Hotlines: Late-Breaking Industry News

3 Finalists Make Presentations To Miller Brewing Next Week

NEW YORK The three finalists that emerged last week in Miller Brewing Co.’s $175 million creative review—Publicis’ Saatchi & Saatchi and Publicis-backed Bartle Bogle Hegarty, both here, and WPP’s Young & Rubicam in Chicago—next week will present creative ideas on Miller Lite at the client’s U.S. headquarters in Milwaukee, sources said. The contenders emerged from an earlier field of five that also included independent New York shops Mother and Nitro. The incumbent, MDC’s Crispin Porter + Bogusky in Miami, parted ways with the client last month, triggering the review. (Crispin also relinquished duties on Miller High Life, but that brand, on which the client spent $10 million in major measured media last year, is not the focus of the review.) Joanne Davis Consulting here is managing the process.



Wrigley Looks On, Off Roster In $200 Mil. Global Review

NEW YORK Sources identified IPG’s DraftFCB in Chicago and Publicis’ Saatchi & Saatchi here as the non-roster shops that Wrigley is considering as it looks to hire a global network to complement U.S. lead agency EnergyBBDO in Chicago. The roster shops that Wrigley is mulling are Omnicom’s DDB, which handles business in Australia and New Zealand, Publicis’ Leo Burnett (Canada, parts of Asia) and WPP’s Grey (Asia, India), said sources. Wrigley’s global ad spend is estimated at more than $200 million. The Chicago-based client confirmed the creative review last week, first reported by Adweek.com, saying that BBDO “will continue as a key Wrigley advertising agency” and adding that the company is “assessing how best to consolidate the remainder of our agency roster globally so that we can be more efficient, synergistic and faster to market with highly creative, integrated consumer communications campaigns.”



Federal Regulators Seek Tighter Regulations of TV Content

WASHINGTON Federal regulators are pushing Congress to expand the government’s ability to regulate TV content, arguing that it requires the same powers to protect children from violent programs that it has to shield them from indecent content. The FCC’s recommendations for congressional action came in a report the commission issued last week on a 5-0 vote, with one commissioner dissenting from part of the report. According to the long-awaited report, the danger to children from violent TV programming is so great that Congress needs to give it authority to regulate violent content on broadcast and cable TV. The commission contended that the V-chip content-blocking device and cable’s ability to block individual channels is a failure.The commission suggested that Congress allow it to channel violent content into the late-night hours as it does now for indecent content on broadcast TV, and asked for Congress to allow it to force cable to set up an á la carte package where customers can block violent channels.



TBWA\C\D Debuts Global ‘Absolut World’ Campaign

NEW YORK TBWA\Chiat\Day’s new campaign for Absolut revolves around a fantastic world in which men get pregnant, bubbles flow out of smokestacks and art hangs in Times Square. The “In an Absolut world” campaign includes four TV spots, print, Web and outdoor ads and guerrilla marketing. The estimated $45 million global effort breaks today and replaces the short-lived “The Absolut vodka” campaign that began in January 2006. The new ads are optimistic and cheeky, such as a spot called “Protest” in which a tense clash between protestors and police officers erupts into a pillow fight. In the U.S., the first spot breaks May 14 and the first print ads appear in June editions of magazines such as Rolling Stone. The international component launched Friday in Germany with a spot called “Disco Moon” from Omnicom’s TBWA\Paris and will eventually extend to a dozen markets.

Agency.com CEO Takes New Role After Less Than a Year

NEW YORK Agency.com CEO David Eastman is leaving his role after less than a year, sources said. Eastman will shift to run the Omnicom agency’s expansion as president of international, a new position, per sources. Chan Suh, Agency.com’s chairman and co-founder, will step into the CEO role on an interim basis. Agency executives could not be reached. The move comes just a year after Eastman took over for departed CEO Don Scales, and seven months since he moved to New York. He was previously managing director of Agency.com’s London office. The changes add to a tumultuous year for Agency.com, which has seen an upheaval of its management ranks, with departures of the heads of its New York, San Francisco and Dallas offices, in addition to its media and creative chiefs. Agency.com’s revenue in the U.S. declined 20 percent in 2006, per sources. Suh’s return is meant to be temporary, sources said, but a CEO search will not begin immediately.



McCann Makes Changes at Top Of EMEA Operations

NEW YORK McCann Erickson has changed the leadership of its Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) operation. Rupert Howell, 50, who has run the region from London since 2003, is leaving to pursue other opportunities. Giuseppe Usuelli will lead the region from Milan, Italy, effective June 1. Howell oversaw the U.K., EMEA and Ireland operations for the IPG agency. Usuelli has been McCann’s EMEA chairman since 2005 and is retaining those responsibilities as well as those of chairman, CEO of McCann Worldgroup Italy, a title he has held since 1988. He continues to report to John Dooner, McCann Worldgroup’s CEO.