Stop Press

United News & Media has created the role of director of group strategy, and poached government adviser Bernard Gray to fill the position. The role brings together responsibility for group strategy, corporate development and communications. Gray, who reports to chief executive Clive Hollick, was formerly an adviser to defence secretary George Robertson.

United News & Media has created the role of director of group

strategy, and poached government adviser Bernard Gray to fill the

position. The role brings together responsibility for group strategy,

corporate development and communications. Gray, who reports to chief

executive Clive Hollick, was formerly an adviser to defence secretary

George Robertson.



Hello! magazine is sponsoring a new programming strand on the

BBC/Flextech flagship channel, UK Gold. Over nine weeks, Hello! will

sponsor Girls’ Night In, which includes French and Saunders and Ruby Wax

Meets ...



Blockbuster will roll out DVD (digital versatile disc) films to more

than 550 of its stores by September to generate interest in the run-up

to Christmas. To support the roll-out, Blockbuster will run a

three-week, in-store launch promotion offering customers who buy a DVD

title another one for half price.



Unipath has appointed OgilvyOne to test response advertising for

Persona, its contraception product. OgilvyOne will test press

advertising, inserts and a direct mail campaign. Persona, a natural

method of contraception, is targeted at women aged between 25 and

40.



Talk Radio has signed three sponsorship deals which tap into its new

sport and business coverage. Tetley’s Bitter and NEC Mobile Phones are

sponsoring Talk’s Rugby World Cup coverage. Freeserve is sponsoring

weekday business news programme Bloomberg on the Money.



Airport advertising contractor Sky Sites has appointed the former CEO of

Western International Media, Don Sperring, to be UK managing

director.



Sperring was originally hired by Sky Sites as a consultant in May; since

then the company has been sold to JC Decaux. Sales controller Lee

Lawrence has been promoted to director of sales.



Somerfield has axed Paul Hutton’s position, as associate director

responsible for brand identity and corporate design, as part of its

continuing marketing shake-up. He will leave the company after

completing in-store marketing projects. The retailer also announced that

Martin Sutherland, formerly marketing controller, will be responsible

for promoting the brand externally, reporting to Richard Smith,

marketing director for Somerfield Stores.



Cadbury will launch Marble Obsession, a miniaturised version of its

Marble chocolate bar, in April. To be marketed as a premium treat for

women, the chocolate is Cadbury’s first foray into the bite-sized-bar

market, currently dominated by Mars Celebrations. TBWA GGT Simons Palmer

will launch the product with a pounds 500,000 poster campaign. Cadbury

will extend its bite-sized chocolate bar range later this year when it

launches its Miniature Heroes range.



Sega has signed a deal with MTV UK to sponsor the channel’s R&B show,

The Lick, in what is understood to be the largest sponsorship package

the channel has carried, eclipsing the pounds 1m deal it signed with

Cadbury earlier this year. The integrated package features programming

across MTV, including sponsored billboards and title sequences on The

Lick. The move forms part of Sega’s pounds 60m launch of Dreamcast, its

next generation console.



Energy company PowerGen is kicking off a new pounds 3m TV campaign

designed to emphasise that power is part of everyday life. The campaign

is designed to further underline the PowerGen brand following the

rebranding of East Midlands Electricity. Creative work was handled by

Saatchi & Saatchi with media by Western International Media.



London Eye, the British Airways-sponsored Ferris wheel to be erected in

September, is looking for an advertising agency to attract visitors.



The 1600-tonne wheel, which will be lifted into position over the Thames

to a height of 135 metres, is designed to celebrate the millennium.



The Independent Television Commission has appointed Professor Dawn

Oliver to chair its Advertising Advisory Committee, which provides

advice to the ITC on its responsibilities regarding advertising

standards. Professor Oliver takes over from Professor Colin

Seymour-Ure.



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