Hotlines II: Late-Breaking Industry News

Jenny Craig Taps Y&R For $60 Mil. Creative Account

LOS ANGELES Diet company Jenny Craig last week awarded its estimated $60 million creative account to WPP’s Young & Rubicam in Irvine, Calif., the client confirmed. The other contenders were Omnicom’s DDB in San Francisco (with the Venice, Calif., office), Publicis’ Publicis & Hal Riney in San Francisco and independent Butler, Shine, Stern & Partners in Sausalito, Calif. The process was managed by Blank and Associates. Media chores, at Aegis’ Carat, were not in play. Jenny Craig spent nearly $60 million on measured media last year and $50 million through September 2007, per Nielsen Monitor-Plus.

Down to MEC and OMD for Visa $650 Mil. Global Media Pitch

NEW YORK Visa has narrowed its list of contenders vying for its global media business to a pair of roster shops: Omnicom’s OMD and WPP’s Mediaedge:cia, sources said last week. Eliminated in the semifinal round: Aegis Media and Publicis’ Starcom MediaVest, sources said. The agencies and client declined comment. Visa’s annual global media spend is estimated at $650 million. In August, when Visa confirmed the review, it said the process was designed to consolidate global media planning and buying chores at a single shop or holding company. OMD currently handles Visa in the U.S., as well as the Asia-Pacific region, China and India, while MEC handles European media and sponsorship chores.

$60 Mil. Confirms TBWA\C\D N.Y. Selection

NEW YORK last week confirmed it was in final negotiations with Omnicom’s TBWA\Chiat\Day to handle creative duties on its account. The New York shop bested two other finalists: Publicis’ Saatchi & Saatchi here and WPP’s Young & Rubicam in Chicago, said sources. TBWA\C\D stood out for its “really solid strategic thinking” and a “smart and enthusiastic team,” said Vic Walia, senior director of brand marketing for the Dallas-based client. Walia also confirmed the hiring of independent TargetCast here, to handle media duties. TargetCast bested independent Horizon here and Publicis’ Optimedia in Seattle. spent more than $60 million in major measured media last year, per Nielsen Monitor-Plus.

Ads-for-Rewards Site Closes Just 14 Months After Launch

NEW YORK, a 14-month-old site that launched with the proposition that consumers should be rewarded for watching ads, has gone dark. The company last week sent a notice to its members that the site is no longer in operation, promising that it would use member feedback—”what has worked well and what has not worked as well”—to “develop the next iteration” of the service. Brightspot CEO Aaron Martens confirmed the company is rethinking its approach. “Advertisers have been relatively slow to adopt new models when it’s so clear they absolutely need to change their thinking,” he said.

Starcom USA Unveils New Print Accountability Tool

NEW YORK Publicis’ Starcom USA has been doing bigger deals in print but with fewer magazines, a trend that seems likely to continue into 2008, when the agency will roll out its new post-plan accountability measurement tool Proof (Print Return on Objective Formula). Using the tool, Starcom will attempt to measure clients’ return on objective using syndicated Affinity Research data that measures subjects such as ad recall, brand association and purchase intent. Andrew Swinand, Starcom’s chief client officer, said that Proof also would control for the quality of an ad’s creative, a common point of contention among publishers who feel they are unfairly held accountable if the creative causes an ad to perform poorly. Starcom clients buy more than $1 billion per year in print ads.

MySpace to Move Into Ad-Supported Music

NEW YORK MySpace is joining the search for a new business model for the music industry by enlisting the help of advertising. Next March, fans of punk band Pennywise can go to stores to buy the group’s ninth album. Or they can go to the MySpace profile of Textango, a mobile music distributor, and add it as a friend, which will allow them to download the entire album for free during a two-week period.