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Grey, Ogilvy form agency for Coke

[buenos aires, argentina] Deviating from the usual Coca-Cola model of having agencies pitch for assignments, Grey Argentina and Ogilvy & Mather Argentina, both part of WPP Group, have created an agency called Go to handle Coca-Cola Co.'s advertising in the country starting April 1. "This is a break from the traditional model. We are competitors in the local market but we have formed this alliance to provide an integral service to Coca-Cola," said Rafael Barbeito, general manager of Ogilvy Argentina. Grey, with new management under Marcelo Delbarba, who became general manager in late 2005, has handled below-the-line tasks for Coke in Argentina for more than 15 years. Ogilvy has done creative work in Latin America for brands like Coca-Cola and Sprite. Victor Gianello, formerly a marketing manager at Cepas Argentina, an Argentine food and beverage maker with a big ad budget for strong local brands like Gancia and Terma, will lead the 25-person operation. Initially, it will operate out of Grey and Ogilvy's offices. Later, an office may be opened near Coke headquarters in Buenos Aires, Mr. Barbeito said. Coke will continue to have agencies pitch for regional assignments. Daniel Serra, marketing manager of Coca- Cola de Argentina, said Go will help integrate the advertising of its brands and achieve coherency between international and local campaigns.

charles newbery

Frito-Lay Canada rolls out Asian-flavor snacks

[toronto] In the U.S., Pepsi Cola Co.'s Frito-Lay appeals to Hispanics with spicy, cheesy and lime flavors, often drawn from the company's Mexican snack subsidiary Sabritas, but Frito-Lay Canada is targeting Canada's Chinese and South Asian population with a new line of Asian-inspired flavors. They include Lay's Wasabi potato chips, Lay's Spicy Curry potato chips, Frito-Lay Onion Rings and Frito-Lay Shrimp Chips. The products are initially being introduced in Toronto and Vancouver, homes to the majority of the Chinese and South Asian population that accounts for 6.6% Canada's total population.

"These Asian-inspired flavors will not only bring a `taste of home' to consumers of Asian descent, but they will also have strong crossover appeal as Canadians continue to seek new flavor experiences," said Dale Hooper, the company's VP-marketing.

Advertising includes print ads in popular Chinese-language newspapers and spots on Asian-language TV channels. The broader Canadian market is also being targeted via local TV and print ads in free daily Metro and alternative newspapers in both cities. In one TV and print ad, potato chips are eaten with chopsticks from a bento box. Frito-Lay Canada will also sponsor Asian community events such as KiteFest and Tastes of Asia. Ads are by Prime Advertising, with support from BBDO Toronto. The media buy is by OMD, with support from Prime Advertising.

Although there are no plans to take the flavors to the U.S., Frito-Lay introduced Wasabi-Flavored Funyuns onion rings on the U.S. West Coast last summer. "The trend right now in the U.S. is more for hot, hot, hot," said a Frito Lay U.S. spokesman. "We just introduced Dorito's Firey Habaneros, our hottest product ever."

Gail Chiasson

Adidas opens pitch for $200M media account

[london] Pitches start this week in London to pick a single media-agency network for Adidas Group's $200 million global media account. Aegis Group's Carat; Omnicom Group's OMD, pitching with sibling PHD; and Publicis Groupe's Starcom MediaVest will compete for the athletic footwear and apparel business, which came up for grabs after Adidas acquired Reebok for $3.8 billion in January 2006. WPP Group's MediaCom was on the original pitch list but is believed to be out of the running, according to executives close to the pitch. MediaCom did not return calls.

Nigel Morris, CEO of Aegis Group's digital network, Isobar, is leading the pitch for sibling agency Carat, Adidas' agency of record. Mr. Morris has worked on the Adidas business since Carat won the account in 1998. OMD handles most of Reebok's media globally except in Asia, where WPP's Mediaedge:cia handles China and other Asian markets. A decision is expected by July.

emma hall

FYI...

marketers and media owners have won a battle to relax the rules surrounding advertising and editorial content during the 2012 Olympics in London. After months of pressure from the U.K. media industry, the House of Lords found last week that regulations designed to prevent ambush marketing were too restrictive. Under the original wording, marketers-and even newspapers and TV broadcasters-using words such as "games," "gold," "silver" and "2012" could be automatically found guilty of breaking advertising laws. A court will now review the matter to determine if rules to prevent advertisers from infringing on Olympic sponsors' rights have been broken. ... This month's Vogue in Spain is the biggest issue the magazine has ever published in the world, according to publisher Conde Nast Publications, at 1,006 pages and weighing almost 6 pounds, although that includes a 606-page supplement devoted to the fall fashion collections.
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