• Wal-Mart Agency Report Leaked, Warned Of Bad Image
    The ad agency hoping to hold the Wal-Mart account last year told the retailer that although it could be a "positive force" because of its low prices, it also was hurt by a lack of respect among many shoppers. That news was from a marketing report by GSD&M, obtained by a group critical of the retailer, WakeUpWalMart.com, which provided it to the Associated Press. It also warned Wal-Mart that it was being seen as a "bad corporate citizen who doesn't treat employees well and isn't acting as a good citizen of the planet." The Austin, Tex.-based shop had ...
  • No More "Super-Size" Comedies For NBC
    NBC will no longer "super-size" its comedies, dropping a practice that extended the network's half-hour shows by five to 10 minutes with extra footage and an extra commercial break. "It was a good idea when we started it," says Vince Manze, the network's head of scheduling. "It was very novel. But it's just not a good idea to have shows starting at 9:23 p.m. We're going to do our best to not have to do it next year." The scheduling of longer episodes was tough to put in the listings, and if one started off its scheduled time, ...
  • Quiznos In Agency Hunt
    Sandwich retailer Quiznos is looking for a new agency to handle its $80 million account, according to insiders. The move comes after the company split Ogilvy & Mather in Chicago, as confirmed by an agency spokesperson: "We finished up out list of projects with them early this year. We are proud of the work we did. We sold a lot of sandwiches." Quiznos isn't talking, and the shops it is talking to are unknown at present, but media buying, handled by Initiative, does not seem to be going anywhere. The Ogilvy spokesperson said the break occurred earlier this year, ...
  • Moonves: Media Consolidation No Problem
    According to Les Moonves, "media concentration is not hurting consumers one iota," and the CEO of CBS says "it's a lie" that media is getting worse because of consolidation. Speaking at a conference, Moonves also showed strong support for new-media developments, noting the company's recent Internet investments and encouragement of short-form video production for them. "It's important to do original content," he says. "There will be a day when millions and millions of people will be watching these shows." He notes that the company has "a band of kids in Los Angeles who are working ...
  • Agencies Deny Program Rating Claims
    Media agencies relying on commercial ratings to make upfront deals are upset that some cable nets have told them that other buyers are willing to settle for program ratings. Some buyers said they were told that Viacom and NBCU channels will deal only on program ratings -- and that MPG, Carat and OMD had agreed to it. But MPG and Carat deny they gave in: "It is not our preference to do program-ratings deals with cable networks," says Bill McOwen, director of media investments at MPG, adding that any buys made on cable will "take commercial ratings into ...
  • Newspapers' Online Ad Growth Slowing
    According to recent data from the Newspaper Association of America, online ad revenue growth is finally starting to slow down -- and that is not good news for the struggling industry. In 1Q, ad spending on newspaper Web sites was up 22.3% to $750 million over the year-ago period. But in the first three months of 2006, it grew by almost one-third. Still, online ad revenue is still a bigger part of the total, at 7.1% in the first three months of this year, up from 5.5%. But that dovetails with a sharp decline in print, which fell ...
  • New Program Slate For Comedy Central
    Comedy Central has signed up Jamie Tarses and David Alan Grier as part of an ambitious development slate. Tarses' show "Held Up," is about bank robbers who dress up as pop-culture characters, such as Spider-Man while "David Allen Grier's Chocolate News" is described by the net as "a fake magazine show that covers inherently urban pop-culture topics." Further, "Saturday Night Live" writer T. Sean Shannon has cut a deal with the net for "Night Writer," a show that blends live-action and animation while Comedy also has a presentation deal for "The Watch List," a showcase of young Middle ...
  • Ads For US Airways Tables
    Columns by wine expert Robert Parker and Jack and Suzy Welch will soon be laminated onto airplane pull-down tables as part of a new effort to put ads on US Airways planes. Reprints from BusinessWeek, the columns will change monthly and share space with advertising. America West, which merged with US Airways in 2005, has had tray-table ads for four years, but had not yet paired them with content. The deal was brokered by Brand Connections, which has data showing passengers better remember the ads when accompanied by editorial. "We are in the airline business, not the ...
  • Chrysler Marketing VP Says Goodbye
    Chrysler's senior vice president for global brand marketing will leave the automaker at the end of the month and no replacement has yet been named. George Murphy, who came over from Ford six years ago, declines comment, but Steven Landry, executive vice president-sales, marketing, service and parts, says he "made a key contribution to our efforts to retool our brands -- Chrysler, Jeep and Dodge." Landry also credits Murphy for crafting a new identity for the brand. He is just the latest top executive to leave the company since parent DaimlerChrysler said two weeks ago it will sell ...
  • Sorrell: TV In Trouble
    Martin Sorrell says that broadcasters face "severe pressure" as advertisers dump traditional media to move their money online. The head of WPP Group notes the change is leading to a "fundamental shift" that will irreversibly alter the way TV makes money, although predictions of a total collapse are likely wrong. "Television is under severe pressure at the moment from the Internet," he says. "There has been a fundamental shift, and the pace will quicken, but predictions of a depression in traditional media have gone too far." Still, he stresses, "television advertising is not going to disappear. It ...
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