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

Anheuser-Busch, Walker Media, Carat, Kohler, Box TV, Bauer Media, Eurosport - Virgin Media, Google, 24/7 Real Media, Viacom, Microsoft, Amazon, Muzu TV, Sony, Telegraph Media Group, BT, Facebook, UBC Media Group, TVC Holdings, Trinity Mirror, Gannett Corporation, The Sun, IPC Connect, Think, McGraw-Hill, Bain, TPG, Reed Elsevier.


Anheuser-Busch in doubt

The future of Anheuser-Busch's in-house media operation is in doubt following its agreement to be acquired by rival InBev for £26bn. Busch Media took over the company's £19m media planning account from OMD in 2001. The media arrangements of the merged business are now open to question. InBev uses Starcom for its £22m account in the UK.


Walker wins Vision Express

Walker Media has picked up the £5m media planning and buying account for Vision Express, bringing to an end its eight-year relationship with Universal McCann. The account, which was put up for review in May, was won following a three-way pitch.

Carat scoops Kohler

Carat has landed the global media planning and buying account for kitchen and bathroom company Kohler, worth $75m (£37.6m), from incumbent Starcom. Following a competitive pitch, Carat will handle media services in several global markets, including the UK, continental Europe and the Americas.


The Hits rebrands

Box TV, the Channel 4 and Bauer Media joint venture, has confirmed it is to rebrand music TV channel The Hits as 4Music. Extending the 4Music brand into a dedicated digital offering, it will screen live events, original series and entertainment programmes. 4Music will launch with exclusive live coverage of the V Festival in August, followed by coverage of Bestival.

Eurosport goes HD

Eurosport has launched a high-definition TV channel in the UK on the Sky satellite platform. Eurosport HD is a simulcast service of Eurosport International - a pan-European TV channel launched earlier this year to promote Eurosport France's coverage of the French Open. It will be available to the roughly half a million Sky homes that subscribe to Sky's HD service, Sky+ HD.

Virgin boosted by iPlayer

Virgin Media has revealed the first viewing figures for the BBC iPlayer on its cable TV platform. There have been 10.5 million views of BBC iPlayer programmes in June on Virgin - the first TV platform to make BBC iPlayer available to customers' TV sets.


Google rises overseas

Google's international revenue surpassed its US sales for the first time during Q2 2008, as its UK revenue totalled $774m (£388m), representing 14% of worldwide revenue in Q2 2008. International revenue, which remains key to sustaining Google's growth as its US revenue growth gradually slows, totalled $2.8bn (£1.4bn), representing 52% of total revenues in the second quarter.

24/7 Real Media suspended

Iash (Internet Advertising Sales Houses) has suspended WPP-owned 24/7 Real Media for failing to take part in a recent audit. The company has been sanctioned for failing to take part in Iash July audits. Under the Iash code, the company will not be readmitted until it passes an ABCe audit. The suspension follows the emergence of news that certain online ad networks were misplacing ads for brands such as Orange on inappropriate websites, including adult sites.

Viacom backs down

Viacom has backed down on its demands to access YouTube users' historical viewing data in its $1bn legal action against Google over alleged copyright infringement by the video-sharing site. As part of a US court ruling this month, Google was to be forced to release the records of every video watched on YouTube, including user names and web addresses, to Viacom. The media firm launched a $1bn lawsuit against Google's YouTube last year, accusing the video-sharing site of violating its copyright.

Microsoft on a roll

Microsoft's global ad revenue totalled $618m (£309m) in Q2 2008, up 18% year on year, although its online services business, which houses its display and search ad operations, remains in the red, with pre-tax losses soaring 132% to $488m (£244m) year on year. Online advertising revenue increased $93m (£47m) or 18%, to $618m (£310m).

Amazon launches VoD is to launch an online VoD store of TV shows and movies, called Amazon Video on Demand, taking it into competition with the likes of Apple's iTunes and the BBC iPlayer. According to reports, the new service will offer about 40,000 movies and TV programmes on a streamed basis.

Muzu TV debuts

Muzu TV, a new music video site, is being launched via a content deal with Sony. is in beta testing and allows music fans and artists to create their own music TV channels to broadcast on the web for free.

Telegraph redesigns site

Telegraph Media Group is redesigning its website to make it more accessible and increase commercial revenue. It will launch next week, with the homepage, sport, travel and news sections the first to adopt the refresh, which includes a new page design.

BT super-fast broadband

BT is to invest £1.5bn in rolling out super-fast broadband as part of its strategy to deliver advanced services across the country such as high-definition TV. BT claims the investment is the largest in fibre-based, super-fast broadband and that it will be delivered to as many as 10 million homes by 2012.

Ad firm streamlines

Online display ad outfit DoubleClick, acquired by Google for £1.5bn in March, is launching a new automated trading platform to streamline the online sales process. It automates media owners' and agencies' exchanges.

Facebook has a new look

Facebook has undergone a redesign and is offering new features as it looks to stand out in the competitive social media space. The new design features a simpler design, along with the opportunity for users to preview and test new site features. The firm is inviting people to use the new design and try out the improved features by navigating back and forth between the new and current versions of the social networking site.


UBC revises deal

UBC Media Group, the specialist radio services company, has revised the terms of the deal to sell its commercial division to the Nasdaq-listed Global Traffic Network. It said an initial £11m would be paid on completion of the deal, with additional payments of up to £5.5m to be paid depending upon the division achieving certain turnover targets.

TVC ups stake in UTV Media

Ireland-based investment vehicle TVC Holdings is the single biggest shareholder in TalkSport owner UTV Media, after raising its stake in the company to 15%. The investor, which holds stakes in a range of businesses, said it has raised its stake in UTV Media to 15% by buying a further 4% of the company, taking TVC's total investment in UTV to £19.5m.


Trinity denies pension issue

Trinity Mirror has refuted speculation that it requires a significant cash top-up into its pension fund following a recent drop in its ad revenue and a subsequent profits warning. City analysts have warned that further slides in ad revenue could put it in breach of its bank covenants next year. In June, Trinity Mirror issued a statement to the City, which warned that for the nine weeks to 30 June, its ad revenue was down by 12%.

Gannett revenue plummets

US media group Gannett Corporation, the owner of UK regional publisher Newsquest, has reported a 19% fall in UK ad revenue over the year to 29 June. Along-side the fall in classified ad sales, real estate revenue fell by 36.8% and employment ads dropped by 17.3%, while car ad revenues are 14.9% lower than last year. Gannett operates 300 newspaper titles in the UK.

The Sun goes up 5p

The Sun has raised its weekday cover price in London and the South East by 5p to 30p. Last September, the paper cut its cover price from 35p to 20p in London and the South East in a bid to keep its daily circulation above three million copies.


Pick Me Up overhauls

IPC Connect weekly women's title Pick Me Up, launched in 2005, is getting an image overhaul and will be published in a larger format, backed by a print and TV marketing push. The new-look Pick Me Up, to be unveiled with the next issue, has a glossy cover to showcase its real-life articles, a new logo, refreshed layouts and new bargain fashion coverage, plus puzzles and competitions.

Think wins three contracts

Customer publishing outfit Think has won contracts to produce titles for three non-profit clients - National Council for Voluntary Organisations, Campaign for Real Ale and the Association of Accounting Technicians.

Reed attracts interest

US publishing giant McGraw-Hill and private equity company Bain and TPG are among several firms that have expressed a desire to buy Reed Elsevier's £1.25bn trade magazine division. The sale of Reed Business Information, whose titles include film magazine Variety and New Scientist, started last week when information was sent to prospective bidders. Reed, which wants to pull out of advertising-dependant media, is offering to lend around £160m to the successful bidder.

NEWSMAKER - Nigel Sharrocks, chief executive Northern Europe, Aegis Media

Aegis Media UK and Ireland chief Nigel Sharrocks has gained a seat at the top table of the media group.

As part of a reallocation of territories following the exit of global chief executive Mainardo de Nardis in May, Sharrocks is taking the position of chief executive of Northern Europe, adding the Netherlands and the Nordic region to his responsibilities.

His promotion - one of several management changes at its European operation - follow the sudden exit of de Nardis in May, who was replaced by Jerry Buhlman, the then chief executive of Aegis Media EMEA.


"The only food fables are those you will read in this sloppy report, which lacks any real substance, is very subjective and paints a misleading picture of what is actually happening"

The Food and Drink Federation responding to consumer group Which?'s Food Fables report, which claimed clients are using "irresponsible approaches" to food advertising


£100m: The loss of TV ad revenue in the UK, estimated by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, if alcohol advertising on TV were banned before the 9pm watershed.

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