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Fox Cable's New Tools

Fox Cable Networks Group
executives have created two sales tools to help affiliates with their local efforts.

One is its affiliate marketing Web site, which has reported nearly 2,000 registrants since its launch last January. About half those are involved in local ad sales, they noted.

The other tool is FCNQ, a quarterly publication available via its affiliate site. FCNQ
will offer operators sales tips and programming-related and other information, Fox Cable executives said. Hard copies will go to the top 25 markets; they also were given out at the Cabletelevision Advertising Bureau
sales conference in Chicago last week.

Cross-Platform Deals Go Local

Time Warner Cable
is one MSO adapting the popular national cross-platform sales concept to local and regional use. According to President of Ad Sales Larry Fischer, Time Warner has worked with such accounts as Oxford Health and Staten Island University Hospital, both New York, on packages consisting of Time Warner CityCable (the New York system's ad-sales operation), New York 1 News and America Online assets. In other cases, he said, packages also have included metropolitan pages in Time, Sports Illustrated
and other print vehicles.

Account Reviews

The Andrew Jergens Co.
account for personal-care and hair-care products is up for grabs. The review was spurred by the recent merger of incumbent Interpublic Group of Cos.' Bozell
with the Lowe
agency, which already handles Johnson & Johnson
baby products. There doesn't appear to be any conflict, since the Jergens brands are adult-oriented—from Curel and Jergens lotions to Ban antiperspirant and the John Frieda professional hair-care line. Jergens spent just over $90 million in measured media last year, according to TNS/CMR data, with $20 million of that for the Frieda line. …

America Online Inc.'s corporate review has come down to Omnicom's BBDO Worldwide
and DDB Worldwide
and Wieden + Kennedy, Portland, Ore. BBDO produces AOL Broadband
's current TV spots, including one featuring actress Sharon Stone. The account is estimated in the $100 million range. Media will stay at Interpublic's Initiative Media.


An Interpublic
team of agencies has won Cablevision's DBS-service account. The service, tentatively called "Rainbow DBS," reportedly could get $100 million in ad support, although Cablevision execs have steadfastly declined to talk dollar figures. Interpublic's Lowe, New York, will be the lead creative shop on the account, winning out over teams at Omnicom Group's TBWA/Chiat/Day
and WPP Group's J. Walter Thompson Co.
Creative for Sunkist
orange soft drink, marketed via Dr Pepper/7Up Co., has been assigned to Brand Buzz, New York, part of the Y&R Advertising
unit of WPP Group. Y&R already handles other soft drinks for the marketer, including Dr Pepper, 7Up and the new Red Fusion. Previously, Sunkist—with billings estimated at $5 million—was handled by Interpublic's Foote, Cone & Belding, Chicago.


stunned many in the ad business with last week's endorsement deal for high school basketball phenom LeBron James. The 18-year-old's multi-year deal, reportedly worth $90 million, was sparked in part by the likelihood that he will be the No. 1 pick in next month's NBA draft. The deal is bigger than those of more established NBA stars like Allen Iverson
(who has a $60 million Reebok deal) and just behind Nike's $100 million-plus endorsement deal with golfer Tiger Woods


Cox Communications
VP of ad sales Billy Farina
said his MSO continues to steer toward custom-made network sales promotions. The newest is the upcoming promotion linked to TLC's A Makeover Story from Discovery Networks U.S.
Scheduled for 13 Cox markets, the promotion replaces the successful "Discovery Kids on Camera," said Discovery Networks Director of Local Ad Sales Mike Van Bergen, adding that Cox simply wanted to generate excitement by trying something new. Cox will pursue such non-traditional ad-sales sectors as hair/nail salons, spas and clothing boutiques, he added. …

Fox Cable Networks Group is at work developing the "Super Semi-Truck Tour" that will hit the road for Speed Channel
later this year.