Hotlines: Late-Breaking Industry News

Fourth Shop Emerges in J&J’s $3 Bil. Global Media Review

NEW YORK Aegis’ Carat has emerged as a fourth finalist in Johnson & Johnson’s estimated $3 billion global media review, per sources. The shop isn’t pitching the U.S. portion of business, but rather Europe and Asia, per sources. Meanwhile, the pitch process continues, involving presentations in more than two-dozen countries around the world. Final presentations are expected the week of June 18, with a decision to follow possibly by the end of the month or early July. The other finalists include Omnicom’s OMD, which is pitching globally, and two IPG media shops, Universal McCann and Initiative. The latter two are coordinating their efforts, per sources, with UM, J&J’s North American incumbent, seeking to defend that assignment, while Initiative is pursuing non-U.S., territories. A fifth contender, MindShare, exited the review last month [Adweek Online, April 27]. Neither Carat nor the client would comment on Carat’s participation in the review. Other contenders also declined comment.

JWT Chicago Expects to Fill Top Management Posts Quickly

NEW YORK WPP’s JWT within the next few weeks is expected to name a new leadership team in Chicago to replace outgoing president Ros King (pictured) and ecd Graham Woodall, sources said. Woodall, ecd since June 2004, is leaving in about a week, and King, president since September 2005, in July will return to JWT’s London office, where she previously was a global business director, an agency representative confirmed. News of the exits surfaced last week, a month after Kraft put the bulk of the office’s brands into review. Going forward, Chicago will be overseen by New York co-presidents Rosemarie Ryan and Ty Montague, who also is CCO here. “Chicago is and always will be an important part of the JWT portfolio, and we are committed to our people and our clients,” said worldwide CEO Bob Jeffrey. Major media spending on the Kraft brands exiting JWT—Lunchables, Oscar Mayer, Grey Poupon, Kraft Singles, Ritz and Triscuit—was about $200 million last year, according to Nielsen Monitor-Plus.

Contenders Surface in Review For New York Lottery Account

NEW YORK At least four finalists are vying to become lead agency on the New York State Lottery’s ad account: WPP’s Young & Rubicam, IPG units McCann Erickson and DraftFCB and the incumbent, Omnicom’s DDB, sources said. Final pitches will take place this week at the New York shops. Client executives will select an agency based on those presentations, credentials and chemistry by mid-July. DDB has handled creative duties on the business since 2001. Media duties are at sister shop OMD here. Both creative and media duties are in play. Last year, the lottery spent nearly $40 million in major measured media, according to Nielsen Monitor-Plus. DDB’s current work uses the tagline, “Hey, you never know.”

SAG, Aftra Lead Study to Find Alternate Pay for Actors in Ads

LOS ANGELES SAG and Aftra and their ad industry partners have hired consultancy Booz Allen Hamilton to research alternative means of compensating actors and performers on commercials distributed over new and old media platforms. The study will examine such new compensation models “consistent with the understanding between the unions and the industry that the purpose of the study is not to reduce the aggregate compensation historically paid to performers,” officials said. Research is expected to be completed by the end of October. That will give the parties a year to consider how to incorporate any report recommendations into a new commercials contract for the unions, with the current pact to expire Oct. 28, 2008, following a two-year extension arranged in August.

KB+P Buys Open Mind Strategy, Adds to Planning Muscle

NEW YORK MDC’s Kirshenbaum Bond + Partners has boosted its planning capabilities, acquiring Open Mind Strategy, a specialty shop led by Madison Avenue veteran Robin Hafitz. Hafitz, 45, becomes head of brand strategy. She brings along four planners, who join the 16 already at KB+P. Hafitz will lead all 20 staffers and report to Aaron Reitkopf, agency group president. Open Mind will maintain its identity inside the larger department, with Hafitz also serving as president of that unit. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Nielsen Issues First Ad Ratings, Discloses Data on DVR Use

NEW YORK Nielsen Media Research began issuing its commercial ratings last week, and the company disclosed some revealing data about how DVRs—now in 17 percent of U.S. homes—have changed viewing patterns. Based on data for prime time the week of April 30, 42 percent of network TV in DVR homes was viewed in playback mode, while 58 percent was watched live. “About half” the viewers watching in playback mode “are skipping through the spots,” according to Pat McDonough, svp, planning policy and analysis at The Nielsen Company (which also owns Adweek). The new data won’t give either buyers or sellers an advantage during the upfront, McDonough said. Rather, “there is more information to make better decisions” during talks, and both sides “will be coming at it from an improved data set,” she said.