• GM' s Saturn Axes Goodby
    General Motors, once known for its hesitance to switch ad agencies on its principal brands has done it for the second time in four months with the dismissal of Goodby, Silverstein & Partners in San Francisco from its Saturn account. It is shifting the work on the $200 million account to the Marina del Rey, Calif., office of Deutsch. Goodby got the account in 2002 from the agency now known as Publicis & Hal Riney. A spokeswoman for Deutsch referred calls to G.M., where another spokeswoman declined comment. Trade publications have been speculating that GM was ...
  • MTV Revamp As Nielsen Goes To College
    As Nielsen debuts its measurement of TV viewing by college kids, networks that are popular with the younger crowd are forecasting jumps in tracked viewership. And that includes MTV, where ratings have been on the skids recently. The net network is shaking up its schedule with the return of "Road Rules" after a three year absence -- part of a bigger overhaul that brought the departure of the company's chief last month after barely a year on the job. "Rules" will be one of the most interactive shows on MTV, a move that suggest it wants to ...
  • Amateurs Break Into Super Bowl Ad Game
    The YouTube culture has made it to TV's biggest advertising show. Super Bowl XLI viewers will see at least four ads created by amateurs. And that means cost-savings for advertisers that are paying more than $2 million for each 30-second spot in the game. Of course, to produce a Super Bowl-worthy ad can run north of $1 million, while one done by an amateur can be had for far less. For the folks who make the cut, it could be an end run to get to the big stage; more than 90 million viewers are expected to tune ...
  • Shrek Touts Good Health For Kids
    Shrek is becoming a spokesman for good health, though the promotional efforts for a sugary cereal named after him were attacked by some top Washington politicians. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the Ad Council are announcing that Shrek, of big-screen cartoon fame, will be part of a "Small Step" obesity-prevention campaign that touts healthier lifestyles. Spots from GSD&M, Austin, Texas, will feature Shrek and sidekicks -- including the donkey with the voice of Eddie Murphy. The move comes as McDonald's and Mars gear up for promotions tied to the May release of ...
  • Newspapers A "Challenged Platform"
    Executives from companies as diverse as Google and Tribune Co. may say that the survival of newspapers depends on an ability to reinvent online with new business models -- but their creation and execution in the new digital era continues to lag. The brutal reality is that these traditional companies must undergo the costly process of dismantling and replacing legacy operations and business models with those completely new and untried. And if they do not, they face fatal risks. Problem is, none of the big media titans calling for change actually quantify what could be at stake: ...
  • Air America Going Even More Green
    Air America, the progressive talk radio network which filed for bankruptcy protection in October, has signed a letter of intent to sell itself to SLG Radio, an entity controlled by Stephen Green, founder and chairman of SL Green Realty Corp. His brother, Mark Green, a New York area politician, has been a frequent guest and host on the network. But the network will also lose one of its top talents. Al Franken will depart on Feb. 14, presumably to pursue his threatened run for a U.S. Senate seat in Minnesota. The company was forced into Chapter 11 after ...
  • Lime TV Squeezed Off Cable Into Broadband
    Lime TV, currently in about 7 million homes via the Dish Network and Comcast, will go off air at the end of next month as Steve Case's media outlet turns to broadband, cable video-on-demand and other distribution. Case bought the former Wisdom TV in 2005 and rebranded it with a healthy lifestyle focus. But it just hasn't picked up many more homes and had already been creating content for mobile phones, satellite radio and broadband. Lime's new broadband channel launched Monday with some new advertisers, among them Toyota and Garnier. It also has free-VOD content on Insight ...
  • Chips Are Down For "Armed And Famous"
    CBS has apparently had enough of "Armed & Famous," bailing out on the reality series -- which followed C-grade celebrities along their tours as reserve officers of the Muncie, Ind., police department -- after just four episodes. Producers had planned seven episodes of the show, with "stars" including Erik Estrada of "CHiPs," singer La Toya Jackson and Jack Osbourne. One unaired episode is set to air this weekend on cable channel VH1. The ill-fated program was broadcast Wednesday nights, against Fox's "American Idol" and "Armed & Famous" landed in 44th place in the ratings its first week when ...
  • Vista: Most Aggressive Launch Ever For Microsoft
    The rollout of Microsoft's Vista will be the dominant software company's "most aggressive launch ever," across 20 countries, with an estimated $500 million going into agency and media coffers, even if that seems excessive for a product that will be in almost every personal computer sold. But according to Microsoft -- which uses images like a child discovering a snowfall, the fall of the Berlin Wall and Woodstock in the campaign -- Vista could be a life-changing event. "Awareness is not enough," says John Williams, general manager-Windows global communications. "The goal for this campaign [is to] get ...
  • CBS Finalizing Super Bowl Deals
    The sales staff at CBS has been late as they wrap up some last-minute Super Bowl ad deals. Even trips to the gym at lunchtime have been banned until every spot is gone. Agencies report the line is now "make me a serious offer." However, one common category is pretty much AWOL this year: Hollywood. Only two movie studios have bought time thus far: Walt Disney Co. and Lionsgate, although Paramount and Sony have pregame spots. John Bogusz, CBS executive vice president, sports sales, says the movie category is "squishy," but beer, autos and pharmaceuticals are all sold. ...
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