[london-dec. 19] CIA Medianetwork International won the $40 million to $50 million media planning and buying account for Visa International across Europe, excluding Germany and France. The network beat incumbent Zenith, as well as Initiative Media and Mediacom. Saatchi & Saatchi retains the creative business.
[sydney-dec. 18] Brierley Investments, a major New Zealand corporate raider, became the surprise controlling shareholder of Australia's $2 billion John Fairfax Holdings media group, saying it will buy Canadian media baron Conrad Black's 25% holding for $445 million. Mr. Black has said he is selling the Fairfax stake because he's frustrated by the federal government's refusal to relax the 25% foreign media ownership limit. His move temporarily frustrates billionaire media lord Kerry Packer, who owns 14.9% of Fairfax. Mr. Packer has said he would buy Fairfax if the government relaxed its cross-media ownership rules.
[auckland-dec. 18] Gas station chain Caltex New Zealand is embarking on a $35 million rebranding through Young & Rubicam, seeking to increase its 19% market share by expanding its Star Mart convenience stores. The initiative is part of an international Caltex program in Asia. By dropping "oil" from its company name, said Managing Director Jim Champin, Caltex is stressing it is a retailer, not just a purveyor of petroleum products.
[new york-dec. 19] Two major U.S.-based cable networks made key Latin American appointments. Viacom International named Taran Swan general manager for Nickelodeon Latin America. She had been acting as the channel's launch director in the region. The 24-hour children's channel was set to launch in Latin America on Dec. 20, saying it had "firm commitments" for distribution in 2 million multichannel homes in 16 countries in the region. Separately, MTV Latino named Cristian Cravello as its marketing manager for Latin America's Southern Cone, which includes Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Paraguay and Uruguay. Based in Buenos Aires, Mr. Cravello will oversee MTV Latino ad campaigns, promotions, special events and contests. He previously was a marketing account exec for Molinos Rio de la Plata, one of Argentina's biggest food companies.