Hotlines

Miller Roster Shops Complete Pitches for Entire Portfolio

Chicago Roster shops J. Walter Thompson in New York and Chicago, Young & Rubicam in Chicago, Ogilvy & Mather in New York and Wieden + Kennedy in Portland, Ore., presented brand ideas to Miller Brewing Co. last week. Sources said Ogilvy’s pitch paralleled its Miller Lite “Catfight” spots, featuring beer-drinker fantasies. Wieden’s mirrored its “heartland” Miller High Life ads, and JWT created a anthem video of what Miller brands mean to beer drinkers. No further presentations are scheduled, a source said.



XM Satellite Creative to Mullen; Media Lands at Carat

BOSTON XM Satellite Radio on Friday selected IPG’s Mullen and Aegis’ Carat for creative and media duties, respectively, the client confirmed. Mullen in Wenham, Mass., competed against IPG sibling Hill, Holliday, Connors, Cosmopulos and independent Modernista!, both in Boston, and undisclosed others, sources said. Carat in New York overcame Publicis’ MediaVest, also in New York, in the final round of the media review, sources said. The client spent about $60 million last year, according to TNS Media Intelligence/CMR. Sources said the budget will likely be trimmed by at least one-third. XM previously worked with Omnicom’s TBWA\Chiat\Day, Playa del Rey, Calif.



Analysts: Debt-for-Equity Refinancing Is Likely for CCG

NEW YORK Cordiant Communications Group’s statement last week that an offer was unlikely at its current share price sparked talk of a debt-for-equity swap as a way for the British holding company to reduce its estimated $300 million net debt. CCG, whose shares closed up 6 percent on the London Stock Exchange at $1.50 on Friday, has signed an agreement with its lenders to extend financing arrangements to July 15. Last week, London-based analysts said the chances of a debt-for-equity refinancing were increasing, pointing to Cerberus Capital Management, a hedge fund that sources said is buying much of CCG’s debt at a discount. One of CCG’s primary banks, HSBC, could also trade debt for stock shares, analysts said. Sources said Cerberus hired ex-Initiative Media CEO Michael Kassan to explore the interest of other holding companies in CCG’s assets, including 141 Worldwide. According to sources, Kassan was in Europe two weeks ago meeting with reps from Havas’ Euro RSCG, WPP and Publicis. Kassan was unavailable for comment; Cerberus declined comment, as did CCG. Meanwhile, CCG last week was completing the sale of a majority stake in its Australian operations, including George Patterson Bates, to investment firm Pacific Equity Partners, sources said. CCG declined comment on the sale.



Bill Caps Creative Budget on Anti-Drug Ads

WASHINGTON A bill authorizing the White House’s anti-drug campaign for the next five years requires that the Office of National Drug Control Policy spend 80 percent of a $195 million budget on media. If passed, the measure would be a victory for the Partnership for a Drug-Free America, which creates pro bono work for the campaign and has disagreed with the office over the campaign’s direction. The bill also designates the Partnership as the campaign’s primary outside strategic adviser. The Committee on Government Reform will consider the bill this week.



Black Rocket Touts Yahoo! Search Engine

SAN FRANCISCO A TV, radio, outdoor and online campaign for Yahoo! that breaks today shows people carrying 5-foot-long search bars to illustrate how online searching solves problems. Created by Black Rocket Euro RSCG in San Francisco, the ads bear the tagline, “Faster, easier, bingo.” This is the first campaign for the brand’s search engine, which is considered a top marketing priority this year, the client said.

Goodby Creates Adobe’s First TV Commercial

SAN FRANCISCO Adobe’s first TV spot, breaking today, aims to clear up consumer confusion about its core products: Acrobat, which allows the creation of PDF files and the free reader software that allows users to view them. The spot, by Goodby, Silverstein & Partners in San Francisco, uses a ribbon-wrapped gift as a metaphor for giving and getting portable documents.