Microsoft Moves Bradford To MSN as Chief Media Officer

NEW YORK Microsoft has named Joanne Bradford, its top ad sales executive, to run its MSN Web portal. In her new role as chief media officer at MSN, Bradford, who was Microsoft’s chief media revenue officer, takes charge of the site’s marketing, business development and branded entertainment initiatives. Chris Dobson, London-based vp of international ad sales, assumes her duties for global ad sales. The moves come as Microsoft revamps its business to fully participate in the Web advertising boom. It significantly trails Google in Web search, and MSN has lagged its peers in attracting ad dollars.

DraftFCB’s Pannaud Fills Top Slot at TBWA\Paris

NEW YORK TBWA has tapped DraftFCB France president Guillaume Pannaud as president of its Paris office, filling a vacancy created by the exit of TBWA\Paris CEO Arthur Sadoun. Sadoun is leaving to become chairman and CEO of Publicis Groupe’s Publicis Counseil in Paris, where he will succeed Christophe Lambert. Pannaud, 40, spent 17 years at IPG’s Foote, Cone & Belding. In September, following the merger of FCB with sister shop Draft, he rose to president of DraftFCB France. The agency has yet to name his successor.

Burnett Introduces Wii Video Game From Nintendo

CHICAGO Nintendo launched a marketing campaign for its Wii video game system last week via TV spots from Publicis’ Leo Burnett here. The four ads depict Japanese men showing up at homes across the U.S. and saying, “We would like to play,” taking a cue from the pronunciation of the new system’s name. The spots then show how easy the system, along with its motion-sensitive controller, is to use and is appropriate for everyone in the family.

Eisner Closes After 67 Years; Maryland Lottery Issues RFP

DALLAS Clients of Eisner Communications were seeking new agencies and more than 50 employees were looking for jobs last week as the Baltimore shop closed after 67 years. An attorney for the shop said staffers would not receive their final paychecks because there was no money left. Eisner abruptly shut down on Nov. 10 after months of struggling with declining revenue. Eisner lost its largest client, U.S. Airways, to a merger with AmericaWest last year. Provident Bank of Baltimore quit the agency Oct. 31. Among the clients most inconvenienced was the Maryland Lottery, which was forced to go at least three weeks without advertising. Lottery officials said they would issue an emergency RFP this week for a shop to handle their $60 million (over three years) account.

National Video-on-Demand Ratings Are on the Way

NEW YORK Nielsen Media Research said it would launch a service to measure nationally distributed video-on-demand using the same People Meter sample it employs to provide TV ratings to national programmers. The service debuts Dec. 11. Mirroring Nielsen’s current ratings, clients will receive household and demographic ratings for VOD content, along with other detailed audience information. By measuring VOD content in its national ratings panel, Nielsen will enable clients, for the first time, to compare the performance of programs airing on traditional channels with the performance of those same programs on VOD, the company said. Nielsen, like Adweek, is a unit of VNU.

Ogilvy Adds Magazine Vet To Direct Brand Alliances

NEW YORK Ogilvy & Mather has expanded its brand experience practice with the addition of Kym Blanchard, a former magazine marketing executive who has taken the new role of director of branded alliances. Blanchard, former associate publisher of marketing at Vibe, will forge alliances between agency clients and other brands in the “print, outdoor and event zone,” said Ogilvy New York managing director Andy Berndt, to whom she reports. She will work closely with Doug Scott, executive director for branded content and entertainment and chief strategic officer Colin Mitchell.

Nielsen Notes Benefit Of Product Placement

NEW YORK Product placement in TV content boosts brand recognition by 20 percent, according to a study by Nielsen Media Re-search.The study found that 58 percent of viewers recognized a brand when viewing a product placement in combination with a commercial, compared to the 47 percent of viewers who recognized a brand exposed only to a spot. While brand recognition increases with product placement, it doesn’t necessarily translate into sales. Brand awareness, attitude and purchase interest were also affected by the viewer’s level of product familiarity, the program’s genre, loyalty to the program and the exact nature of the placement. The study was conducted between October 2005 and June 2006 at Nielsen Entertainment’s testing facilities in Las Vegas. More than 10,000 individuals participated in the screening of 50 programs, which featured product placements and commercials for nearly 200 consumer brands. Charter subscribers included CBS, OMD, A&E, Court TV, Discovery, Fox, Magna Global, Mediacom, PHD, Scripps Networks, Sprint, The Weather Channel, Twentieth Century TV and Zenith Media. NMR is owned by Adweek parent VNU.

Food Marketers Toughen Guidelines for Kids’ Ads

BOSTON Marketers last week said they have strengthened their efforts to self-regulate food and beverage ads targeting kids under age 12. The Council of Better Business Bureaus and the National Advertising Review Council have formed the Children’s Food and Beverage Ad-vertising Initiative, a voluntary program with 10 charter members: Cadbury Schweppes, Campbell Soup, Coca-Cola, General Mills, Hershey, Kellogg, Kraft, McDonald’s, PepsiCo and Unilever. The firms account for about two-thirds of all food and beverage TV ads aimed at kids. Under the terms of the new initiative, participants will devote at least half of their kid-directed advertising to promote healthier dietary choices and to limit products shown in interactive games. They pledged not to advertise in elementary schools nor engage in product placement in editorial and entertainment content. The firms also said they would curtail the use of third-party licensed characters.

McCann Worldgroup Wins Nortel Global Assignment

LOS ANGELES IPG’s McCann Worldgroup won global duties across its network for Nortel following a review. The Richards Group is the incumbent. The client spent $10 million advertising domestically in 2005, per Nielsen Monitor-Plus, but Lauren Flaherty, CMO of the Toronto-based telecom, promised a “significantly greater investment” in marketing as the global push begins at hubs in London, Tokyo and Miami (for Latin America).

NBC’s Falco Succeeds Miller As Chief Executive of AOL

NEW YORK Time Warner replaced AOL CEO Jon Miller with NBC Universal’s president, Randy Falco. A 30-year NBC vet, Falco has a deep background in TV programming, including the network’s Olympics coverage. Time Warner CEO Richard Parsons said Falco’s operating expertise would be critical in “leading AOL to its next stage in development.” In four years, Miller led the AOL unit’s painful transition from relying on subscription revenue as an Internet service provider to a Web portal business focused on advertising. The plan showed signs of working: last quarter, AOL’s ad revenue grew 46 percent, outpacing the market.