AOL Time Warner has tapped Omnicom Group's BBDO Worldwide, New York, to handle its AOL Broadband account. BBDO has been working on the account on a project basis, with commercials created for the Super Bowl and the upcoming Academy Awards special, both on ABC, as well as for Fox's coverage of the Daytona 500 last month. A BBDO spokesman declined to estimate the billings on the account, but sources put it at $50 million-plus. Meanwhile, BBDO and independent Wieden & Kennedy, Portland, Ore., are still in contention for other AOL business. The overall AOL account is estimated near $150 million.
Personal-computer marketer Gateway
has assigned its creative account to Leo Burnett USA, Chicago. Burnett beat out GSD&M, Austin, Texas, to land the estimated $150 million-plus business. The previous agency was Omnicom Group's Arnell Group, New York. Interpublic Group of Cos.' Initiative Media North America, Los Angeles, continues to handle media.
The ad agency formerly known as D'Arcy Detroit
has been renamed Chemistri. Publicis Groupe, which last fall announced the phasing out of D'Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles, said the shop will handle General Motors
business. Chemistri—actually based in Detroit suburb Troy, Mich.—will work with Publicis's Leo Burnett Worldwide, Chicago, and GM Planworks, the latter in media planning.
Johnson & Johnson
is sponsoring "The Remarkable Women Awards," with the winners to be announced early this spring on ABC
daytime talk show The View. Nomination forms for the essay contest, which ends April 30, are available online at www.abc.com or at local retailers. J&J promoted the contest in a freestanding ad insert in Sunday newspapers on March 9; the insert included cents-off coupons for such brands as Monistat, Healthy Woman, Viactiv and Stayfree.
General Motors' Saturn Ion
has renewed its commitment as the lead sponsor of Game Show Network's Cram, effective in June. Cram
bowed two months ago as a quiz show that puts its contestants through an endurance test. GSN said the Sunday-night series will add special celebrity episodes.
An AT&T Wireless
booklet ad for its mLife service, inserted into newspapers March 9, called attention to its sponsorship of Fox's American Idol series. The copy in the 16-page booklet, titled "mMode," notes that viewer voting for the series can now be done via the provider's text messaging. A photo of the Idol
judges inside the publication also benefits another sponsor, Coca-Cola: three large red Coke cups are clearly visible on the judges' desk.
Ad Spending Climbed 4.2% in 2002
CMR/TNS Media Intelligence
announced last week that total ad spending rose 4.2% to $117.3 billion last year, with cable alone up 2.9% and network TV up 7.4%. According to CMR (formerly Competitive Media Reporting), cable ad volume alone neared $10.5 billion, while the broadcast networks amassed just over $20 billion.
Last year's growth was "a result of a strong second half reflecting the vibrant network upfront, the elections and holiday spending," said CMR/TNS president Steven Fredericks.
The strongest gain last year was recorded by Spanish-language TV networks, up 20.4% to more than $1.9 billion, according to CMR.
The top five ad spenders in 2002 were General Motors, Procter & Gamble, AOL Time Warner, Ford Motor and DaimlerChrysler AG; the last was the only top-five marketer to reduce spending last year, by 1.4%.
is unveiling broadcast-network spots featuring spokesman Jason Alexander
interacting with personalities from two recent reality hits. Trista Rehn
from ABC's The Bachelorette and Evan Marriott
from Fox's Joe Millionaire make their ad debuts in spots for KFC's new Honey BBQ Boneless Wings. KFC is running 30- and 15-second versions through April 27 on such shows as NBC's Friends, CBS's CSI: Crime Scene Investigation and Fox's American Idol. BBDO Worldwide, New York, is the agency.
Chicago-based Sears, Roebuck & Co.
has begun a broadcast-network campaign featuring women's spring fashions. The spot focuses on its private-label brands Apostrophe, Covington and Canyon River Blues. Unlike previous campaigns, this one doesn't feature the tagline, "Sears. Where Else?" WPP Group's Y&R Advertising, Chicago, is the agency.