[paris] Havas Advertising, the communications group headquartered in France, is linking its most active agencies around the world under ConnectWorld, a new brand to promote its interactive capabilities. Twelve agencies with multimedia experience in the U.S., Europe and the Asia-Pacific region will operate under the ConnectWorld banner. They include Euro RSCG Dahlin Smith White in Salt Lake City, New York-based Messner Vetere Berger McNamee Schmetterer/Euro RSCG and Rempen & Partner in Germany, which operates interactive unit Wysiwyg. Havas says 5% of gross income comes from interactive.
[toronto] A major Canadian motorsport sponsor wants an "international exemption" to Canada's sweeping new law banning tobacco advertising and sponsorship. Indy race sponsor Molstar Sports & Entertainment-the division of Molson Breweries that markets Molson Indy races in Canada-is asking that the rules be loosened to allow promotion of foreign tobacco products not sold in Canada.
[prague] Coca-Cola Co. has teamed up with Samsung in a massive promotion designed to encourage consumers to chill the drink. Some 400 lucky households in the Czech and Slovak republics will be given a free refrigerator if they are found with a bottle of Coca-Cola in their fridge at the time of a surprise visit by a Coke team. FCB Publicis handles the Coke advertising. Coca-Cola Region Manager Roger Ruark says the promotion is a long-term branding exercise designed to convince consumers to drink Coca-Cola brand products cold.
[canberra] Australia's state health ministers are being urged by the Australian Medical Association and the anti-smoking lobby to take legal action against the tobacco industry, following admissions by the Liggett Group in the U.S. that smoking causes cancer. Reaction from state and federal governments has been muted.