Up and Down the Avenue – 03/10/04

FLYING HIGH. IFO director Brenda Sexton returns from her sixth L.A. trip in 11 months reporting tremendous interest” in the wage tax credit bill from meetings set up by MPAA lobbyist Dans Stevenson. Paul Caselton, deputy general counsel of the Illinois Dept. of Revenue tax division went to explain how the credit workswage tax credit works. Freshman state rep Ken Dunkin, cosponsor of the bill, also made the trip. And Local 476’s Paul Oddo decided this would be a good time to shop the union’s low-budget contract in L.A.

GLOBAL VIDEO ADDS. While many companies continue to downsize, George Marton’s Global Video expands with the addition of veteran account executive Jack Samuels, most recently with Copymaster Video. Grant Ireland is Global’s other account exec. The standards conversion, duplication and close caption firm employs 16.

AD SPENDING UP. While total ad spending rose 6.1% to $128.3 billion in 2003, spot TV took the biggest hit by dropping 5.4%. Internet advertising grew the fastest at 15.7%, followed by cable, 15.6% and syndicated TV, 15.3%. Network TV totaled $20.37 billion, up only 1.8%.

GOING DOWN. If it seems like spot business is in the doldrums, it could be due to some serious account losses: Leo Burnett lost the $100 million Earthlink account ? new agency to be determined, and Tyson Foods shifted its $40 million business from DDB to Arnold of Boston. Tatham’s $80 million Red Lobster business is expected to depart for another agency shortly.

ON THE PLUS SIDE. Hillshire Farms stayed in Chicago by moving to Element 79 from Tatham … Ebel Signorelli Welke/Chicago landed the Midwestern Car-X Auto Service Centers, an estimated $3-$4 million account, from Grant/Jacoby.

AUTHOR, AUTHOR! Children’s book “Robots Everywhere” was written by BBDO ACD Todd Hoffman and illustrated by Romani Bros. partner Denny Hebson. Publisher Walker & Co., New York, will distribute it in April.

WHO’S NEW. Joe Gallo joined Draft as SVP/group CD; he’d held numberous top creative positions at Burnett, DDB, Tatham and most recently was a strategic creative consultant to Alberto-Culver … Them Reps’ Jim Waldron and Wendy Hanson are Venice-based Backyard’s Midwest reps … Elmhurst-based Maddock Douglas named Jim Morris chief creative officer … Art director Heidi Williams joined Italia Partners, from JTC Advertising.

CANDIDATE’S CHOICE. John Kerry was in town for a packed press rally Tuesday at Union Station, and makeup artist Lun Ye Marsh got the call the day before to do the Democratic candidate’s TV makeup.

Got news to share? Call us at 312/274-9980 or Email Ruth@ReelChicago.com. Photos always welcome, too.

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