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Accounts

Roughly $500 million in media accounts changed hands during January—far below the $2 billion of January 2002, according to Cable Audit Associates' MediaAnalysisPlus. The changes involved 17 clients, 13 of which had accounts between $10 million and $50 million. But account activity was up from December 2002, when eight clients moved $275 million in business.

Celebs

Subaru of America Inc.
has signed cycling champ Lance Armstrong
(for a reported $12 million) to be its long-term ad spokesman. The four-time Tour de France victor will appear in TV commercials via the Temerlin McClain
agency, Cherry Hill, N.J. Subaru EVP Fred Adock
says the new spots (for Outback and other models) will hit the air in April. Armstrong, he says, is "a perfect fit" with the automaker's new campaign theme line, "Subaru. Driven by What's Inside." Subaru has had a longtime sponsorship role in cycling, including Armstrong's team in the early 1990s.

Research

Jack Myers Reports' latest Advertising Confidence Index survey of ad executives indicates that the projected gains in various major media for 2003 are the result of a shift in advertisers' funds away from sales promotion and direct mail. That's not the only trend uncovered by Myers' survey of the ad community: Traditionally, broadcast networks have worked primarily with media buyers, but, in the coming year, Myers
said, they will copy cable nets in working more closely with media planners. Indeed, Myers
added, "it appears that, in 2003, media planners and buyers will be working more closely together than ever before."

Campaigns

Sirius
has just begun a broadcast- and cable-network campaign for its satellite radio service, using the theme "It's On." The commercials (the first featuring rapper Dr. Octagon) will run on such nets as BET, ESPN
and MTV
and on such shows as CBS's Grammy Awards Feb. 23. Online and cinema will also be among the media to be used over the next six months or so. Crispin Porter + Bogusky, Miami, is the agency. Sirius' radio service is available in various models of autos made by DaimlerChrysler
and Ford Motor Co....

Taco Bell
has just begun a broadcast-network campaign for its Monterey Chicken Quesadilla. Taking off on the joining of the mild Monterey and spicy Pepper Jack cheeses, the marketer is tying in with the Match.com
online dating service on the "Monterey Match-up" sweepstakes. The two grand prizes: a trip to Monterey, Calif., for one "mild" couple and one "spicy" couple. The campaign, which is scheduled to run through March 12, includes buys on such shows as ABC's The Bachelorette, Fox's Joe Millionaire and CBS's CSI: Miami. Interpublic Group of Cos.' Foote, Cone & Belding, San Francisco, is the agency.

Sponsors

USA Network
has added MasterCard
as a major sponsor of its live prime time coverage of this week's Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show. The Feb. 10-11event already has Masterfoods USA's Pedigree dog food and the Petco
retail chain as sponsors.

Changing of the Guard

Deborah Lake
has been named VP of commercial standards and program compliance at NBC, New York. She will continue to report to Alan Wurtzel, president of NBC Research and Media Development. Lake, who has been with NBC since January 1998, replaces Rick Gitter, who is retiring after 23 years in NBC's standards department. Lake started as manager of program standards in Burbank.

Discovery-J&J Cross-Platform

Johnson & Johnson
has signed its first cross-platform partnership with Discovery Networks U.S.
The year-long deal will become effective with its sponsorship of the upcoming Birth Day Live special on Discovery Health Channel. J&J's cross-platform buy also encompasses Animal Planet, Discovery Channel, The Science Channel
and TLC. Brands getting exposure under the agreement include Johnson's Bedtime Bath, Johnson's Baby Shampoo, Motrin, Children's Tylenol Simply Stuff and Simply Cough.

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