Honda has suffered the humiliation of a sales promotion going wrong. A total of 30,000 residents of Roswell, New Mexico, received scratchcards from their local Honda dealer telling them they had won $1,000. But the potential $30 million pay-out was a printing error. Force Media Group, which created the promo, is having to make amends. It is offering a "Second Chance" draw to those who got the first mailing, and has funded ads in the local paper explaining the mistake.
New York Collins appointed by TBWA\ for global Mars role
TBWA\Worldwide has hired the Ogilvy & Mather senior executive Patrick Collins to take global charge of its Mars brief.
Collins, 43, previously the client service director on BP at O&M, will be TBWA\'s managing director for Mars.
He succeeds Corey Mitchell, who became the president of TBWA\Chiat\Day in New York last month.
TBWA\'s $300 million global Mars assignment includes the Snickers, Skittles, Starburst, Pedigree, and Whiskas brands.
Collins, who also worked for M&C Saatchi in New York and London, will report to Tom Carroll and Robert LePlae, TBWA\'s worldwide and North American presidents respectively. Carroll said: "His understanding and ability to grow global brands will make him an indispensable part of our Mars team."
Stockholm Clear Channel in public transport network win
Clear Channel has won the ten-year ad contract for Stockholm's public transport system. The contract includes the city's 100 underground stations and 800 trains, all the 1,900 buses operating in the greater Stockholm area, 400 commuter and local trains and all roadside properties of the public transit authority, AB Storstockholms Lokaltrafik.
More than two million trips are made on the city's underground and on the buses each day.
Paul Meyer, the global president and chief executive of Clear Channel Outdoor, said: "The Stockholm transit contract is one of the largest outdoor ad contracts in the world. Winning this was one of our key aims."
Mumbai WPP forced to look at venture capital roles in India
The soaring prices of Indian digital agencies are forcing WPP to look at venture capital and incubation roles in the country, according to the group's chief executive, Sir Martin Sorrell.
He said GDP growth of 9 per cent was propelling investment in India, and that WPP was looking at inorganic growth through total buyouts and investments.
He also predicted India could become a centre for advertising outsourcing. Sorrell cited the computer manufacturer Lenovo, which uses Bangalore as a centre for global development, as an example of possible future expansion. India and China continued to be "under-advertised" and "under-branded" he added.
Hong Kong New figures show dramatic leap in adspend
Hong Kong's adspend has jumped by 7 per cent in the first half of 2007, compared with a similar period in 2006, according to newly published figures.
As brands have increased their spends on the back of a bullish economy, magazines have been the major beneficiary with 9 per cent growth. TV and print have remained relatively stable, reporting only modest increases.
The telecoms giant PCCW was the biggest spender. Its £6 million spend represented a 63 per cent increase on 2006. The other big mover was ParknShop, whose £4.4 million budget pushed it to second place.
Banking is still the top adspending industry with a figure of £55 million, followed by the pharmaceutical and toiletries sectors.
New York Murdoch's WSJ bid backed by marketing teams
The Wall Street Journal's sales and marketing departments are behind Rupert Murdoch's attempts to gain control of the newspaper.
While journalists are less than enthusiastic about the media tycoon's pursuit of the WSJ, others within the organisation are said to be looking to him to reverse its recent misfortunes.
Following a sixth consecutive quarter of growth, the paper's print ad revenue in the US fell by 1.8 per cent in the first quarter of this year, and 6.8 per cent in the second. It is also said to be about $30 million short of its internal goals.
Washington Call for US media companies to protect children
US media companies are being urged to follow the example set by food manufacturers in doing more to protect children from unhealthy foods.
Coca-Cola, Hershey's and MasterFoods are among companies that last week pledged not to aim ads at children aged under 12, while Burger King is reviewing its children's ad policy. Budgets for child-targeted food are estimated to have dropped by $1 billion.
But Jon Leibowitz, the federal trade commissioner, warned: "More need to get involved, pledging to make more meaningful changes in products, marketing and media messages."
He was joined by the House of Representatives member Ed Markey.
"I would like the media industries to come forward with their own set of voluntary commitments," he said.
Johannesburg Nazeer Suliman to join Universal McCann
Universal McCann in South Africa has named the former Virgin Mobile marketer Nazeer Suliman as its general manager.
Sue Rooney, Universal McCann's pan-African media director, said Suliman's remit would be to "inject continued energy and out-of-the-box thinking into the organisation".
Suliman started at Ogilvy & Mather in Johannesburg, where he worked on accounts such as Audi, Unilever, Avis and Appletiser. After a two-year stint at the BBC's Innovation and Learning division in London, he worked for the WPP agencies Notabene and MindShare, before heading the media management at Cell C, South Africa's third-largest cellular network operator.
Suliman vowed to attract young talent to Universal. "A lot of it is raw and may not work in adland, but it's there," he said.
Bangkok Initiative hangs on to $6m Coca-Cola business
Coca-Cola has decided to keep its $6 million media planning and buying account for Thailand with Initiative.
The Interpublic agency successfully defended the business against Publicis Groupe's Starcom, WPP's MediaCom, and the Aegis-owned Vizeum.
The review was called in May as part of efforts to improve Coke's performance against Pepsi, which it trails in Thailand.
The assignment includes Fanta, Sprite, Schweppes, Minute Maid, Coke Zero, Coke Light and Coke Classic.
Steve Blakeman, Initiative's Asia-Pacific channel strategy director, said: "We delivered a genuine insight into Coke's target audience and we provided a clear communication strategy."
Kuala Lumpur Maybank Fortis insurance pitch to be revived
The pitch for the Maybank Fortis insurance business, which collapsed last month following a dispute over pitch fees, has been revived.
Four agencies pulled out of the contest when the company refused to pay the pitch fee as required by the Malaysian Association of Advertising Agencies.
The company has now agreed to pay the fee, and has drawn up a new pitchlist, which includes BatesAsia, M&C Saatchi, Leo Burnett and Lowe.
Only Bates was on the original list, which also featured DDB International, McCann Erickson and the Grey subsidiary Sales Plus.
Under the rules introduced by the trade body last year, larger advertisers must pay £1,400 to each competing agency. Smaller advertisers must pay £736.