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Monday, July 10, 2006

Media Digest 7/10/2006


According to The Financial Times, Kraft Foods has bought a part of United Biscuits, a British company for $1.1 billion.

Reuters reports that Heritage Property Investment Trust will be bought by Australian company Centro Properties.

The Wall Street Journal writes the Dell will launch ads which are less technical and that will appeal to customer's use of PCs for entertainment and other fun tasks like video editing.

The Wall Street Jounal also reports that Disney's bet on the movie "Pirates of the Caribbean" has paid off with the largest opening weekend in movie history. The film brought in $132 million over three days.

The Wall Street Journal writes that the IPO of investment bank Cowen & Co. is facing a challenge due to poor markets in the US. The company is currently owned by French bank giant Societe Generale.

The WSJ writes that Ford South America has been successfully turned around by management and accounts for 20% of Ford's earnings last year. Market share has doubled in the region to 12%, even with competitors like Honda and Toyota competing for customers. Ford closed inefficient plants in the region and started to make cars that were more "in tune" with consumer tastes. The South American success could be a template for Ford's challenge to make its North American unit more successful.

The Wall Street Journal reports that John Deere has changed its strategy to help it avoid earning downturns in a cyclical market. One of its tactics is to build vehicles only when they are ordered instead of building a steady stream of equipment regardless of market conditions. This latter practice has lead to heavy discounting to get rid of inventory.

The WSJ reports that semiconductor maker Freescale claims it will product a radically improved chip based on MRAM technology that will perform tasks that once required three chips.

The New York Times writes that AOL will move away from its paid internet access model and toward a business that will give away its content and charge advertisers for the audience that this new initiative brings in.

The New York Times writes that Ebay is facing uncertainty about its business strategy and executive departures at a time when Google is adding new products that compete with the large online auction company.

The New York Times says that Procter & Gamble is turning to online word of mouth marketing to support some of its brands. The company is distributing its Folger video ads onto sites like internet video portal

Douglas A. McIntyre

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