• ABC Deep-Sixes "The Nine"
    ABC has announced that "The Nine," which has been struggling in the ratings, is going on hiatus. This week's scheduled episode will be replaced by a special edition of "20/20" on Wednesday, the final day of the November sweeps. The decision seems to have been made at the last minute, since a preview of the slated episode had aired at the end of the last one. The network says the program "will return later in the season," but there is no word yet on what will fill the slot beyond this Wednesday. ABC Entertainment President Steve McPherson is a ...
  • First English-Language Paper Launched In West Bank
    The first privately owned English daily, The Palestine Times, launched in the West Bank and Gaza on Monday, with the goal of providing news about the region to English speakers abroad. The 12-page newspaper will cover Palestinian affairs, the conflict with Israel and developments in the Arab community in Israel, says its editor-in-chief, Othman Haj Mohammed. It is not affiliated with any Palestinian parties, he adds, and the editorial page of the inaugural edition included articles by the spokesman from the Hamas government, the spokesman of the rival Fatah Party and an independent analyst. Initial circulation is 5,000, ...
  • Football Bowl Mess Could Mean Low Ratings
    With only a week left in the college football season, the Bowl Championship Series--a system instituted eight years ago to ensure that the two best teams in the country face off for the national title--is facing the biggest mess in its short history. Three one-loss teams, Florida, Michigan and USC, are legitimate contenders to face undefeated consensus No. 1 Ohio State. And that's a problem, since no matter who gets the spot, there will be bitter grousing. The controversy will fuel sports talk radio for weeks, and it will all but ensure that the final BCS game airing ...
  • Nascar Ratings Going Flat
    After a six-year run where it lapped all other professional sports except football in popularity and TV viewers, Nascar is suddenly having to market itself. The easy ride looks to be over, as average TV ratings for the 10 final races of the season, dubbed the "Chase for the Cup," dropped 10%, and 31 of the 36 races drew lower TV ratings this year than in 2005. And though Nascar doesn't release attendance, there were clearly empty pockets of seats at several recent races. Combine the ratings falloff with the sport's freshly inked eight-year, $4.48 billion TV deal ...
  • Philips Sole Sponsor For NBC Nightly News
    Next week, viewers of the "NBC Nightly News With Brian Williams" will be able to watch more news--and fewer ads--as a result of a sponsorship deal with the Philips Electronics North America Corporation. The pact is part of a weeklong, $2 million agreement between Philips and NBC Universal that includes "Today," two cable shows and a feature on NBC's digital weather channel. The effort is the latest in a push behind Philips' ad theme "sense and simplicity." The company will be the only national advertiser during the "Nightly News" broadcast, running three spots that will total ...
  • Marketing Matters At Cadillac
    It's an article of faith among car enthusiasts that "product"--irresistibly appealing vehicles--is all that matters when it comes to attracting customers. And no one believes this more ardently than Cadillac General Manager Jim Taylor, who has a background in engineering and product development. Since GM's failed era that emphasized marketing, when the company was led by experts from packaged consumer goods giant Procter & Gamble, product has been the undisputed king for the carmaking giant. But the company has also learned that marketing matters. "A big part of the luxury game is image and fashion," says Taylor. "You are not ...
  • Suzuki Uses Its Motorbikes To Push Its Cars
    When Troy Corser won the 2005 World Superbike Championship on a Suzuki, the motorcycle maker was set to a motor sports maxim of "Win on Sunday. Sell on Monday." And now the company is trying to use the brand's winning motorcycle heritage to sell cars and SUVs through a national ad campaign. And there is plenty of room to grow: While year-to-date sales were up 25% through October, it still ranks as a relatively minor auto industry player, with just 0.6 percent of the U.S. market. It is trying to boost that with new models like a crossover SUV, but ...
  • Winemakers Frustrated By Ad Restrictions
    While the wine industry has welcomed recent studies that a compound in red wine improves the health and endurance of laboratory mice, they aren't allowed to advertise them due to state and federal laws that discourage promoting the benefits of wine--some dating back to the repeal of Prohibition in 1933. "We'd all like to make hay of this, and we'll do what we can, but we are very constrained," says Michael Mondavi, founder and president of Folio Fine Wine Partners, a producer and importer. Under regulations from the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, Mr. Mondavi says, "it is ...
  • Sex Toy Spot On UK TV
    Durex is breaking new ground in TV advertising this week as it becomes the first brand to promote an adult toy for men on UK national broadcast--but only after 11 p.m. The product on offer is a "vibrating penis ring" and it will appear in a 30-second spot, created by McCann Erickson, Barcelona, on Channel 4, Five and satellite channels. The spot shows a couple sitting at a dinner table, and the woman has what looks like an engagement ring box in her bowl. She picks it up and it starts to vibrate, and she smiles and says: "Yes, I ...
  • Formula One Looks To Replace Cigarette Sponsors
    A flurry of new sponsorship activity comes as Formula One racing comes closer to kicking its long-term dependence on tobacco dollars, writes Eric Pfanner. With regulators in Europe and elsewhere trying to close the last loopholes that permit cigarette companies to sponsor auto racing, the hundreds of millions of dollars that these brands used to lavish on Formula One are dwindling. As of next season, two tobacco brands that have been Formula One sponsors will be gone, including Mild Seven and Lucky Strike. Cigarette brands had been willing to pay a premium for Formula One, as it was one of ...
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