Thursday, February 5, 2004

UC promoting itself through new ads



Cliff Peale

Hoping to burnish its own reputation and attract more students, the University of Cincinnati has spent $250,000 so far on its biggest advertising campaign in several years.

The print, radio and billboard ads started appearing last month, focused on the "It's all UC" theme. The ones in play so far tout the stroke-research team at UC Medical Center, a marketing training collaboration with Procter & Gamble Co. and the Habitat for Humanity project that includes faculty and students.

Along with a range of local media, the campaign has bought placements in regional editions of Time, Newsweek and U.S. News and World Report. It was designed by Lipman Hearne in Chicago.

"We expect over time to put more stories into the mix," spokeswoman Mary Stagaman said. For more information, visit www.uc.edu/alluc.

Book it

Executives in the 29th-floor suites of Chiquita Brands International Inc. will be happy with a book on the company scheduled to hit store shelves in April.

Published by Yale University Press and not subsidized at all by Chiquita, Smart Alliance is an account of how Chiquita remade itself through environmental, workers' rights and other corporate responsibility programs.

"It's amazing what they've done," said Gary Taylor, who wrote the book with his wife, Pat Scharlin. "I don't think they're necessarily paragons of morality. They're just good businesspeople, some of whom are outstanding at thinking outside the box."

The authors came to Chiquita through the Rainforest Alliance, the activist group that has forged a partnership with Chiquita in the last decade. They had extensive access to Chiquita execs, including former CEO Steve Warshaw, as well as banana farms in Latin America.

"The workers that we spoke with really felt the difference," Scharlin said.

Extra-terrestrial

Think Doug Balogh is depressed about selling his WOXY-FM radio license to a corporate owner?

Think again.

Balogh, who moved to the alternative-rock station in 1983, has huge plans for www.woxy.com, which he and his wife, Linda, retained in the sale to Dallas-based First Broadcasting Investment Partners.

"We're the first station in the history of broadcasting that has sold the terrestrial license and transitioned to the Internet," he said after the sale was announced last week. He says there are 8 to 10 million Americans who love alternative music and would listen to the station. "We're gonna find them," he said.

The Baloghs also retained the "Future of Rock and Roll" trademark, the woxy.com Internet site, a 5,000-disc library and the building housing the station.

They don't know what First Broadcasting will do with the radio license, but they aren't currently planning on sharing or streaming content.

The Baloghs have been planning for the transition for several years. In 1998, they started streaming to the Web site. And the year after that, they put the Internet operations into a separate company, Xalt LLC.

So how will they make all these plans work? Well, first of all, there's the money. The Baloghs are looking for investors, but they've got a good start with the $5.6 million radio station sale price, compared with the $375,000 they paid for the station two decades ago.

"I remember someone in Oxford who said to me, 'You seem like a nice young man, and you're crazy for doing this,' " Balogh said. "I'm going to have to find them and remind them of that."

E-mail cpeale@enquirer.com




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