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

OMD, Omnicom Group, Taylor Nelson Sofres (TNS),, Golley Slater, Heineken, Coca-Cola, ITV, 20th Century Fox, Freesat, Microsoft, Google, AOL,, The Guardian, The New York Times, Yahoo, Trinity Mirror, Sport Media Group, Daily Mail & General Trust, FT Group


- OMD keeps C4 account

OMD has retained the £20m media account for Channel 4, taking on additional online planning and buying responsibilities from Profero as part of a move to consolidate the broadcaster's marketing requirements. OMD, which has held the business since the channel's launch in 1982, fended off competition from ZenithOptimedia in the final pitch.

- Omnicom seeks acquisitions

Omnicom Group is on the lookout for acquisitions, it revealed as it unveiled its Q2 2008 results. UK revenue in Q2 was down year on year by 0.4% to $345m (£172m), constituting 9.9% of global revenues. Global chief executive John Wren said the global economic downturn will allow Omnicom, owner of UK media agencies OMD and PHD, to make acquisitions more cheaply.

- TNS woos suitors

Taylor Nelson Sofres (TNS), the market research group, is secretly courting a pack of potential suitors - including its biggest global rival - in an attempt to evade the clutches of Sir Martin Sorrell's WPP Group. TNS has asked its advisers at Deutsche Bank to gauge interest from possible buyers such as Nielsen, the world's largest market research provider, and Hellman & Friedman, the US private equity firm.

- Rightmove reviews has kicked off a media review and has appointed Edwards Groom Saunders to handle communications planning on its £5m business. Rightmove currently uses Equinox Communications to handle its media planning and buying.

- Golley Slater takes meat

Golley Slater's media arm has won a pitch to manage the media spend for Meat Promotion Wales following a seven-way pitch. Meat Promotion Wales will spend £750,000 on media in the autumn.

- MediaVest wins Heineken

Heineken has moved its UK media planning and buying account to MediaVest from MindShare without a pitch. The decision to move the account, thought to be worth £5m, comes after the beer brand bought rival Scottish & Newcastle as part of a consortium with Carlsberg.


- Coca-Cola reviews

Coca-Cola is reviewing its global marketing strategy, which could lead to an overhaul of its worldwide agency arrangements. Unveiling the change in direction, chief executive Muhtar Kent said the company will increase its use of global campaigns and "optimise its use of agencies" to reduce costs.


- ITV in PSB victory?

ITV is likely to win its battle to reduce its public service commitments, while the BBC may have to give part of its licence fee to Channel 4, according to a leaked blueprint prepared by Ofcom. Under the proposals, ITV will be allowed to cut back on regional news, reduce its current affairs output and reduce programmes produced outside London, saving almost £40m a year.

- Fox in iTunes deal

20th Century Fox is adding a range of its TV content to Apple's UK iTunes video store. Fox TV series 24, Bones and My Name is Earl are now available to buy from the iTunes store, with Fox set to add programmes including American Dad and Prison Break.

- New channels for Freesat

Freesat, the BBC and ITV-backed free-to-air digital satellite TV service, is launching 18 new radio and TV channels. The first set of channels, launched on 24 July, includes Zone Horror, Zone Reality and Russia Today. The second set, to launch on 1 August, consists of radio stations, including Capital Radio.

- Sky News retains lead

Sky News has retained its position as the leading pan-European news TV channel among Europe's leading business executives. According to the 2007 European Media and Marketing Survey, which polls the main income earner in Europe's top 20% of homes by income, it increased its daily reach to 5.3% from 5% in 2006.


- Microsoft splits business

Microsoft is splitting its online business, with Windows Live being hived off into its Windows division and its ad and media assets such as aQuantive, ad-serving, search, and MSN moving into a separate, new online services division. The changes come as the head of Microsoft's Platforms and Services Business, Kevin Johnson, is leaving to join Juniper Networks.

- Google does the Knol

Google is launching an online information service called Knol to rival internet encyclopedia Wikipedia. The information service will be written by people with particular areas of expertise and will include named bylines, unlike Wikipedia whose contributors remain anonymous.

- Bebo in Paramount tie-up

Bebo, the social network bought by AOL in May, is to integrate its popular online drama Sofia's Diary with Paramount Pictures teen comedy Angus, Thongs and Perfect Snogging. The deal, Bebo's first movie integration deal, will see the movie integrated into the Sofia's Diary plot for two episodes, one of which aired on the movie's release day of 25 July.

- Sky launches music service

Sky is taking on Apple's iTunes and Amazon with the launch an online music service serving the UK and Ireland, parnering with Universal Music to offer tracks on a streamed or downloadable basis. Universal Music is the first label to confirm its participation in the service, which will offer digital access to thousands of songs from Universal Music artistes.

- Private equity approach has rejected a private equity approach despite losing half its value since floating on the stock market last year. The loss in value coincided with the entrance to the market of competitors such as

- Guardian regains top spot

The Guardian website regained its position as the number one newspaper site in June, growing its audience by 11.9% from May, to lift itself back above Mail Online, according to June ABCe data. The Guardian added almost 2.2 million unique users in June to register an ABCe of 20,499,858 - 8,463,172 in the UK - while Mail Online lost 14.4% of its unique users, to fall to 16,105,211 in June, behind The Daily Telegraph and The Times.

- NY Times in LinkedIn deal

The New York Times has struck a deal with social networking site LinkedIn to serve relevant content to readers. LinkedIn members visiting The New York Times' business and technology pages will be able to access a new section of headlines tailored to the industry they work in, determined by their LinkedIn profile.

- Yahoo profits tumble

Yahoo's quarterly pre-tax profits tumbled 19% during Q2, as the company admitted to being distracted by Microsoft's recent repeated takeover advances. Pre-tax profits totalled $131m (£66m) in Q2, although revenues at the search giant actually grew by 6% to $1.8bn.

- Trinity Mirror goes mobile

Trinity Mirror, publisher of the Daily Mirror, is developing a mobile web platform for 12 regional titles and two national newspaper titles. The company plans to offer readers instant access to national and local news, information and ads on their mobile phones. The first two titles to be made available will be the Daily Mirror and Scotland's Daily Record.


- New role for McIlheney

Lads' mag guru Barry McIlheney is leaving his role as editor-in-chief of Daily and Sunday Sport owner Sport Media Group and will be replaced by ex-editor of the Cambridge Evening News Murray Morse. McIlheney, who founded lads' weekly Zoo, will take on the new position of group editorial director from 18 August.


- DM> ad revenue falls

Daily Mail & General Trust has reported falling ad revenue across its newspaper divisions and has said the downward trend is continuing. Associated Newspapers total revenue, which houses titles such as the Daily Mail, Metro and Evening Standard, nudged up 0.4% to £243m, but ad revenue at Associated's press operations fell by 5%, with display down by 5% and classified down 9%.

- FT profits rise sharply

Profits at the FT Group rose 21% year on year in the first half of 2008, as owner Pearson posted a 38% surge in pre-tax profits to £124m. Pearson said sales were up 11%, thanks to its shift towards subscription and digital revenue, and a focus on global businesses away from its UK and European base.


It has been a good week for Bauer radio boss Dee Ford.

According to the latest Rajars, Ford, who has spent 14 years with the company, is steering the division in the right direction, increasing its market share and landing the sought-after number one London breakfast show.

Since H Bauer's £1.14bn takeover of Emap's consumer magazines and radio businesses in January, Ford has overseen a £10m investment in the radio division, marketing Kiss and The Big City Network, and launching two national digital stations - the revamped Q radio and the forthcoming Closer Radio.


"We are going to have to ante up in a significant way to even be in this game" - Microsoft chief executive Steve Ballmer, outlining the company's new online strategy to investors last week


£200m - the amount of advertising space pledged by media owners including Sky and ITV for the Government's anti-obesity drive over the next four years.

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