"Ongoing turmoil at Kmart Corp. appears to have claimed
another casualty" -- the company's relationship with its ad
agnency, Ross Roy Communications. Last week, Kmart put its $175M
account into review and Ross Roy decided not to participate
"virtually assuring an end to the relationship." In a related
move, Kmart Canada moved its $6M account in-house from Ian
Roberts Ross Roy, Toronto (Leah Rickard, AD AGE, 11/14 issue).
This morning, Kevin Goldman examines a growing trend of companies
breaking off ties with their long-standing ad agencies (WALL
STREET JOURNAL, 11/16).
According to CFL owners, Larry Ryckman (Calgary) and Bill
Comrie (B.C.), the league is "exploring selling commercial
sponsorship on uniforms." Ryckman: "You will see significant
corporate sponsorship deals. For example, Beatrice sponsors our
training camp and Beatrice has our jersey rights. This
(uniforms) is the logical next step. I would support it, as long
as its not garish." CFL star Doug Flutie: "I wouldn't like it at
all. You put Beatrice on the Jersey and then they'll want you to
put K-Mart on the pants. Next thing you know you look like a
race-car driver. Right now we have the logo (Dodge Trucks) on
our field. I don't even like that" (SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS,
Kao Infosystems Company announced yesterday that they will
dedicate November 15 as "Ted Williams Appreciation Day." The
declaration coincides with a national press conference, to be
held earlier in the day, to introduce Ted Williams' official CD-
ROM autobiography (KAO Infosystems). ...Frito Lay snack foods
will consolidate the media planning portion of its brand
accounts, currently divided between BBDO New York and DDB Needham
Chicago, at one of those agencies. A spokesperson for Frito-Lay
said a decision is expected within a month (N.Y. TIMES,
11/16)....In Washington, Aaron Epstein examines a Supreme Court
case that tests the government's power to limit free speech in
the marketplace, specifically a brewers' right to put the
alcoholic content of the beer on the label. The case will be
heard November 30 (KNIGHT-RIDDER/MERCURY NEWS, 11/16).
Rebutting FTC charges of "false and misleading advertising,"
New Balance Athletic Shoe Inc. claims 70-80% of its footwear is
made in plants in ME and MA and that those shoes assembled abroad
are labeled as to their country of origin. Although New Balance
promotes its shoes as "Made in the U.S.A.," the FTC had
complained that a "substantial number of the company's shoes are
assembled in foreign countries" (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 11/16).
The WTA Tour is not only losing Martina Navratilova this
week, but also Philip Morris, "its most significant benefactor."
Philip Morris, parent company of Kraft and Virginia Slims, ends
its 25-year relationship with women's tennis Sunday when the
Virginia Slims Championships at Madison Square Garden ends (Doug
Smith, USA TODAY, 11/16). "Anti-smoking crusaders who rail
against the tobacco company for using women's tennis to glamorize
smoking couldn't be happier. But players and tour officials
couldn't be more ambivalent, especially since they are having a
tough time finding a replacement. Perhaps no sponsor in all of
sports has given more lavishly" than Philip Morris, notes Josh
Young in the WASHINGTON TIMES. "And it's doubtful that any
sponsor has gotten such a good return on its investment"
(WASHINGTON TIMES, 11/16). Chris Evert: "If we don't find a
sponsor, we're strong enough that we can endure next year. But
starting in '96, we really need to find a sponsor" (PHILADELPHIA
DAILY NEWS, 11/15).