[London-May 16] The ruling Conservative Party has broken a new nationwide outdoor ad campaign from M&C Saatchi Agency. Costing an estimated $1 million, it's the first M&C Saatchi campaign for the Conservatives since Maurice Saatchi was ousted as chairman of Saatchi & Saatchi Co. in December 1994. The new advertising-which says, "Yes it hurt. Yes it worked"-comes at the start of a general election campaign in which the Conservatives will try to win a fifth successive term since 1979, when they first hired Saatchi & Saatchi.
[Beijing-May 16] Coca-Cola Co. is launching a marketing campaign that ties one of the hottest-selling products among Chinese consumers-gold-to Coca-Cola's global sponsorship of the Olympics. A half-page ad in the May 15 Beijing Evening News says that till the end of this year's Olympics, Coca-Cola will mount a major promotion in which consumers who buy two bottles of Coca-Cola, Sprite or Fanta can be in a lottery in which 48 winners will get a pure gold Coca-Cola Olympic commemorative medal.
[Tokyo-May 17] Procter & Gamble Co. is axing all rebate programs on Max Factor cosmetics in Japan and will cut shipping prices by 10%. It is the first time that a major player in the Japanese cosmetics industry has abolished all rebate programs for retail stores. Rebate programs form the core of sales promotions of P&G rivals.
[Milan-May 16] Magistrates here issued arrest warrants for six managers of Italian tycoon Silvio Berlusconi's Fininvest media holding company, taking six of them into custody and searching for the seventh. Police officers raided and searched Fininvest's offices. The magistrates are investigating allegations ranging from false accounting to the creation of illegal slush funds and irregularities in the sale of pay-TV company Telepiu. Mr. Berlusconi is on trial, fighting charges of corruption at Fininvest.
[New York-May 16] Bernd Michael, CEO of Grey Group Germany and CEO of Grey Central & Eastern Europe, has been given the additional title of deputy chairman of Grey Europe. In his new role, Mr. Michael will help John Shannon oversee Grey's operations in 30 European countries. Mr. Shannon is chairman of Grey Europe and president of Grey International.
[London-May 15] Pepsi-Cola International promoted Tim Davie, Pepsi-Cola U.K.'s marketing manager, to European director for innovation, a new post. He will report to Mhairi McEwan, Pepsi International's VP-marketing in western Europe. Mr. Davie will be responsible for building global and regional innovation strategies and advancing a development channel for new-product and packaging concepts. He will also contribute to developing and launching line extensions to existing brands, collaborating with the marketing teams at headquarters in the U.S. Mr. Davie's successor in the U.K. is Simon Lowden, who joined Pepsi in March as marketing manager for Pepsi Max and Diet Pepsi.
[Calgary, Alberta-May 17] Independent carrier Canadian Airlines appointed Gee Jeffery & Partners, Toronto, to handle its $15 million account in English-speaking Canada. Gee Jeffery beat out incumbent BCP Montreal. However, BCP has been offered the French-language portion of the account, worth an estimated $1 million. It's the biggest account change in Canada so far this year and a coup for the small Gee Jeffery agency.