Planet Media - A speed-read guide to the major developments of the week

Kellogg's, AAR, WPP Group, Publicis, ITV, 20th Century Fox Television, BBC, GCap, SMG, Virgin Radio, UBM, The Economist Group, Heart Corporation, Which, Mail Online, YouTube, Microsoft, Iash, Northcliffe Media, Navic Networks, Facebook, News Corporsation, Yahoo!, The Newspaper Society


- Kellogg's hunts agency

Kellogg's, the breakfast cereal giant, has started a search for UK digital agencies. The company is understood to be seeking a roster of digital agencies and a final decision is expected later this year.

- Jones goes part time at AAR

Martin Jones, director of advertising at the AAR, is stepping back from his role. His day-to-day responsibilities will be handled by Paul Phillips, AAR's managing director. Phillips will continue to oversee media at the pitch consultancy.

- WPP, Publicis in search bid

WPP Group and Publicis have entered a final round of bidding for the search marketing arm of Google-owned DoubleClick Performics. The winning bidder is expected to be chosen in the coming months.


- ITV seals Fox deal

ITV has signed a deal with 20th Century Fox Television that will allow both firms to redevelop each other's programmes for their respective home markets. The deal is one of the biggest by ITV's Global Content division, which is at the vanguard of ITV's turnaround plan, with a target of doubling the division's annual revenues to £1.2bn by 2012.

- BBC ups sport interaction

The BBC is extending the interactive sports service on its digital channels. The broadcaster will ramp up the sport content on its red-button service, with an emphasis on minority sports, as it looks to boost its interactive services following this summer's Beijing Olympics.

- ITV to slash PSB budget

ITV is looking to slash £150m from its budget for public service broadcasting, such as news, regional and children's programmes, by 2012, when the analogue signal is switched off. ITV is calling on the regulator, Ofcom, to permit a sharp dip in ITV's licence requirements over the next three years.


- GCap alerts Ofcom

Media regulator Ofcom is investigating a Capital Radio competition called London iTest that had to be reopened after the winner was found to be ineligible. The GCap Media station brought the issue to the regulator's attention as the winning entrant had breached terms and conditions. Ofcom is considering details of the competition, but is not making a formal investigation.

- Virgin deal approved

SMG shareholders have approved the £53.2m disposal of Virgin Radio to Times of India. Incoming owner, Absolute Radio, backed by Times of India, did not purchase the rights to the Virgin brand and will be relaunching an entirely new national radio brand in the UK. There will a £15m investment to create and market the new brand.


- UBM shuns Informa

United Business Media has called off merger talks with rival Informa, claiming it could not agree terms over a potential £3bn deal. Informa said it had received another approach from a third party, reported to be Providence Equity Partners.

- Economist buoyant

The Economist Group has predicted it will outperform the press ad market this year, despite the fact that many of its publishing rivals forecast a gloomy end to 2008. In recent weeks, Independent News & Media and Trinity Mirror have warned over a volatile press ad market in 2008.

- Hearst boss departs

Hearst Corporation has parted company with Victor Ganzi, its president and chief executive, over what it described as "irreconcilable policy differences" with the board of trustees about the future direction of the company. Hearst has begun a search to find a new chief executive and will be led, in the interim, by Frank Bennack, a former long-time chief executive and vice-chairman of the Hearst board.

- Which? Car mag on stands

Which? is launching flagship publication Which? Car as a news-stand title for the first time in the consumer organisation's 51-year history. It will be free to Which? members and will be sold at supermarket chain Sainsbury's for £3.99 from this month.


- Mail tops web league

Mail Online leapfrogged and to become the UK's most popular newspaper website last month. According to May ABCe data, Mail Online attracted 18.7 million users, up 3.7% from April.'s May ABCe stood at 18.4 million, while's dropped to 18.3 million, from 18.6 million in April.

- YouTube ups content time

Google-owned video-sharing site YouTube plans to allow professional content owners to distribute long-form videos on its site for the first time - part of a move aimed at ramping up its ad revenue from the site. Currently, it allows professional content partners to post items that last up to 10 minutes.

- Microsoft plans Euro centre

Microsoft has unveiled plans to establish a search technology centre in Europe in 2009 - possibly in the UK - to bolster its search engine market share, following the firm's failed bid for rival Yahoo.

- Iash investigates ads

Trade body Internet Advertising Sales House has launched an investigation after revelations of online ad misplacement on an obscene US-based site. Last week, ads from top brands such as Orange and Virgin Media were found on a barred website,, which carries explicit videos of street fights and pornography from affiliates or exchanges outside Iash.

- Northcliffe expands 'This is'

Northcliffe Media has launched 10 new websites under its "This Is" brand as it expands its regional network. A further 79 will go live in mid-September, part of the company's plan to roll out 90 revamped This Is websites.

- Microsoft eyes Navic

Microsoft has announced it will buy Navic Networks, an addressable ad technology provider that enables marketers to target and measure audiences. Navic Networks' technology is deployed in 35 million set-top boxes worldwide.

- Cohler exits Facebook

Social networking giant Facebook has been hit by the departure of product management vice-president Matt Cohler, who was was widely viewed as an important ally of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg.

- Murdoch bangs digital drum

News Corporation chairman Rupert Murdoch has forecast that 75% of revenues generated by its Dow Jones operation will come from digital businesses. Speaking at the Cannes Lions International Advertising Festival, Murdoch said: "It's not just the Wall Street Journal. It's the Dow Jones Company, whose revenues are nearly 50% digital. I can see in a very few years it will be 75%."

- Yahoo's exodus

Yahoo has been hit by the departure of one of its most senior executives, Flickr founder Steve Butterfield, as the exit of senior management from the company continues. Days after Yahoo's rejection of Microsoft's takeover approaches, three executive vice-presidents, two senior vice-presidents and several senior employees have announced their intention to leave the company.


- Society's new planning tool

The Newspaper Society has launched a planning tool providing insight into social, behavioural and political differences between communities within the UK. Called Local Matters, it is geared to helping agencies and advertisers plan campaigns.


"It would be a bit silly to hammer TV when people are getting their messages from a huge range of sources."

Culture secretary Andy Burnham, criticising the Scottish Government's plan to ban alcohol advertising on TV north of the border


Vincent Bollore surprised the media world last week when he announced that he is unlikely to call for another vote to get two seats on the board of Aegis, in which he holds a 29.9% stake, this year.

He said that Bollore Groupe is busy managing business interests in other sectors.

Bollore last month failed for a fifth time to gain board representation in a vote at Aegis' annual meeting.

He has argued that his 29.9% shareholding gives him the right to representation on the board.

However, Aegis says that his position as chairman of rival Havas is a clear conflict of interest.


6 - Board-level execs who have left Yahoo in the past week amid growing unease over the firm's future after it rejected Microsoft's $44.6bn (£22.7bn) takeover bid.

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