    As home to Madison Avenue and Times Square, New York is no stranger to advertising spectaculars. Every week seems to bring a bigger, bolder concept in an attempt to grab the attention of an increasingly ad-resistant populace. The New York City ad landscape is so competitive these days, and apparently fresh ideas so hard to come by, that marketers are going to new lengths to assert their claims of originality. Earlier this week, cheap-and-chic superstore Target presented New York's first "vertical fashion show." Instead of strolling down a horizontal catwalk, model/acrobats attached to harnesses appeared to dance down the face …
  • Key Senator Wants Government Involvement in Media Ratings
    A key senator on the Commerce Committee yesterday said he would push ahead with legislation that would effectively make the federal government a regulator of media ratings accuracy. "We are going to move. ... We are going to move forward on the legislation," said Sen. Conrad Burns, R-Mont., after a hearing of the Senate Commerce Committee "It may change in form a little [but] Nielsen needs some kind of effective oversight."
  • A Third-World 'Farm Aid,' So to Speak
    Late last year, in hotel rooms and photo studios in Los Angeles, New York and London, a group of celebrities agreed to get doused with buckets of coffee, milk, cocoa and sugar. It was messy, sticky and sometimes smelly, but it was all in the name of easing world poverty. The photo shoots were organized by the nonprofit advocacy group Oxfam America as part of an ad campaign to raise awareness of what they say is the unfair nature of agricultural subsidies. The campaign urges wealthy nations like the United States and European countries to stop dumping agricultural products onto …
  • Counsel to Probe Alleged 'Idol' Affair
    Taking a page from Washington, the producers of "American Idol" and Fox TV hired an independent counsel to determine whether judge Paula Abdul had an affair with a contestant on the hit talent show. "Any allegations against this show we take quite seriously," Fox Entertainment President Peter Liguori said Thursday, calling the competition's credibility "extraordinarily important to us." The probe's results are due soon and will be made public, Liguori said in an appearance before the Television Critics Association. Although auditions for the fifth season are looming in August, Liguori said the investigation would not be rushed despite uncertainty over …
  • BofA Contacts WPP, Omnicom on $600 Mil. Account
    Bank of America, one of Interpublic Group's largest clients, has contacted at least two other holding companies?WPP Group and Omnicom Group?about its account, sources said. The Charlotte, N.C., client spends an estimated $600 million annually on all forms of marketing. (Spending last year in domestic measured media was $240 million, per Nielsen Monitor-Plus.)
  • New Dove Ads Stir Major Soap Opera
    Everyone agrees that Dove's "real women" - six curvy non-models posing in white undies - are unusual pinup girls. But the consensus ends there. Since the campaign debuted this month, the public's reaction has ranged from praise to condemnation, rekindling an age-old debate over whether reality makes for effective advertising.
  • Cable TV Conference Grapples With Media Upheaval
    Quickly adapt to a new media universe or die was the stark message for cable TV operators and network marketers at this week's CTAM Summit. Held in cable giant Comcast's hometown of Philadelphia, speakers at the conference told the 3,400 attendees not to get too comfortable because their roles are changing as quickly as their number of competitors are growing.
  • Nielsen Reiterates Support of Voluntary Conduct Code
    In lieu of a bill that would make Media Rating Council accreditation mandatory for TV ratings, Nielsen Media Research said during the Senate Commerce Committee hearing on the FAIR Ratings Act, it would support the concept of a Voluntary Code of Conduct, which is under discussion by the MRC and accredited research firms.
  • American Express Sued Over Advertising Tagline
    A California small businessman contends in a lawsuit that American Express stole his idea for the tagline of the company's "My life. My card." advertising campaign, which features celebrities including Robert De Niro, Ellen DeGeneres and Tiger Woods. At issue is whether American Express independently conceived the idea for the campaign that began in November, or took it from Stephen G. Goetz, who claims he used it in a sales pitch to the financial services company in July.
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