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Hot Spots


Grey Global Group's New York-based MediaCom
is partnering with Latino marketing-communications shop WING Latino Group
to form MediaComLatino, a new media-buying service for the Hispanic market. The joint venture will be led by co-directors Jose Aybar, WING Latino VP/managing director, and Maria Cuerva, MediaCom VP/joint-ventures director. MediaCom co-CEO Jon Mandel
and WING Latino CEO Jackie Bird
will be the new entity's strategic and operational directors.


has sent out an unspecified number of "requests for information" to ad agencies in conjunction with a planned review of its advertising strategy. The company poured nearly $70 million into major media during the first 11 months of last year, according to CMR estimates. Interpublic's McCann-Erickson Worldwide, which handles duPont's corporate-image and Lycra accounts, and Omnicom Group's BBDO Worldwide, which handles Stainmaster, are believed to be among the eight to 10 agencies on its "RFI" list. ...

Speed Channel
has picked Elberson Senger Shuler, Charlotte, N.C., for a national branding campaign. The agency already is at work on TV and print ads for the cable net, owned by Fox Cable Networks Group.


The AntiWar Video Fund
has had mixed results getting local TV and cable outlets to run its ads. The Fund said it has purchased time on CBS affiliate WUSA(TV)
Washington for its controversial ad opposing a war with Iraq. AWVF co-founder and the ad's creator Dan Preston
says the ad was rejected by other stations and by the dominant area cable carrier, Comcast. CNN
and Fox News
also rejected it. Preston said his group has also purchased time to run the spots over Cablevision New York Interconnect, serving parts of New York and New Jersey. The spots show individuals giving reasons they're opposed to a war in Iraq.

Executive Moves

Jill Botway
has been named managing director of OMD USA's OMD East, New York, succeeding Mike Drake, who retired in December. Botway, who reports to OMD North America CEO Page Thompson, was previously EVP/director of marketing at Initiative Media North America. ...

Linda Dupree, SVP of advertiser and agency services, for Arbitron, New York, has been tapped for the new post of SVP of Portable Peoplemeter. She will develop and market non-ratings uses for PPM technology, gathering demo information, said Arbitron. Dupree has been focusing her attention on the Peoplemeter since the end of January, when she was succeeded in her old post by Carol Hanley, former VP of sales and ad and agency services.


Fast-food chain Burger King
and Cartoon Network
have joined forces on a "Kids Meal" and "Big Kids Meal" promotion that will run into mid April. The promotion will feature toys inspired by Cartoon's Dragon Ball Z and Powerpuff Girls; each youngster buying the chain's Chicken Tenders meal will get two toys, according to Burger King SVP of Marketing Programs and Sales Rick Dow. The promotion, which broke on Feb. 10, will run through April 14.

Blue-Chip Media Buys

IBM Corp.
and Chrysler Group
have bought major sponsorships in Discovery Channel's upcoming special Building the Great Pyramids. Co-produced by the BBC, the special will run March 2 at 9 p.m. ET. Shooting down the long-held belief that the Egyptian pyramids were built by slaves, the program will show evidence that willing conscripts were the builders.


The reality-programming trend isn't going away any time soon, says Initiative Media
in an analysis of the genre in prime time. Fox's American Idol and Joe Millionaire are the juggernauts leading the genre's second wave, taking over for CBS's Survivor and ABC's Who Wants To Be a Millionaire. The biggest difference, IM says, is that "the latest wave has proven to be much more consistent in the ratings department," sparking strong ad sales and product placements. The various reality shows accounted for 10% of gross ratings impressions among adults 18-49, based on the Nielsens from last October through January, IM said.