Peroni Nastro Azzurro "Senza
by Gabriele Muccino/Peroni Italy
"Spots v Stripes"
by Fallon London
Stella Artois "Claude
by Mother London
by TBWA New York
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A quick round-up of this week's best spots. SABMiller's Peroni brewery in Italy
tasked director Gabriele Muccino (best known outside his home country for
the Will Smith dramas Seven Pounds and The
Pursuit of Happyness) to deliver a short film celebrating the country's cultural
heritage and craft. The film was developed in partnership with the Accademia del Film, which
promotes Italian cinema in the UK, and is being shown in British cinemas.
Peroni's Nastro Azzurro beer makes only the briefest of appearances in the
short, although its signature blue sash logo device plays a leading role.
We mentioned Cadbury's new Spots v Stripes chocolate challenge bar in last
week's Update. Here's the main creative ad for the product, a contest between
two teams of spotted and striped aquatic creatures. See here
for more. Fallon London is responsible for the ad and also for the
More beer and another contest in the new spot from Mother London for Stella
Artois. Not, in our opinion, up to the standard of Lowe's groundbreaking work
for Stella in the 1990s, but still superior to most other British beer
And finally, another weird spot from TBWA\New York for Mars/Wrigley's Starbust
candy. The current campaign is built around the concept of odd contradictions,
personified by this bizarre South Korean Scotsman and his Starburst-loving son. For previous entries in this
series, see here.
In the news this past week: Brands &
In a shock development, Hewlett-Packard's board asked chairman & CEO Mark Hurd
to resign following an internal investigation prompted by an accusation of sexual harassment from a female marketing
contractor. The investigation cleared Hurd of the harassment charge but
discovered other forms of what it described as "inappropriate
behaviour". According to an internal memo issued to staff, it found that Hurd
"had failed to disclose a close personal relationship he had with the
contractor that constituted a conflict of interest, failed to maintain accurate
expense reports, and misused company assets". The most serious of these
charges seem to be that the woman in question had, on Hurd's authority, received compensation for work that hadn't actually taken
place, although the amounts involved were comparatively small. She
subsequently revealed herself to be Jodie Fisher, a struggling actress with a background
in porn movies and reality TV who had worked part-time as a greeter at sales events
for HP. She said in her statement that she was "saddened" by Hurd's ousting, and
that this had not been her intention when she made her harassment claim. The
precise details of her
allegations were not revealed, although she confirmed that she had
not had an "intimate" relationship with Hurd, who is married with two children.
Hurd was appointed as CEO in 2005 after the board ousted his
predecessor Carly Fiorina, whose controversial strategy to
acquire PC manufacturer Compaq resulted in a dramatic slump in
performance. Group chairman Patricia Dunn was also subsequently forced out following
revelations that the company had spied on journalists as well as its own
directors after details of the board's deliberations over the sacking of Fiorina
were leaked to the media. Hurd was widely admired for the way in which he set
about repairing the damage from these internal struggles and was credited for
widely diversified business to strong and steady growth. Until his sudden fall
from grace this week, he enjoyed a reputation as one the technology industry's
most effective managers.
In the wake of his departure, Larry Ellison, CEO of
HP's rival Oracle, blasted the board for its poor handling of the situation and
in particular for allowing the unfounded harassment allegation to become
publicly known. "The HP
board," said Ellison, "failed to act in the best interest of HP's
employees, shareholders, customers and partners. Publishing known false sexual
harassment claims is not good corporate governance; it's cowardly corporate
political correctness." Cathie Lesjak, previously EVP & CFO, steps in
as interim CEO until a fulltime successor can be found.
There were three other significant management changes this week. Apple said that
Papermaster, the executive in charge of engineering for its iPhone
handset, was leaving the company. That announcement comes in the wake of
problems with the design of the 4th generation of the iPhone which have led to
poor reception and interruptions to calls. Meanwhile, Sara Lee said that Brenda
Barnes was stepping down permanently as chairman & CEO for medical reasons.
Barnes has been on leave of absence since May after suffering a stroke.
Marcel Smits will continue as interim CEO until a fulltime replacement can be
found. He is one of the candidates for that role along with CJ Fraleigh, chief
executive of the company's North American retail and food service divisions. Separately, Tracy Britton, group head of marketing at
HSBC, has left the group
without a job to go to. She has been replaced on an interim basis by her
predecessor Chris Clark, now HSBC's group head of customer
Internet phone service Skype unveiled plans for a $100m IPO. Currently, the vast
majority of users pay nothing - Skype had 560m registered users
at the end of June, but only 8.1m paying customers. Nevertheless revenues for the first half of 2010 rose by 25% to
$406m and the company hopes to increase that sum with premium services, by widening its base of small business customers, and through sales of advertising and licensing.
In a separate development, UK satellite broadcaster Sky has opposed
Skype's attempt to register its bubble logo as a trademark because of the
potential confusion with its own telephone services.
Nestle reported strong results for the first half of 2010, with organic
growth of over 6% to CHF 55.3bn (around €40bn). Earnings before interest rose almost 14% to CHF
8.4bn (€6.1bn). Both figures were above analysts' expectations. However like other packaged goods groups, Nestle has warned of
challenging conditions for the second half of the year as a result of the rising
costs of raw materials. The best growth in the
first half came from developing markets and the Americas, with Western Europe
lagging some way behind. However the strongest performance of all came from the
group's Nespresso division, which scored organic growth of over 25%, with sales
this year expected to top CHF 3bn. Nestle is also set to become one of the
world's richest companies over the next few weeks when it completes the sale of
its Alcon healthcare division to Novartis for $28bn in cash. The group is widely
expected to use much of the cash to finance a large acquisition.
General Motors sought to rebuild sales in its European division, which
markets the Opel and Vauxhall brands, by making what is thought to be an
unprecedented marketing offer. Beating the general industry standard of three to
five years, as well as the seven-year warranty offered by Korean company Kia,
Opel/Vauxhall has decided to introduce a "lifetime guarantee" on new
vehicles. There is one key proviso. The guarantee is only good up to 100,000
miles. However, GM claims that 95% of their new car buyers never come close to
that level before selling on their vehicle. Separately GM's
chairman-CEO Ed Whitacre said he hopes the US government will sell its entire
61% shareholding in the group at its widely anticipated IPO, which could come
late this year or early next.
"We want the government out, period," he said at an automotive
conference last week. "We donít want to be known as Government
Motors." The group is expected to reveal a second quarter of profits in
results due later today.
Italian pasta giant Barilla is selling its German retail bakery chain
Kamps to private equity group ECM for an undisclosed sum. It acquired the
business in 2002 in a hostile takeover. However Barilla is keeping hold of the
German company's sizeable manufacturing division, known as Lieken AG, which
supplies private label and branded bakery goods to supermarkets.
In the news this past week: Agencies
Starcom MediaVest tightened its grip on the
GlaxoSmithKline media account, winning several territories from MediaCom
following a European review. Starcom picked up Germany, Spain, Austria, Portugal and
Switzerland to add to its existing business in Central & Eastern Europe.
However, MediaCom was reappointed in the UK.
In other account assignments, Yahoo called a review of global media,
currently split between Mindshare and Neo@Ogilvy. In the US Hispanic market, Wendy's
appointed Bravo Group and Chevrolet selected LatinWorks. Pereira
& O'Dell was tasked with handling a campaign to revive ailing social
network MySpace. In the UK, Innocent called a pitch for its core
smoothies range. Fallon remains in place for the company's Veg Pots and orange
juice. Newly merged DLKW Lowe won its first piece of business, in the
form of auto accessories retailer Halfords. In Latin America, Sony
tasked Saatchi & Saatchi and its Conill unit with the launch
of the Playstation console. In Australia, TBWA\Whybin collected creative
duties for insurance group IAG. For all appointments, subscribers can access the full Adbrands Account
Assignments database here.
In the news this past
Few industry observers will be surprised by the news that Dawn Airey has
resigned as chief executive of UK terrestrial broadcaster Five following its
acquisition by Richard Desmond's Northern & Shell. She will remain
at the company until the end of October, when she is expected to rejoin Five's
former owner RTL in a senior management role. Five managing director Mark White
is also leaving, along with several other senior managers and almost a quarter
of Five's 300 staff. Desmond, owner of the
Daily Express and Daily Star newspapers and OK magazine, is plotting a makeover
of the channel which will see it move closer in style and format to his existing
publications. He is a notoriously challenging and outspoken boss, who takes a close
personal interest in all aspects of his business. As he told an American
interviewer this week when discussing the 5th anniversary of the American edition
of OK magazine, "I'm not known as 'Easy Richard'".
Conde Nast announced plans to develop a chain of branded
restaurants and bars as an extension to its magazine business. That move follows
the success of three outlets in Moscow, the Vogue Cafe, GQ Bar and Tatler Club,
all run under license by an independent operator. As a result, Conde Nast has
now established a dedicated division to develop further such outlets in other
countries, with a particular focus on developing markets in Asia and the Middle
East. Conde Nast Restaurants will be based in Hong Kong and is led
Stuart Nielsen, recruited from hotel operator InterContinental.
UK cable TV operator Virgin Media confirmed plans to put its 50% stake in cable
channel group UKTV up for sale. A joint venture with BBC Worldwide, UKTV
controls channels including Gold, Dave, Good Food and Eden. Earlier this year,
Virgin Media sold a collection of other channels, including Living and Virgin 1
to Sky. It said it wishes to concentrate its attention on cable and phone
services instead of content management.
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