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Cramer-Krasselt Welcomes $50 Mil. Corona Consolidation

CHICAGO Corona will consolidate its $50 million advertising account at independent Cramer-Krasselt here, the agency confirmed. C-K and independent The Richards Group in Dallas had shared the business. The move coincides with the creation of a joint venture between Mexican distributor Groupo Modelo and importer Constellation Brands. All do-mestic work under the new Crown Im-ports banner will now be handled by C-K. Brands include Corona, Corona Light and Negra Modelo. C-K has a long history with the client. Agency creative chief Marshall Ross has worked on Corona since 1991, when he was at the previous incumbent, Lois/EJL in Chicago. C-K vp, management supervisor Renee Chez has also worked on Corona for more than a decade. Constellation is conducting a review for Corona's Hispanic account. Finalists are Casanova Pendrill, Costa Mesa, Calif.; Conill and La Agencia de Orci, both in Los Angeles; and OLE, New York, sources said.



JibJab Creates Comedy Series For Internet, Mobile Play

NEW YORK JibJab, the viral video company perhaps most famous for its popular animated clip lampooning the 2004 presidential campaign, has launched a short-form sketch comedy series geared for the Web and mobile devices. The Great Sketch Experiment goes live today on both JibJab.com and VCast, Verizon's mobile video platform. The show's clips feature six JibJab-recruited sketch comedy troupes performing original material. The clips were directed by John Landis of Animal House fame. From now through Nov. 16, viewers can vote for their favorite sketches, with the winning troupe receiving a $10,000 development deal with JibJab. In addition to serving as a distributor, Verizon Wireless is the show's premier sponsor, running five-second spots prior to each sketch, along with a persistent branding unit visible during the video clips. Besides the sketches themselves, fans can stream behind-the-scenes footage from the making of the program.

BBH's Murphy Takes Global Account Planning Role at JWT

NEW YORK Guy Murphy, deputy chairman of Bartle Bogle Hegarty in London, is leaving to become global planning director at WPP's JWT. Murphy, 42, will be based in London, work closely with worldwide CCO Craig Davis and report to worldwide CEO Bob Jeffrey. Murphy had worked at BBH since 1992 and led planning efforts in the Asia-Pacific region and Europe before becoming deputy chairman in 2004. His client experience includes Audi, British Airways and Levi's. JWT's last global planning chief was David Lamb, who in July 2005 moved from JWT's New York office to London to become director of multinational clients. He has since left the agency.



Nielsen Bows Video Game Measurement Service

NEW YORK Nielsen Media Research has introduced GamePlay Metrics to collect audience data for video games. Expected to begin generating ratings by mid-2007, GPM aims to establish standardized metrics and third-party objectivity for in-game advertising, predicted to be a $730 million market by the end of the decade, per The Yankee Group. GPM will pull data directly from gaming consoles, such as PlayStation and Xbox, via Nielsen technology that will record both game titles and players' demographics. Nielsen (owned by Adweek parent VNU) will leverage its 10,000-plus households people meter sample to compile the video-game metrics panel. Because of that dynamic, Nielsen plans to also utilize GPM to examine the impact of gaming on other media—such as what TV shows gamers watch. GPM is the first product of the Nielsen Wireless and Interactive Services division. Nielsen is not the only metrics company interested in video game demographics. In July, independent Interpret announced plans to launch Gameasure, a similar video-game metrics product. Michael Dowling, a former general manager of Nielsen Interactive Entertainment, heads Interpret.



News Media Share in Blame For Negative Ads, Panel Says

NEW YORK Fear-mongering and mudslinging are so prevalent in political messages that people tune out candidates' platforms—and the news media only exacerbate the problem, an Ad Club panel said last week. Encouraging developments include the rise of online social networking sites and bloggers who take politicians to task in ways the mainstream media seldom do. Moderated by commentator and writer Arianna Huffington, the "Politically Correct: Getting It Right on the Campaign Trail" panel consisted of former BBDO vice chairman Phil Dusenberry; The Kaplan Thaler Group CEO and creative chief Linda Kaplan Thaler; John Hlinko, vp, marketing, Grassroots Enterprise; Michael Turk, vp, National Cable and Telecommunication Association; and Bernard Whitman, president, Whitman Insight Strategies. They agreed that the increasing influence of the Web was the most significant aspect of this election and would have an even greater impact in 2008. "The Internet is no longer a novelty," said Hlinko. "Three or four years ago, you hired your nephew to build a Web site." Now, he added, candidates need to build a movement on the Web. Dusenberry, who took part in creating the 1984 "Morning in America" campaign for Ronald Reagan, said that in this election cycle, political advertising has hit an "all-time low."



Search-Engine Giant Posts 70% Gain in Q3 Revenue

NEW YORK Continuing to defy expectations and the naysayers, online search engine Google last week reported an increase of 70 percent in third-quarter revenue compared with the same period last year. The numbers came just 10 days after the company spent $1.65 billion to acquire the quirky online video site YouTube. The Mountain View, Calif., company reported revenue of $2.69 billion for the quarter compared to third-quarter 2005 revenue of $1.58 billion and a 10 percent increase over second-quarter 2006 revenue of $2.46 billion. Google shares jumped $6.75 to close at $426.06 last Thursday on the Nasdaq, then rose another $31.94, or 7.5 percent, in after-hours trading. Google shares now seem poised to reach their highest level since January, when they peaked at $475.11.