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TV Azteca plans U.S. network

[mexico city] TV Azteca aims to buy stations in California, Chicago and the southwest U.S. to build a Spanish-language network to compete with Telemundo Group and Univision Network. Adrian Steckel, chief financial officer at Azteca, declined to identify Azteca's U.S. partner on the project, but said a formal agreement exists. U.S. Federal Communications Commission regulations restrict foreign companies from owning more than 25% of a broadcast station. "We will concentrate on the Hispanic markets in the United States that are Mexican or of Mexican descent," he said.

Lancome launches upscale face cream

[paris] L'Oreal's prestige Lancome brand is launching Vitabolic, its first face cream with vitamin C. The cream also contains ginseng and ginkgo, another innovation. In January, L'Oreal's subsidiary Laboratoires Garnier launched under its Synergie brand the first face cream brand with vitamin C for the mass market.

New pro basketball league

[manila] TV network ABS-CBN launches the Metropolitan Basketball Association this month, modeled after the National Basketball Association. MBA joins the Philippine Basketball Association, a popular, high-stakes pro league. There also are an amateur league and a number of college teams in this basketball-crazed country.

Colgate ups India share fight

[bombay] Colgate-Palmolive Co., currently in a fierce battle with Hindustan Lever for supremacy in India's $267 million toothpaste market, is challenging its archrival's dominance of the gel segment with Fresh Stripe Gel, a red gel streaked with white paste. The new toothpaste targets an urban youth market. In defense, Lever has unleashed an in-your-face TV effort via Ammirati Puris Lintas India. Colgate agency Rediffusion-DY&R, will break TV spots to support its new launch this month. Print ads and point-of-purchase signage are running.

Kellogg goes outside roster shops

[sydney] In an unusual move for Kellogg Australia, it has gone outside its global roster agencies of J. Walter Thompson Co. and Leo Burnett Connaghan & May to award its $25 million media-buying account to Publicis affiliate Optimedia. It won the business after a pitch against JWT, Burnett and two media agencies. Kellogg is the leading breakfast cereal marketer here with a market share of 45%.

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