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Election Ad Spending Tops $1B

Political ad spending for the 2002 election topped $1 billion at the 573 stations in the top 100 markets, according to data issued by the Campaign Media Analysis Group
and the Alliance for Better Campaigns. Spending was up more than 25% over the $771 million spent by candidates and political organizations in 2000.

Executive Shifts

David Peeler
is out as president and CEO of New York-based CMR/TNS Media Intelligence. The company, which tracks TV- and print-ad spending (among other things), confirmed that it has hired Steven J. Fredericks
to replace Peeler. Fredericks assumed his new role Nov. 11. Previously, he was president and CEO of JASSNet, the Internet program guide. Before that, he held executive-level posts at and Digital Domain, a post-production house.

Cable rep firm National Cable Communications
has named Greg Schaefer
as chief operating officer, a post that had been vacant since John Sawhill's retirement last December. Schaefer spent 20 years at CBS, most recently as station manager of the network's flagship station, WCBS-TV
New York. His earlier posts include Viacom Station Sales president.


Sony Music Entertainment
and Pepsi-Cola Co. North America
have agreed to a multipronged global marketing campaign. Pepsi will use TV, radio and point-of-sale, starting next summer, to advertise Pepsi brands while also featuring "sneak previews" of songs from key Sony acts, both established and new. Pepsi also will sponsor TV specials showcasing "select SME artists."

Visa International
has extended its Olympics sponsorship for eight more years, through 2012. Under the deal, Visa will continue as the "the exclusive payment card and official payment service" for the next five Olympics.

TBS Superstation
has lined up two 2003 sponsors for its pre-prime time "non-stop Comedy Block." Procter & Gamble Co.
will be the program block's first-quarter sponsor, Pepsi-Cola Co.
second-quarter sponsor, according to TBS Senior Vice President/General Sales Manager Linda Yaccarino
. TBS also is close to finalizing its third-quarter client, she adds.


ChevronTexaco, which earlier this fall consolidated its North American creative and media accounts at Y&R Advertising
and Mediaedge: CIA, San Francisco, has chosen the same WPP Group
shops for its European business. The combined billings are estimated at $150 million-plus. Previously, the consolidated oil giant had handled its advertising and buying via various smaller agencies.

Another merged oil giant, ConocoPhillips, is said to be in the midst of its own account review, with four agencies in the hunt for the estimated $20 million-plus account.

General Mills
has shifted an estimated $120 million in billings to Publicis Groupe's Saatchi & Saatchi, New York, in the latest fall-out from the recent Publicis acquisition of Bcom3 Group. Green Giant, Pillsbury
and Progresso
are among the General Mills brands transferring out of D'Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles, which Publicis is closing down. S&S already handles such General Mills brands as Cheerios. In addition, the client earlier this month transferred its media buying to Publicis's Zenith Media
from Bcom3's Starcom MediaVest Group.

Novartis Pharmaceuticals
has appointed Grey Global Group, New York, for its Ciba Vision
eye-care unit. The global account, estimated at $20 million, had previously been handled by Publicis Groupe's Publicis Worldwide. WPP Group's MindShare
continues to handle media duties for Ciba Vision as well as Novartis's newly shifted Diovan and Zelnorm drugs.


Web-based auctioneer eBay
has just begun its first TV advertising in about two years, a lighthearted broadcast-network campaign themed "Do It eBay." One spot shows a bald man singing his version of Frank Sinatra's "My Way" and takes some jabs at mainstream retailers-for instance, urging people not to get "hosed" as firemen dance in the background with a hose. Omnicom Group's Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, San Francisco, is the agency for the estimated $15-million-plus campaign.