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Tobacco ad curbs for Hong Kong

[hong kong] In one of the last moves under British colonial rule, the government has passed tobacco advertising legislation. Outdoor boards, light projections from buildings, print ads and sponsorship of sports and cultural events were banned. The anti-smoking lobby in the legislative council also pushed through an amendment that requires restaurants to designate at least a third of their floor space as non-smoking areas.

HoJo breaks vacation ads in Israel

[tel aviv] Howard Johnson International is embarking on its first marketing campaign in Israel in advance of summer tourism. The franchise for Israel, which made its debut early this year, operates four Howard Johnson's Plaza hotels. "The average Israeli has never heard of Howard Johnson's, so we are now starting a campaign to heighten brand awareness," a chain executive said. The advertising campaign, by agency Shimoni Finkelstein, uses the theme "More relaxation during vacation."

Citibank to assist India women

[bombay] Citibank, the largest foreign bank in India, will grant $500,000 to two Indian non-government organizations that seek to develop entrepreneurs among underprivileged women in the country. The bank hopes to boost its image in a year important to India, admits David Conner, newly appointed India CEO of Citibank. "The launch is definitely in commemoration of India's 50th year of independence," he said.

Coke tries Barq's in Canada

[toronto] Coca-Cola Co. has introduced three new soft drinks in Canada: Barq's root beer, diet root beer and cream soda. Advertising for the new brands will begin in August using TV and sampling. The English campaign will be created by MacLaren McCann, while Marketel, Montreal, will handle the French-language part of the campaign.

Heir to sell 20% stake in Publicis

[paris] Just a year after the death of founder Marcel Bleustein-Blanchet, his daughter is planning to abandon her estimated 20% holdings in Publicis Communication. Michele Bleustein-Blanchet has asked an investment bank to prepare the sale of the 7.6% share that she holds directly in Publicis, as well as her one-third stake in a family business that owns another 38% of the agency. It is unknown to whom Ms. Bleustein-Blanchet hopes to sell her $120 million to $155 million stake in Publicis. Agency officials said Publicis currently has no plans to buy the tendered shares. Publicis is the world's 13th-largest ad organization with 1996 gross income of $676.8 million.

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