SINGAPORE LOOSENS BAN ON CHEWING GUM

Allows Sale of 'Healthy' Gum; Wrigley to Enter Market With Orbit

By Published on .

HONG KONG (AdAge.com) -- Twelve years after outlawing chewing gum, Singapore will, reluctantly, allow some gum brands to be sold.

With the doors now open, Chicago-based Wm. Wrigley Jr. Co. is holding a creative pitch before launching Orbit and Orbit White brands in Singapore later this year. The gum and confectionery giant also markets Wrigley's Spearmint, Doublemint, Big Red, Juicy Fruit, Winterfresh, Extra and Freedent, among others.

Singapore is partially lifting the ban to allow for the sale of "healthy" gum, such as Pfizer's nicotine-replacement gum Nicorette, after signing a free-trade agreement with the U.S. last year.

After rigorous lobbying, Wrigley got the green light to introduce Orbit in Singapore in mid-2004, because, according to the company, it is sugar free, freshens breath and whitens teeth.

The contenders for the Orbit account are Omnicom Group's BBDO Worldwide, Publicis Groupe's Leo Burnett Worldwide and Grey Global Group's Grey Worldwide. All three work with Wrigley in Asia and BBDO is the marketer's U.S. agency.

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