Wieden Nabs $60 Mil. Diet Coke From DraftFCB Group
NEW YORK The Coca Cola Co. shifted its Diet Coke account to independent Wieden + Kennedy from IPG's DraftFCB Group here last week without a review, the client said. The most recent effort for the estimated $60 million account is tagged "Light it up" and showed characters drawing courage from the soda's bubbles. Sources said the account moved after DraftFCB made several unsuccesful attempts to sell the client a campaign for 2007. DraftFCB won Diet Coke in 2002 from IPG sibling Lowe. Wieden handles the $400 million Coke Classic account worldwide, as well as Powerade.
Bowing to Pressure, Fox Scuttles O.J. Simpson Book and Special
NEW YORK In response to widespread public outrage, News Corp. last week cancelled publication of a book by O.J. Simpson entitled If I Did It and a companion TV special that would have aired on Fox this week. Both were to have detailed how Simpson would have murdered his ex-wife Nicole Simpson and her friend Ron Goldman, who were slain in 1994. Simpson was acquitted of the murders in criminal court but found responsible in a civil trial. In a statement, News Corp. chairman Rupert Murdoch called the plan "ill-conceived," and apologized for "any pain" caused to the victims' families. Fox said the show would have aired with sponsors, but never identified them.
Miami Ad School Students To Work in Lowe's N.Y. Office
NEW YORK The Miami Ad School is coming to New York next year via an exchange of space and talent with IPG's Lowe. Starting Jan. 1, about a dozen second-year students will arrive at Lowe's midtown office, where they'll attend nighttime classes taught by local ad execs, said North American CEO Nancy Hill. Lowe will provide some of the teachers and a handful of mentors. During the day, the students will work against client briefs and contribute ideas toward new business efforts, Hill said. The school, which offers a two-year program, has similar arrangements with MDC's Crispin Porter + Bogusky in Miami and Boulder, Colo., and Publicis' Saatchi & Saatchi in London.
J&J to Launch Global Review For $2.5 Bil. Media Business
NEW YORK Consumer healthcare giant Johnson & Johnson is expected to kick off a review for its estimated $2.5 billion-plus global media business in the first half of next year, according to sources. The competition will follow the company's $16.6 billion acquisition of Pfizer Consumer Health Care, which is expected to close in late December. J&J spends about $1.3 billion on ads in the U.S. alone, according to Nielsen Monitor-Plus. The company is not expected to issue a request for proposal until after the first of the year, sources said. Current J&J media shops include IPG's Universal McCann (which handles the U.S. market), as well as sibling Initiative and Omnicom's OMD. Aegis' Carat is the lead media agency for Pfizer. A J&J rep would neither confirm nor deny that a review is in the works. The agencies declined to comment.
IOC Seeks Proposals From 4 On $120 Mil. 2007-08 Effort
BOSTON The International Olympic Committee said it has asked four contenders to submit proposals for its global marketing campaign. Havas Sport, Publicis' Leo Burnett and Saatchi & Saatchi and WPP's United made the cut following evaluations of the IOC's proposal request issued in October. The estimated media spend is $120 million. The campaign, which has been themed "Celebrate humanity," will run in 2007-08 and focus on the 12-19 age group with messages of "excellence, friendship and respect," the IOC said in a statement. The first work from Omnicom's TBWA\Chiat\Day touted the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney, Australia. Saatchi handled the campaign for the 2004 games in Athens, Greece, and the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin, Italy.
CBS Says FCC Indecency Policy Is a Threat to Free Speech
NEW YORK CBS last week told a federal court that the government's new "zero tolerance" policy for indecent broadcasts presents a threat to free speech. In its opening brief with the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Philadelphia, CBS contends that the commission's policy "is flatly inconsistent with the bedrock principle that First Amendment freedoms require breathing space to survive." The case is one of two legal battles this month that will help decide whether the government can fine broadcasters and threaten their operating licenses because of accidental profanity. The other case is in the New York circuit and involves Nicole Richie's use of an expletive during the 2003 Billboard Music Awards, which aired on Fox.
Ogilvy Wins Media, Creative Biz For Nature Made Products
LOS ANGELES WPP's Ogilvy & Mather is in negotiations with Pharmavite to handle the company's $20 million Nature Made creative and media account following a review, according to sources. Ogilvy's Culver City, Calif., office won over other finalists who also made presentations the first week of November [Adweek Online, Oct. 13]. They included independent Mendelsohn/Zien Advertising in Los Angeles and WPP's Grey and Y&R, both in San Francisco. Select Resources International, Santa Monica, Calif., conducted the search. Both the agency and the client declined comment. The media and creative incumbent is Williams-Labadie, Chicago, a unit of Publicis' Leo Burnett. An agency rep there said they did not defend the business, but otherwise declined comment.
Agency.com Parts Ways With Heads of N.Y., S.F. Offices
NEW YORK The heads of Agency.com's New York and San Francisco offices have resigned from the company, the Omnicom shop confirmed last week. Eric Valk Peterson, managing partner of Agency.com's New York office, and Alan Burgis, who held the same position in San Francisco, resigned late last week for what Agency.com termed "personal reasons." CEO David Eastman said the changes are part of an overhaul of Agency.com's operations. Since taking over as CEO in March, Eastman has focused on international expansion, opening three European offices with others planned for Paris and Shanghai in the coming months. "I'm not interested in incremental change," Eastman said. "I'm interested in completely redefining the way we do business." A big part of that redefinition is the Omnicom alignment of Agency.com with TBWA, which led to former CEO Don Scales' March ouster.
Mullen Awarded Creative Duties On $50 Mil. Orbitz Account
BOSTON Online travel service Orbitz has chosen Mullen to handle creative chores on its $50 million-plus ad account following a review, the agency confirmed. The IPG shop in Wenham, Mass., outpaced Omnicom's Element 79 in Chicago in the final round. The account had been with WPP's Young & Rubicam in Chicago. An Orbitz representative had confirmed the company was splitting with Y&R and was considering the two shops [Adweek Online, Nov. 16]. Orbitz spent $50 million in measured media last year and slightly more than $50 million during the first nine months of 2006, per Nielsen Monitor-Plus. Recent Orbitz commercials from Y&R have taken the form of campy game-show parodies. This marks the third major online travel competition of the year, following reviews by Expedia and Priceline.