Hotlines: Late-Breaking Industry News

HD Radio Selects GSD&M For $230 Mil. in Spots
LOS ANGELES Omicom’s GSD&M Idea City landed creative duties for the HD Radio Alliance, a San Antonio, Texas-based coalition of radio giants (including ABC, CBS and Clear Channel) supported by electronics manufacturers, retailers and automakers who will take part in selling the new digital radio product. The Austin, Texas-based agency will produce about 40 spots this year, some with embedded marketing for partners, some meant for local station tags. The radio partners have committed $230 million to airtime. The first 10 spots, voiced by SpongeBob SquarePants actor Tom Kenny, break this quarter.

Heavy Ad Effort Helps to Make Toyota No. 2 Seller in U.S.
LOS ANGELES Publicis Groupe’s Saatchi & Saatchi was quietly celebrating the news last week that year-end unit sales figures for its main client, Toyota Motor Sales, helped to place the world’s largest automaker second in America for the first time. TMS sales of 2.29 million vehicles edged Ford’s 2.08 million, per Car Concepts. Although Toyota’s sales of its Tundra truck—supported by the largest marketing campaign in the Japanese carmaker’s history—were just shy of an internal goal of 200,000 units at 197,000 sold, ex-GM exec and current Saatchi CEO Kurt Ritter called the launch “exceptional” and said the news of surpassing Ford left the agency “inspired about the future.”

Arnold, Timberland Part Ways; Client Prepares Review
BOSTON Havas’ Arnold and outdoor footwear and clothing company Timberland have parted, the Boston-based agency said Friday. Officials at Timberland could not immediately be reached for comment, but sources said the client has already begun talking to undisclosed shops about participating in a review for the business. “We have enjoyed working with Timberland over the past three years and are proud of the ‘Make it better’ positioning we created for the brand. However, due to declining budgets, we have decided to part ways,” said Pam Hamlin, president of Arnold, in a statement. The Stratham, N.H.-based client spent $2 million on ads during the first 10 months of 2007 after spending almost $6 million in all of 2006, per Nielsen Monitor-Plus. In 2005, the brand spent $12 million in measured media. The company has recently worked with other regional shops, including the MediaHub unit of IPG’s Mullen in Wenham, Mass., which it hired in October.

RFPs Distributed in Intel’s $300 Mil. Media Review
NEW YORK Intel this week is expected to issue requests for proposals for its estimated $300 million global media review, sources said. Fewer than 10 shops will receive the document and, based on responses and agency meetings, the client will select three or four finalists to pitch the account, said sources. Sources said that both planning and buying duties are in play, though Intel has only confirmed the buying piece. IPG’s Universal McCann handles the bulk of the business, though Dentsu is said to be Intel’s media agency in Japan. Ark Advisors in Los Angeles and New York is managing the review, an Intel representative confirmed on Friday.

Coke’s ‘Happiness Factory’ Wins Firebrand, ‘Adweek’ Contest
NEW YORK Coke’s “Happiness Factory” from Wieden + Kennedy, Amsterdam, was named the Viewers’ Choice of 2007 in a contest held on Firebrand in association with Adweek. The nominees were culled from previous winners of Adweek’s Best Spots of the month feature and covered a wide range of disciplines and sentiments. The winner was announced on on Friday. TBWA\Chiat\Day New York was the runner up with Skittles’ “Touch,” while Nationwide’s “Rollin’ VIP,” which used Kevin Federline to humorous effect, from TM Advertising, Irving, Texas, came in third. Firebrand did not disclose the number of voters.

Fallon Breaks First Work For Equinox
NEW YORK What do nuns ogling a man’s package have to do with fitness? Well, everything, at least according to the first campaign from Fallon, Minneapolis for Equinox, a health and fitness chain based in New York. The racy integrated campaign was shot by fashion photographer Ellen von Unwerth, who has created campaigns for Guess, Victoria’s Secret and Diesel. The four print ads, which will also be used as outdoor, depict people’s fantasies about the perfect human form. In one, a group of nuns in a candle lit room are rooted to the spot by a nude male model they are in the process of sketching. In another, a male model, wearing only skintight gold lamé underpants, is bent over into the shape of a table. On his stomach rests a platter of fruit that a group of women dressed as if they were going to a masquerade pick at. “It’s less profound, but indeed what motivates many people. We can do something that’s not about people working out in a gym, something that positions us as a brand,” said Bianca Kosoy, creative director, Equinox, based in New York. “We don’t want to offend but we don’t mind shocking you. The brand is in a place now where we can do that.” The ads, which broke last week, carry the tagline “Happily Ever. What’s Your After?”