The World: Saatchi and CHI Face Off on Toyota

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LONDON (AdAge.com) -- Toyota Europe is pitting its global agency Saatchi & Saatchi against the marketer's favorite London hotshop Clemmow Hornby Inge in a pitch for the $100 million introduction of the Corolla's 2007 model early next year in Europe. That's happening a lot lately. CHI began winning Toyota business from Saatchi in Europe in late 2004, starting with the $14 million pan-European launch of the small, youth-targeted Aygo. CHI handles about $215 million of Toyota business formerly at Saatchi, and the agency's position with Toyota was further strengthened in August 2005 when Toyota gave CHI the previous Corolla launch task in some territories without a pitch. If CHI wins the latest Corolla contest, the agency is likely to open at least one office in Europe outside London. Toyota confirmed the pitch but would not discuss the contenders.

Unilever blogs, hits beach in Argentina
BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AdAge.com) -- Expanding its nontraditional promotions for Sedal women's hair-care products in Argentina, Unilever has launched a blog, produced a three-minute TV series, published a book and set up a surfside salon at one of the country's most popular beaches.

The TV series tells the story of three young women on a road trip. They go to the beach, hit nightclubs and meet guys. Each episode airs on prime time TV. The women also keep a diary of their travels on a blog, diariosedal.com.ar, the first for Sedal in Argentina and one of the first for marketing in the country. The series used unknown actresses for the series, not celebrities with lifestyles that can be "impossible to achieve," said Silvia Maggiani, VP of Urban PR, a Buenos Aires public-relations firm that created the series based on an idea by local branding agency Tamura.

Another initiative is the Sedal salon at Playa Sedal, a sponsored beach in Mar del Plata, a popular vacation destination during the Argentine summer; women can try Sedal products and get free haircuts and styling by a top stylist.

"The idea is to show all the fun of summer and construct a long-term relationship with our target, to live an experience together with them," said Federico Rubinstein, brand manager of Sedal in Argentina.

The campaign was created by JWT Argentina under the tagline "Deja que la vida te despeine," which translates to "Let life mess up your hair." Initiative Media handles media buying and planning.

That tagline is also the title of a book published by Spain's Grupo Planeta, the world's biggest publisher of Spanish-language books. The anthology of 15 short stories by female authors were chosen by Planeta and Unilever. The cover is of a woman with her long hair swirling around in the air. The only reference to Sedal is in the prologue and a logo.

"Each story is communicating the essence of the brand," said Javier Prieto, general manager of Tamura, whose agency came up with the idea. "The book expands the platform of communication for the brand in a way that's not invasive. It shows the image of the brand without bombarding consumers with the brand. It is a manifesto of how women live."

The book is a hit, ranking in the top five best-sellers in Argentina since its release and selling 35,000 copies. The publisher plans to work with Unilever to expand the concept to other markets for Sedal. It is already in talks or working on editions with local writers for Colombia, Mexico, Peru and Uruguay, said Gaston Etchegaray, general director of Grupo Planeta in Argentina.

-- Charles Newbery

Cable & Wireless seeks help on Caribbean strategy
NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- Cable & Wireless, the U.K. telecommunications giant, is searching for agency help in the Caribbean region. Grant Mercer, promoted in January 2006 from senior VP-marketing for the company in Jamaica to senior VP-marketing for the Caribbean region, is meeting with roughly a dozen agencies in New York, Miami and London to brief them on his group's needs for an account with billings of $12 million to $15 million. He wants input on creative, media buying and planning, brand architecture, strategy and development as well as ideas on how to best use Cable & Wireless' two current sponsorships, Cricket World Cup and MTV Tempo's Caribbean Concert Series. McCann Erickson in Trinidad & Tobago, the company's current agency, has been invited to pitch. Mr. Mercer, former CEO of Tequila/Manchester in the U.K., joined Cable & Wireless in 2005. He hopes to wrap up the pitch by the end of March.

-- Lisa Sanders

FYI ...

Mainardo de Nardis is free to join Aegis Media as CEO on Aug. 18, after serving about 10 months of the 12-month notice period required by WPP Group; Mr. de Nardis was previously CEO of WPP Group's Mediaedge:cia. ... MTV is starting MTV Baltic, with local channels in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania later this year. ... SCAN International, an Amsterdam-based agency search consultant, is adding a U.S. partner, New York-based Joanne Davis Consulting.

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