Increased ad spend during recession pays off, says new research

- Businesses that maintain or increase advertising spend during recession grow nearly three times as fast as those which cut their spend , according to new research.

- Businesses that maintain or increase advertising spend during recession grow nearly three times as fast as those which cut their spend , according to new research.

The message came from Marilyn Baxter, vice-chairman of Saatchi & Saatchi, at the Advertising Association conference, Gaining Competitive Advantage in Tough Times.

Baxter said businesses which increased their ad spend during a recession were not only significantly more profitable during recession than those which cut spend, but they also made the fastest profit improvement and increased their market share faster once market recovery had started.

In her presentation, based on a PIMS (Profit Impact of Market Strategy) research and IPA Advertising Effectiveness case studies, Baxter said advertising is regarded by some chief executives as one of the most tempting targets for cost-cutting when businesses start bracing themselves for a slowdown.

"Most companies take what they perceive as the safe option and cut ad spend," she told delegates. "This is invariably on the advice of their finance directors. New research suggests that increasing ad spend is actually the smarter and safer option. Finance directors need to think again."

She added: "This new data from PIMS gives ammunition to marketing directors to help them resist the cost-cutting instincts of their finance colleagues and should give finance directors pause for thought."

Head New Media launches interactive TV unit

LONDON (Campaign) - Head New Media has announced the launch of Head End Interactive Television to service the company's interactive TV projects Felix Velarde, Head New Media's managing director, said "For three years we've been working with broadcast clients developing trial operating environments. At the end of last year, we felt the time was right to start looking more practically at the advertising and direct response side of the equation."

Lynx targets FHM surfers in new campaign

LONDON (Campaign) - Visitors to the FHM website are being targeted as part of the launch ad campaign for Lynx Voodoo, a new men's fragrance from Elida Faberge.

The online campaign, created by Modem Media.Poppe Tyson -- which also handles the online media planning and buying for the campaign -- includes two creative executions that will run on the FHM website ( for the next two weeks.

The first execution kicks off by covering the whole FHM front page in black and then, using shockwave, the users' cursor turns into a candle so the viewer can see the cover of FHM by candlelight. After a few seconds, the page automatically reloads to the normal FHM site, showing the Lynx Voodoo banner.

The non-shockwave execution features a woman dancing in candle-light. The flame is then blown out and the page automatically loads to the FHM home page which features a Lynx Voodoo banner running animated gifs of the campaign.

The on-line advertising is part of an integrated campaign covering TV, radio, press and the internet.

Simon Andrews, director of strategy and media for Modem Media.Poppe Tyson, said: "This new campaign for Lynx continues our efforts to define how the web can be used for FMCG brands.

"Both FHM and DoubleClick were extremely helpful in the development of this campaign and that sort of co-operation is to be applauded. Looking beyond the banner, and working closely with media properties, allows us to develop impactful communications which cost-effectively build the brand."

Burnetts Technology Group opens office in Texas

LONDON (Campaign) - TFA/Leo Burnett Technology Group, the Chicago based advertising agency's high technology subsidiary, has opened an office in Austin, Texas.

The launch of the Austin office marks the first time Leo Burnett has had a presence in the Texan city, and it brings to three the number of TFA offices now operating in the US.

The agency, which was formerly known as TFA Communications, was acquired last year by Burnetts. It already has offices in Boston and Chicago.

The agency, which claimed 1998 billings of more than $107 million and posted a growth rate of more than 56 percent, includes Dell Computers, Motorola, Advanced Micro Devices and Samsung among its clients.