- Arena wins comedy deal
Havas-owned Arena BLM and its digital unit BLM Quantum have secured the media planning and buying duties for Comedy Demon, the soon-to-launch online video portal from RDF Media. Comedy Demon, owned by RDF Media, is bidding to become the UK's number one comedy website featuring comedy shows such as Peep Show, along with live stand-up.
- WPP negotiates option to sell
WPP has negotiated an option to sell the TV monitoring arm of market research company Taylor Nelson Sofres - Television Audience Management - if its £1.1bn hostile takeover bid hits regulatory difficulties.
- UK principal driver for IPG
Interpublic Group has singled out its UK operation as one of the principal drivers of a 21.4% surge in international revenues year on year in Q2. The company, which operates media agencies Universal McCann and Initiative in the UK as well as creative shops Lowe and McCann Erickson, said global revenues stood at $844m.
- P&O prepares for review
P&O Cruises has called a review of its £7m advertising and media accounts. Incumbents, Miles Calcraft Brigin-shaw Duffy and Starcom, will repitch for the business. The review is part of a process instigated by the company's owner Carnival that will affect all of P&O Cruises' key suppliers.
- GMG pre-tax profits soar
Guardian Media Group's pre-tax profits surged to £306.4m during the 2007/08 financial year, up from £97.7m the previous year, due largely to the sale of nearly half of its stake in publisher Trader Media. However, the company warned that the economic downturn "will have a significant impact" on its revenues this year.
- Sun drops cover price
The Sun has dropped its cover price nationwide to 30p in a move that will cost News International millions of pounds in lost circulation. The daily tabloid sells for 35p, except for Scotland, London and the South East, where it already sells at the discounted price of 30p. Monday's price drop will affect about 2.5 million copies. In June, The Sun posted its fifth consecuitve year-on-year circulation increase.
- TIML prepares for rebrand
TIML Radio, the new owner of Virgin Radio, is launching an online game that aims to begin migrating listeners away from the Virgin brand ahead of the station's relaunch later this year. The game, which went live this week, builds on "spot the difference" by asking users to decide if they can see any Virgin branding in an image.
- Boomerang in DCM deal
Digital Cinema Media, the new owner of cinema sales house Carlton Screen Advertising, has awarded the contract for its foyer and washroom advertising to outdoor outfit Boomerang Media. DCM, a joint venture between cinema chains Odeon Cinemas and Cineworld, bought Carlton Screen Advertising from ITV for £500,000 in March.
- Mediaset sues YouTube
Mediaset, the Italian media firm owned by Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, is suing Google's YouTube for about $800m (£403m) over copyright infringement. Mediaset joins a growing number of international broadcasters launching major compensation lawsuits against YouTube.
- Virgin Media in joint venture
Virgin Media and mobile ad agency 4th Screen Advertising are launching a joint venture to handle mobile ad campaigns. The venture, Virgin Media Mobile Advertising, will extend Virgin Media's ability to handle mobile campaigns. 4th Screen Advertising will manage, sell, deliver and optimise mobile advertising campaigns for Virgin Media.
- AdGent in Johnston deal
AdGent 007, the global ad sales network, is to handle non-UK ad sales for regional newspaper publisher Johnston Press' 323 websites, including Scotsman.com. The deal is aimed at increasing revenues from advertisers seeking to reach the international online audience for newspapers such as The Scotsman.
- Street View gets all clear
Google's Street View service - which will offer pictures of every UK street - has been given the all clear to launch after the Information Commissioner said it had no more concerns. The Street View system takes ground-level pictures of streets and adds them to Google Maps to allow users to see what locations look like.
- Google rival launches
A Californian start-up co-founded by engineers who helped create Google's market-leading technology have launched a rival search engine, Cuil.com, pronounced "cool.com". The website claims to have indexed more than 120 billion web pages compared with Google's estimated 40 billion.
- Yahoo search share falls
Yahoo's share of UK search spend slipped during the second quarter, dropping 1.3% to 10.6% of the market. According to Efficient Frontier, Google's share of search spend increased by 0.6% to 85.4% in Q2.
- Comedy channel launches
MySpace and Warner Music Entertainment have teamed up to launch a new online comedy channel, MySpace Comedy UK. The channel, launched last week, will host Comedybox.tv, an online comedy platform developed by Warner.
- Discount sites soar
Websites offering consumers' discounts were among the fastest-growing UK websites over the past year, as concerns about the economy impacted consumers decisions, according to Nielsen Online. Five of the 10 fastest-growing websites were money-saving, classified or shopping websites.
- Ex-MySpace executives sued
A lawsuit is set to go to trial that accuses ex-senior executives and directors of MySpace parent company Intermix, and its venture capital backer VantagePoint Venture Partners, of undervaluing the popular social networking website when it was sold to Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation for $580m in 2005, and defrauding shareholders of billions of dollars.
- MPs call for child protection
The internet industry must take more responsibility for protecting young people from harmful online content, according to a committee of MPs. A culture, media and sport committee report investigation called for the establishment of a self-regulatory body to police new online safeguards to protect children from being exposed to unsuitable material.
- ITV buys stake in studio
ITV has acquired a minority stake in Electric Farm Entertainment, a US digital content studio led by the creators of global hit TV show Afterworld. The investment, through ITV's US-based production outfit Granada America, is part of ITV's strategy to increase its production business in the US as part of a wider bid by ITV to own and create more content.
- BT Vision booms
BT has announced that it signed up 68,000 customers to its pay-TV service BT Vision during the three months to 30 June. The company, which launched the IPTV service commercially last summer, ended June with 282,000 BT Vision customers.
- Sky to hit 10m by 2010
Sky added 92,000 satellite pay-TV customers during the three months to the end of June, keeping it on track to hit its target of 10 million customers by 2010, although the News Corp-backed company warned its ad revenues would fall during the second half of 2008. The company ended June with 8.98 million satellite pay TV customers. Ad revenue fell by 7% to £328m (2007: £352m).
- Future defies the gloom
Future, the special interest publisher, has defied the gloomy economic climate to post a 1% revenue rise during the nine months to 30 June, boosted by a 4% rise in its advertising revenue. It said third quarter revenue growth of 5% reflected a 2% growth in circulation revenue and a 6% growth in advertising revenue. Advertising revenue for the nine-month period to 30 June increased by 4% while its circulation revenue was flat.
- Economist seals new deal
The Economist Group has added to its US titles with the acquisition of Washington DC specialist Capitol Advatage, which publishes titles used to manage relations with policymakers, for £22m.
- Informa in sale talks
Informa announced it was still in talks over a possible sale to private equity suitors after posting better-than-expected profits for the first half of the year. It is considering a bid from a consortium of private equity players including Providence, Carlyle and Hellman & Friedman.
- Bauer ties up with Foundem
Bauer Media has teamed up with search technology outfit Foundem.co.uk to create an online shopping portal around its Motor Cycle News title. The new service, which represents Bauer Media's largest e-commerce initiative to date, allows users to search for motorcycle parts, accessories and related products such as DVDs and books from MCN's 10 retail partners.
- For more news, go to mediaweek.co.uk/news
NEWSMAKER - Sly Bailey, chief executive, Trinity Mirror
It has been another tough week for Trinity Mirror, unveiling an 8% decline in first-half revenues and warning of a double-digit fall in the second half of 2008.
But chief executive Sly Bailey, under pressure due to the company's falling share price, has come out fighting.
Known for her willingness to make unpopular decisions, she has promised to take £20m of costs out of the business next year to arrest declining profits and unveiled a target to double digital revenues to £100m by 2011.
"I think that Yahoo management was pathetic" - US oil tycoon and billionaire investor T Boone Pickens, speaking after selling his entire stake in Yahoo following Microsoft's failed takeover bid
STAT TO STEAL
£125k - the amount News International will lose in daily cover-price revenue as a result of extending the 5 pence price cut of The Sun nationwide.