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Foote, Cone Office to Close After Loss of Mattel Account

Foote, Cone Office to Close After Loss of Mattel Account

Media

by Claudia Peschiutta

It’s no longer all fun and games at the El Segundo office of Interpublic Group of Companies’ Foote, Cone & Belding.

Following the ad agency’s loss of Mattel Inc.’s boys/entertainment division account, the office is preparing to shut down by the end of the month. The El Segundo location has about 25 employees.

The office was opened last year to work with FCB in Chicago on the Mattel account, which recently moved to the WPP Group’s Young & Rubicam.

El Segundo-based Mattel put three of its advertising accounts up for review earlier this year. FCB dropped out of the review for the boys/entertainment work.

Despite the imminent closure, work continues at the local FCB office, according to Gordon Fenton, executive vice president and group management director.

“We’re getting ready for the Christmas season,” he said.

Rubin’s Tirade

The “KTLA Morning News” team is a pretty outspoken bunch but station management may not be laughing about one recent outburst.

Entertainment reporter Sam Rubin spent more than five minutes during one of last week’s shows dressing down Arnold Kleiner, president and general manager of KABC-TV, calling him “the devil,” “ill-informed, mean-spirited and…lame-brained.”

The tirade was instigated by Kleiner’s alleged efforts to keep Rubin from interviewing the hosts of “Live With Regis and Kelly,” which airs locally on KABC. Neither KTLA nor KABC officials were commenting on the matter last week.

Perhaps KTLA executives, at first, thought the blowup was funny. The Business Journal was sent a tape of the tirade shortly after it ran. But it was quickly recalled and KTLA officials refused to say anything more about the incident.

Bigger Business

The Los Angeles Newspaper Group wants to boost advertising revenues by increasing its business coverage.

Stand-alone Sunday business sections now appear in each of the group’s eight daily newspapers, which include the Long Beach Press-Telegram and the Pasadena Star-News. The Los Angeles Daily News had been the only publication in the group with such a section. The papers share some content in the new section but each publication has space for local business coverage.

In addition, each business section has an expanded “Wall Street Journal Sunday” supplement.

The move gives the Sunday section a combined circulation of more than 580,000 and makes it better able to compete with the Los Angeles Times business section, said David Mace, vice president of general marketing for LANG.

“It’s for advertisers to have bulk and be able to get a lot of eyeballs,” he said. Mace, who spearheaded the effort, declined to disclose the expansion’s cost.

Despite an industry-wide decline in ad revenues, Mace said LANG has seen ad spending in the financial category increase over last year. The decision to expand business coverage comes eight months after LANG launched a group-wide entertainment section known as U.

Pushing It

No one at ADD Marketing & Advertising Inc. will admit the L.A. agency is behind a guerrilla PR campaign for the new ABC drama “Push, Nevada” but lots of people have been calling since the two were linked by various media outlets.

Several newspapers reported that actors pretending to be members of the high school hockey team from the fictional town managed to get on camera during a weather segment for ABC’s “Good Morning America.” Apparently, ABC News wasn’t aware ABC Entertainment was promoting a network show.

Interest in guerrilla PR “ebbs and flows,” according to Scott Leonard, “chief workaholic” and chief executive officer at ADD.

While he concedes the agency lately has seen a jump in requests for guerrilla PR, Leonard denies any connection with the “Push, Nevada” campaign. “I don’t even watch TV. Is it a show or something?” he asked.

Libertarian Loss

The Libertarian Party of California was set to disavow its own gubernatorial candidate last week after the political hopeful allegedly spit on KABC-AM (790) talk show host Brian Whitman.

Station officials say the incident took place during an interview with minor party candidates Whitman conducted on Sept. 8. The radio host filed a police report.

“I don’t challenge (the story) at all,” said Aaron Starr, state chair for the Libertarian party. “I’ve never come across something like this in my life. Obviously, it’s embarrassing.”

Starr said Libertarian candidate Gary Copeland ended up on the ballot because another candidate dropped out and a third one, former Bellflower Mayor Art Olivier, was unable to run due to a minor conflict with state election laws. The party may encourage the public to cast write-in votes for Olivier, according to Starr.

“Unfortunately, we can’t take (Copeland) off the ballot,” he said.

Choosing an Editor

Former L.A. Mayor Richard Riordan said last week that he was close to naming a managing editor for the weekly newspaper he hopes to start up within the next few months.

Riordan denied a report in the New York Post that he’s been courting Peter Kaplan, editor of the New York Observer, although he notes that his paper will be modeled after that publication. He said has two candidates for the ME spot.

After hiring an editor, Riordan says he’ll need at least two months to get the first issue of his paper out. Earlier this year, he told the Business Journal that the paper would hit the streets by September.

“I was hoping to (hire an editor) two months ago but I haven’t gotten the right person yet,” he said.

In Other News

L.A. media sales firm WorldLink received official certification from The Women’s Business Enterprise National Council, a group that seeks to provide opportunities to women-owned businesses… The New California Media Expo and Awards will be held Tuesday (17th) at the Beverly Hills Hilton. The event is put on by New California Media, a nonprofit organization dedicated to raising the visibility of ethnic media… Paige Albiniak became L.A. bureau chief for Broadcasting & Cable magazine… La Opinion named Enrique Kaufer director of marketing for the Spanish-language daily.

Staff reporter Claudia Peschiutta can be reached at (323) 549-5225 ext. 229, or at

cpeschiutta@labusinessjournal.com.

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