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Air New Zealand shifts $7 mil

[auckland] Air New Zealand awarded an estimated $7 million in business to Clemenger/ BBDO, Sydney, and its subsidiary Colenso Communications. The airline switched most of its $8 million local business away from Saatchi & Saatchi after a brief review of its three rostered agencies. Air New Zealand's $40 million international account is in review among its roster agencies because it wants to consolidate the business with one network.

Zenith wins Coke, Hong Kong Telecom

[hong kong] Zenith Media Worldwide won the $25 million Coca-Cola Co. media account for all its brands in China and the estimated $26 million media account for Hong Kong Telecom. To win Coca-Cola, Zenith pitched against McCann-Erickson Worldwide, Leo Burnett Co., Chicago, and incumbent D'Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles, New York. Zenith won the telecom business in a review that included Omnicom Group's Optimum Media Direction and incumbent MindShare, the WPP Group unit merging the media operations of J. Walter Thompson Co. and Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide.

Virgin Cola enters South Africa

[johannesburg] Virgin Cola was launched in South Africa with a unique flavor specially formulated for the market. Consumers here spend $90 million on carbonated soft drinks annually.

AmEx awards Asian business to O&M

[hong kong] American Express Co. has moved all of its advertising business in Asia to Ogilvy & Mather, New York. The decision to review the account was taken at the end of last year, after Young & Rubicam's Wunderman Cato Johnson, New York, resigned its portion of the business to work on Citibank. Previously, O&M and Wunderman shared the AmEx business in Asia. The size of the account was not revealed, but AmEx spends more on direct marketing than traditional advertising, so the win is particularly beneficial to O&M's direct marketing arm, OgilvyOne Worldwide.

China debates cigarette tax increase

[beijing] Some provinces are expected to increase the cigarette tax to provide funds for health education and disease control -- although a national law is not anticipated. So far, special taxes have been levied in the Gansu, Hubei and Shaanxi Provinces. Chongqing and Shanghai municipalities have made similar decisions. Strong opposition from local tobacco manufacturers has kept officials from putting the rules into effect. Tobacco companies produced 1.7 trillion cigarettes in 1996 in China, and paid $10 billion in taxes to the government.

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