Rap Helps Gap Celebrate 'Holiday in Your Hood'
NEW YORK Gap's new holiday campaign stars Claudia Schiffer and other celebrities wearing hoodies in seasonal scenes. Titled "Holiday in Your Hood," the work breaks Nov. 16 with two 30-second television spots, along with print and outdoor. In the TV ads, running through Dec. 13, Common raps "Holiday in Your Hood," a song he wrote, set to the tune of Madonna's "Holiday." One spot, featuring a 40-foot gold peace sign, ends with Common flashing a peace sign as he raps, "Peace. Love. Gap." The San Francisco-based retailer spends about $110 million advertising the brand, per TNS Media Intelligence. Laird + Partners, an independent shop in New York, is Gap's primary creative resource.
A World Tour Is Part Of Fox's Media Review
NEW YORK Three contenders in the estimated $1.1 billion Fox Filmed Entertainment global media consolidation review have advanced to the third phase of the competition, which includes a whirlwind round of 14 local market presentations, sources said. Aegis' Vizeum, Publicis' Zenith Optimedia and WPP's MindShare are pitching. Sources said those presentations would begin within the next two weeks and conclude in late December, with a decision expected in January. Markets the contenders will visit include Australia, Brazil, Japan, the U.S. and several regions in Europe. The agencies have been asked to present plans for the launch of two new movies, and shops must "show how good you are on the ground and how nimble you are against a set of changing box-office circumstances," said a source familiar with the brief. About $750 million of Fox's overall annual ad outlay is spent in U.S. media. Select Resources International in Santa Monica, Calif., is managing the process.
Havas, WPP Are Wrapping Up Asia-Pacific Media Partnership
NEW YORK Havas' Euro RSCG and WPP's MindShare are ending a 10-year media agency partnership known as Motivator. The entity will cease operations in some dozen Asia-Pacific markets at year's end. Under the pact, MindShare has provided media services to its clients as well as those of Euro RSCG in Asian markets where Havas did not have a media presence. Havas' MPG network is setting up shop in those markets, including China, Hong Kong, Korea, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Singapore and Taiwan. Motivator will continue to operate in Australia and India, where it is now focused on MindShare clients, but will be owned outright by WPP. Elsewhere, MindShare will retain all Motivator clients brought to the venture by WPP; MPG will service those contributed by Havas. MPG had a branded presence in Australia, India and Japan; its expansion into eight additional markets is effective Jan. 1.
GM Reaches VOD Accord With Comcast, TV Network
NEW YORK General Motors has struck a deal with Comcast and CBS to sponsor six CBS prime-time shows now airing on the cable system's On Demand VOD service. GM will fully sponsor CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, CSI: Miami, CSI: N.Y., NCIS, Numb3rs and Jericho on Comcast's VOD. The shows will be ready for VOD viewing gratis to Comcast On Demand customers starting the day after their network airing for four weeks. Three 30-second GMC or Hummer spots will play before the program, at the midpoint and at the conclusion. CBS, which had advocated a VOD model that charged an additional fee, now believes ad-supported video on demand distributed free to viewers may be the best VOD business model. The previous Comcast-CBS pact offered the network's programming for 99 cents per episode only in markets served by CBS owned and operated stations. In addition to the 30-second ads, GM will insert a "call to action" that refers viewers to a separate channel on Comcast's VOD platform, called the GM Showroom, for in-depth looks at the vehicles.
Goody's Retail Account Goes to Richards Group
DALLAS Goody's last week named The Richards Group here as lead agency after a review, the client said. Goody's spent $20 million on ads in 2005 and $7 million through August 2006, per Nielsen Monitor-Plus. Richards said it would handle the planning, development and execution of Goody's advertising and public relations. The first campaign is set to break in fall 2007. The Knoxville, Tenn.-based retailer specializes in moderately priced apparel, including labels like Adidas, Dockers and Levi's. The other finalists in the review were not identified. Joanne Davis Consulting of New York managed the search. Ron Foth Advertising in Columbus, Ohio, previously handled some of Goody's ads, along with an in-house department.
Investment Banker Joins CBS as Interactive President
BOSTON CBS has named Quincy Smith president of its interactive operations. He succeeds Larry Kramer, who remains with the company as an advisor. Smith's mission is to expand all facets of the network's digital operations across its various divisions. Smith, an investment banker and advisor, will report to CBS chief executive Leslie Moonves. Reporting to Smith are CBS properties such as CBS.com, CBSNews.com and innertube, a new site offering original programs and streaming video from network shows. Smith, 35, arrives from Allen & Co., where he handled multiple transactions for Google and Advertis-ing.com's sale to AOL.
FCC Issues Split Decision In Broadcast Profanity Cases
NEW YORK The Federal Communications Commission has upheld indecency findings issued in March for two cases, but tossed out the findings for two others. Profanities uttered during the 2002 and 2003 telecasts of the Billboard Music Awards were found to be "indecent and profane." In contrast, the FCC found that the broadcast of the "s-word" during The Early Show was neither indecent nor profane because it occurred during news programming. The FCC dismissed the indecency complaint against NYPD Blue episodes on procedural grounds. Despite the ruling, the FCC imposed no fines on Fox for the Billboard broadcasts. (Billboard and Adweek are owned by VNU.) "Hollywood continues to argue they should be able to say the f-word on television whenever they want. Today, the commission again disagrees," said FCC chairman Kevin Martin, about the agency's order responding to the remand by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.
CEO Resigns Amid Turmoil At German Automaker
LOS ANGELES Volkswagen said CEO Bernd Pischetsrieder—whose contract was extended through 2012 only last May—would instead step down Dec. 31. Martin Winterkorn, head of VW's luxury car unit Audi, will replace Pischetsrieder. The decision comes amid layoffs of up to 20,000 workers, longer work hours at VW's German plants and other cost-cutting measures, in an effort to compete with Asian carmakers and to boost U.S. sales. Pischetsrieder's resignation is "a shock wave that will take awhile to travel through the industry," said Todd Turner, principal analyst at Car Concepts in Thousand Oaks, Calif. VW's lead agency, MDC's Crispin Porter + Bogusky in Miami, declined comment. VW is up 10 percent on the year to 198,000 units, based largely on sales of its Rabbit and Passat models, per Car Concepts. "Their problem in recent years is they have a couple of good years, then a couple of bad years. They've been inconsistent in their strategy," said Turner. One source said Pischetsrieder's exit stemmed from an internal high-level power struggle at VW. "Apparently, the ax fell on the losing team," the source said. VW spent $335 million on U.S. ads in 2005 and $205 million through August 2006, according to Nielsen Monitor-Plus.