Adbrands Weekly Update 2nd December 2010
A weekly round up of key news about 
leading advertisers, agencies and mediaowners
 
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Come and see us on Facebook! You don't have to wait until Thursday for our Ads of the Week. We now post all our favourite ads, not just the top four, on Facebook on a daily basis, as well as a selection of interesting news stories from other media. Come and have a look.

Four of our favourite ads this week: 

General Motors "Thank You"
by Goodby Silverstein

Selleys "Do It Yourself'"
by BWM Australia

H&M "Lanvin"
by H&M Red Room

Panda cheese "Never Say No To Panda!"
by Advantage Marketing/Elephant Cairo 

Update only subscribers: click here to view Ads of the Week

Please note: If you are attempting to view these ads shortly after receiving this mailout on a Thursday, you may find that the video streams run slowly because of heavy simultaneous demand from other Adbrands subscribers who have also just received the same email. Please wait for the ads to load before pressing play, or try again later. Apologies for any inconvenience.

General Motors have launched a new corporate campaign by Goodby Silverstein to thank their customers for sticking by them over the past couple of years. Good that they should take that trouble and this spot is certainly honest and open in its acknowledgement of the company's past troubles. Some of the symbolism is a bit questionable though. All that archive footage certainly suggests the GM is a thing of the past without also depicting a strong presence in the future... Popeye? John Belushi? Oh well. nice ad nonetheless.

Australia's BWM agency have launched a great campaign for DIY store Selley's which suggests the dangers of not doing all those little repair jobs around the house. Men! Listen to the Selley's man! He speak words of wisdom! There are two spots. Here's the other one, now with added innuendo.

H&M's inhouse agency Red Room delivers another reliably surreal spot to celebrate the launch of the company's limited edition collection by Lanvin's Alber Elbaz. We really like these ads; even if they're sometimes starting to look a little repetitive, with all their corridors and speeded-up footage. Oh. My. God.

And finally, a wonderful campaign for Panda Cheese by Egyptian agencies Advantage Marketing and Elephant Cairo. No disrespect to the Middle Eastern advertising industry, but I never expected to be selecting an Egyptian ad for Ads of the Week. However, this campaign demonstrates how far local agencies (and indeed clients) have come in developing a more sophisticated, less hard sell approach to their marketing. The ads could easily originate in one of the Western ad markets. This is a compilation of all five ads in the series. They may look cute at first glance, but you'll soon find out why you should Never Say No To Panda!

A few ads just missed the final cut, including Leo Burnett Australia's new campaign for 7-Eleven Slurpees, an Orangina bestiary mash-up by Fred & Farid Paris, and Mother's launch campaign for Stella Artois cider - sorry, cidre . Come and see them here on our Facebook page.


In the news this past week: Brands & Advertisers

PepsiCo announced plans this morning to acquire Russian dairy products and fruit juice marketer Wimm-Bill-Dann for $5bn. The deal makes PepsiCo the largest food and beverage group in Russia. Pepsi already owns local producer Lebedyansky, which is also now responsible for marketing its Tropicana brand in this fast-expanding market. Under the new deal, PepsiCo will acquire a 66% holding in WBD for $3.8bn and will launch an offer for the outstanding public shares. 

Telecoms giant Verizon will launch its next generation "4G" wireless broadband network this weekend in 39 local US markets and 60 airports, with a footprint covering more than 110m potential users. It will be the first company in the world to launch a 4G service based on LTE technology, generally considered to be the future gold standard for high-speed mobile broadband. The service is designed primarily for data connections. Most voice calls will still be routed via the 3G service.

Shareholders of British Airways and Iberia of Spain voted in favour of the two airlines' planned merger. However, that news was overshadowed by a fresh strike threat by British Airways cabin crew. The Unite union, which represents BA's flight staff, said it would call a new strike ballot in January, no doubt to coincide with the launch of the merged airlines' new parent entity International Airlines Group. BA has already suffered more than three weeks of strike action this year as a result of a bitter dispute originally prompted by a reduction in staffing levels. However, that dispute has been superseded by a row over the disciplinary actions taken by BA in connection with the strike.

The 12-year partnership between Starbucks and food giant Kraft, which distributes Starbucks-branded packaged coffee to North American supermarkets, looks certain now to end in divorce. Starbucks informed Kraft of its desire to terminate the relationship earlier this year. However talks to reach a friendly settlement have come to nought and Kraft this week started arbitration proceedings against its partner, seeking a pay-out of "fair value" plus a premium of up to 35%. That could put a price of around $1.5bn on Starbucks' bid for freedom. Mass-channel sales of Starbucks coffee are around $500m annually.

After several months of negotiations, Walmart scaled back its planned takeover of South African retail group Massmart. It had originally negotiated with Massmart's board for an outright acquisition of the business for around $4.5bn. However, news of those plans prompted widescale opposition from South African trades unions, as well as from the country's government which wants Massmart to maintain a local stock market listing. Instead, Walmart has tabled an offer of around $2.4bn for a 51% stake in the business, which owns general merchandise and home improvement chains in several countries across the region.

The UK arm of Spanish banking giant Santander suffered a fresh blow with the news that departing chief Antonio Horta-Osorio will take three senior colleagues with him when he takes over as chief executive of Lloyds Banking Group next year. Chief risk officer Juan Colombas is to take up the same role at Lloyds, while finance director Antonio Lorenzo will become chief executive, wealth management and international. In addition, Santander UK's communications director Matthew Young is leaving to become Lloyds' director of corporate affairs. 

GlaxoSmithKline merged its UK marketing teams for OTC healthcare and oral care under the control of marketing director Carol-Anne Stewart, previously marketing head for oral care. That move follows the departure of Tim Brooks, previously her counterpart on OTC healthcare. Separately, Peter Buchanan, the long-serving deputy chief executive of UK government marketing arm COI, announced his retirement. That was seen as yet another sign that the end of an era is approaching at COI. The government is currently considering plans to disband the organisation, with some of its PSA duties transferred to an independent body closer in design to America's Ad Council.

Despite its recent sell-off of several other divisions, Sara Lee reaffirmed its commitment to international coffee with the acquisition of Cafe Damasco of Brazil for around $60m. Although it no longer markets coffee in the US, other than via its Senseo coffeemakers, it retains an extensive international business headed by flagship brand Douwe Egberts.

As had been expected, Del Monte Foods agreed a private equity buyout for $5bn, including debt, to an investor group led by KKR. The company, best-known for its tinned fruit and vegetables and petfoods, has an option to solicit higher bids between now and January.

As had been hoped, American shoppers turned out in force in shops on "Black Friday" last week, underlining a general surge in consumer confidence. According to the US National Retail Federation, some 212m shoppers visited stores and websites over the holiday weekend, notching up total spend of around $45bn. Average spend per buyer rose to $365, up from $343 last year. Early results for "Cyber Monday" this week - traditionally the day on which shoppers mop up their outstanding requirements by purchasing online - were also good, with one researcher, CoreMetrix, estimating a 19% increase on a year ago.

Bernard Matthews, one of the best-known figures in the UK's food industry, has died at the age of 80. His eponymous family-owned company is the country's biggest marketer of fresh turkeys, and Matthews himself became a household name during the 1970s after appearing regularly in his TV advertising. His Norfolk burr rendered his pronunciation of the word "beautiful" - in a description of his poultry products - as "bootiful" and it quickly became one of the UK's most widely used catchphrases. More recently the company was taken to task by television chef Jamie Oliver for its cheaply produced "turkey twizzlers", but if anything sales of Bernard Matthews products actually increased in the wake of the acres of additional publicity.

 


In the news this past week: Agencies

Simon Francis resigned as CEO of Saatchi & Saatchi EMEA to take up a similar role at Aegis Media. At the same time, Nigel Sharrocks moves up to become global chief executive of Aegis Media, reporting to group CEO Jerry Buhlmann. Francis has been replaced at Saatchi by Robert Senior, the former Fallon London co-founder who has been running the London-based Saatchi/Fallon partnership. Meanwhile, former Time Warner corporate marketing chief John Partilla has left his job at media owner Clear Channel to return agency-side. He becomes chief operating officer for the West Coast operations of Dentsu America, and will also be involved in the start-up of the Japanese giant's new outpost in Australia. Before crossing the agency/media boundary for Time Warner, Partilla was at Y&R, where he founded that agency's BrandBuzz social marketing unit.

Peter Mandelson, formerly business secretary in the last government, and one of the architects of Tony Blair's New Labour administration, is to launch an international management consultancy offering high-level strategic advice to European companies. According to media reports, the firm, to be named Global Counsel, will be a joint venture with WPP, although the latter has yet to confirm its involvement. Lord Mandelson will be chairman, with his former government aide Ben Wegg-Prosser as chief executive. The scope of Global Counsel's operations will be restricted for the first two years by statutory rules which limit the services that former Cabinet ministers can offer in a private capacity, especially to British companies, after they leave office.

Australian ad executive Sean Cummins released more details of his new start-up agency. Melbourne-based independent CumminsRoss aims to be a "one stop shop" agency. Cummins' partner is former CHE creative director Jason Ross. There were a few other low-level deals around the globe. Publicis acquired full ownership of its local affiliate in Romania; Aegis's research division Synovate merged its local subsidiary in Russia into Comcon, one of the country's biggest homegrown researchers, in return for a majority stake in the enlarged business.

Unilever appointed Ogilvy & Mather to take over responsibility for global marketing for its corporate brand. The packaged goods giant had previously been working with Fallon London. Meanwhile, Saatchi & Saatchi won a place on the global Coca-Cola roster with the appointment of its Argentinean hot shop Del Campo Nazca Saatchi & Saatchi as local agency of record for the main Coca-Cola brand, replacing Ogilvy. Del Campo will also work on other Coke brands in that market.

In other assignments, Mother was awarded global creative for Beck's beer, to be handled jointly by its London and New York outposts. Publicis was the incumbent. Pernod-Ricard consolidated media across Asia with Carat, which also won regional duties for the Tiffany jewellery account. In the US, Doner picked up creative for Choice Hotels and Harmon Audio. In the UK, Virgin Media called a review of media out of Manning Gottlieb OMD. For all appointments, subscribers can access the full Adbrands Account Assignments database here


In the news this past week: Media

Google is reported to be close to a deal to acquire Groupon, the fast-growing local coupon service whose online ads are almost impossible to avoid at the moment. The two companies have been in talks for several weeks. According to rumours, Google has offered an upfront payment of $5.3bn plus up to another $700m in performance bonuses. That would make it the search giant's largest acquisition to-date, nearly double the $3.1bn it paid for DoubleClick in 2007. It would also represent a huge payout for Groupon's 30-year-old founder and CEO Andrew Mason. The Groupon service delivers its subscribers a daily email offering big discounts on goods and services in their local area. Services range widely and include anything from heavily discounted spa services to cheap meals or reduced-rate skydiving lessons. It has been a spectacular success with bargain-conscious shoppers, notching up around 35m subscribers around the world in just two years, half of them in the US. In general, customers buy the coupons they want online direct from Groupon and then redeem them instore. The company keeps a cut of around 50% of each deal value and remits the balance to the retailer. As a result, it's already making sizeable profits. In one of its most successful promotions this year, a national campaign for Gap, it offered subscribers a $50 shopping voucher for half-price, generating 440,000 responses in a single day and sales of $11m. Total revenues this year are estimated at around $500m. 

Separately the European Union said it would commence a preliminary investigation into the dominance of Google in Europe following complaints from rival services over what they have described as "unfavourable treatment of their services in Google's unpaid and sponsored search results, coupled with an alleged preferential placement of Google's own services".

French media group Lagardere said it was involved in early negotiations with several possible buyers for its international magazine business, known as Hachette Filipacchi. Its most significant operations are in the US and the UK, where it produces editions of flagship title Elle as well as several local titles. Likely buyers include Hearst and Bauer. International revenues from the Hachette magazine division are estimated at between €700m and €800m. However Lagardere said that there was no question of selling its French magazine publishing arm, or the master license for Elle.

The Daily Telegraph, the UK's top-selling quality newspaper, is expected to follow in the footsteps of arch-rival The Times by introducing a paywall for its online service early next year, possibly in the summer. According to advance reports from an unnamed source quoted in the Financial Times, the paper is leaning towards a metered pay-per-article system rather than the all-or-nothing paywall like The Times.

UK satellite broadcaster Sky announced plans to launch an Arabic-language channel under the Sky News banner in 2012. The new service, to be broadcast in the Middle East and North Africa from 2012, is a joint venture with Abu Dhabi Media Investment Corp, the investment vehicle of Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan. Mansour is also the owner of England's Manchester City football club.

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Simon Tesler
Publisher, Adbrands