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Starbucks Canada eyes regional ads

[toronto] Starbucks Coffee Co. has struck out on its own with the appointment of two ad agencies to produce work specifically tailored to the eastern and western Canadian markets. Until now, Starbucks has used creative from its agency of record in the U.S., Goodby Silverstein & Partners, San Francisco. Echo Advertising & Marketing, Toronto, will handle the eastern Canada region. Echo also will handle local store marketing and consult on national strategy. Grey Advertising subsidiary GCI Group, Toronto, has been hired to handle PR. For the Western Canada region, Grey Advertising, Vancouver, has been picked to handle all advertising, marketing and PR.

SEAT reviewing account

[barcelona] Volkswagen-owned SEAT last week was seeing presentations for its Europewide ad account from Bates Germany, Frankfurt; FCB BMZ, Duesseldorf; DDB Needham Worldwide-owned Griffin Bacal, London; and Casadevall Pedreno & PRG, Barcelona. However, no decision is expected before March after the campaigns have been tested.

Reed Elsevier refunding advertisers

[london] Reed Elsevier, the Anglo-Dutch publishing group, will offer companies that advertised in its hotel and airline directories compensation of around $324 million for overstating their circulation figures. The company announced last September that irregularities had been discovered in circulation claims made between 1991 and 1997. Detailed assessment of compensation has been undertaken since then by independent accountants, legal experts and circulation auditors, in consultation with industry experts, the group said. It added that the cost will have no effect on the terms of its proposed merger with Wolter Kluwer, announced last October. Reed Travel Group will be restructured. Hotel Directories Group and Travel Business Magazines Group, headquartered in the U.S., will be managed as part of Reed Elsevier Business Information in the U.S. Airline Guides Group, with U.K. and U.S. bases, will be managed separately in the U.K.

Porsche signs Steffi Graf

[ludwigsburg/brohl] Porsche has signed a deal with German tennis star Steffi Graf. Under the agreement, Ms. Graf will endorse the cars in its advertising activities, while Porsche will support her three-member junior talent team, handled by Steffi Graf Sport. The automaker will continue to promote women's tennis with its Filderstadt tournament. Udo Cervellini, responsible for tennis activities at Porsche, said Ms. Graf's appearance in Porsche ads, while not confirmed, is "likely." Klaus E. Kuster Inc. is Porsche's lead agency.

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