BBC puts flotation of commercial arm back on agenda

LONDON – The BBC is again considering a sale or flotation of part of its commercial arm, BBC Worldwide, which could raise more than £500m.

MediaCom A-P names digital chief

SINGAPORE – MediaCom Asia-Pacific has strengthened its digital capability with the hire of Sean Seamer (pictured) from MediaCom London as regional interaction director.

JWT China bags Red Bull creative

BEIJING – JWT Beijing is believed to have landed creative duties for Red Bull in China, following a review that included fellow WPP agency and incumbent Ogilvy & Mather.

S-Fone calls pitch in Vietnam

HO CHI MINH – S-Fone, one of Vietnam’s largest telcos, has invited agencies to pitch for its advertising account, currently held by JWT.

IKEA selects Ogilvy pairing in China

SHANGHAI – The pairing of OgilvyOne and Ogilvy PR have landed the IKEA China account for the Swedish furniture giant’s living range category, after three rounds of presentations, beating at least two other agency combinations in the process.

Blamer out after Creston pulls plug on US venture

LONDON – UK marketing services group Creston has decided to close its New York office and, as a consequence, Steve Blamer will be stepping down as its US CEO.

MEC strengthens Asia Pacific presence with new hires

SINGAPORE – MEC Interaction has added two new members to its Asia Pacific operation, appointing Radhikarani Sengupta as regional director, and Daniel Chan as senior account manager.

Bumrungrad selects JWT Thailand

BANGKOK – JWT has won an integrated advertising assignment for Bumrungrad International Hospital without a pitch.

Drury joins EastWest PR

SINGAPORE – EastWest PR has hired APAC Health’s Michael Drury as associate director to spearhead its healthcare portfolio.

Four bidders do battle for Virgin Radio at up to £70m

LONDON – SMG shares rose this morning as news broke that it has received four offers of between £60m and £70m for Virgin Radio, including a surprise bid from Malaysia’s largest media company.

Links for 2008-02-17 []

CMOs, You Must Differentiate or Risk Losing It All

Chief marketing officers have a shorter average tenure than NFL coaches. In fact, they barely get beyond two years before they are gone.

Subway Can’t Stop Jonesing for Jared

CHICAGO ( — Subway keeps trying to get off its diet of Jared, but it just can't quit him. Like him or hate him (love surely isn't an option), the seemingly ubiquitous sandwich-chain spokesman who lost 245 pounds on a diet of heroes is now notching his 10th year with the chain.

We Now Return to Our Regularly Scheduled Upfront Program

NEW YORK ( — During the three months the writers were on strike, media buyers and marketers talked about how this was the moment when the broadcast networks could change their traditional ways of doing business, starting with the 40-year-old ritual of putting on upfront presentations in mid-May. But just days after the strike ended, it was business as usual. Four out of the five broadcast networks last week said they will go ahead with plans for their presentations.

JC Penney Bets Big on American Living

NEW YORK ( — JC Penney's new brand American Living, created by Polo Ralph Lauren's Global Brand Concepts division, will get a glitzy introduction on the Oscars and is promised to be the biggest marketing initiative in the company's history.

Don’t Get Lost in Shuffle of Shop Consolidation

In the ad business, you can never be entirely certain about where your agency stands. It could be bundled, unbundled, rebundled or scooped up by an acquisitive holding company. What's an employee to do?

Make Your Brand Mean Something

The trouble with making a living in marketing is that it can be pretty tough to conjure a meaningful existence during shadowy economic times like these. Yet, we all love what we do. We are creative, and we want to help people succeed. It is those two impulses that will give the marketing profession new relevance over the next decade as our culture dies and is reborn.

Snide Advertising Is Bad for Business and Society

There are few barometers so reflective of modern life as TV advertising. It makes sense. Take the culture's most facile minds, challenge them to pry cash from an increasingly tapped-out audience, and what do you get? Commercials built on sadism, on derision, on one-upsmanship — in a word, "snide."

Big Players in Diet Industry Shift Focus to Online Presences

NEW YORK ( — Increasingly, traditional ads by the weight-loss industry are being used to draw consumers online, where they can view commercials, read dieting blogs, and download weight-loss tools such as recipes and calorie-counters that track their progress.

Murdoch Vs. Microsoft: What’s Rupert Got to Offer?

NEW YORK ( — There's one man standing in Steve Ballmer's path to acquiring the most visited site on the internet: Rupert Murdoch. And it's hard to bet against someone who almost always gets what he wants.