may limit TV ad time
[paris] French Socialist Prime Minister Lionel Jospin unveiled a plan to slash ad time on the nation's state-run TV stations. France 2 and France 3 currently can broadcast 12 minutes of advertising hourly during prime time; the reduction might cut that ad time in half. According to press reports, when the restriction takes hold in 2000, the stations are expected to collectively lose $71.4 million in ad revenues per year, totaling $360 million by Jan. 1, 2005, when the initial duration of the reduction ends. Those losses will be reimbursed via new governmental subsidies. The stated goal of the project is to refocus state TV's mission of "public service" by reducing what Socialist Communications Minister Catherine Trautmann has called its "interminable blocks of advertising." The measure is also being depicted as a move that will increase ads on privately owned stations, as well as other media.
operation in India
[bombay] Procter & Gamble India is restructuring to protect its hygiene and healthcare brands from competition and because of a global P&G revamp, shareholders were told at the annual meeting. Chief among the initiatives: clubbing of Vicks Vaporub, Vicks Action 500 and Vicks cough drops into a single, $44 million brand; a new focus on the Whisper feminine hygiene brand, which is under attack from Johnson & Johnson's Stayfree and Carefree; and a renewed interest in the aftershave segment through the Old Spice brand. The Indian operation has changed its name to Procter & Gamble Hygiene & Health Care. P&G India's after-tax profits were up 32% to $10.5 million for the year ended June 30, on 14% higher sales of $107 million. Chairman-Managing Director Bharat Patel said the growth was primarily due to increased ad spending. P&G companies in India spent $21.5 million on TV and print ads in 1997, up a whopping 111.8%, according to market researcher ORG-MARG. P&G is India's No. 2 ad spender.
Burnett deal enhances
prospects in Vietnam
[ho chi minh city] Leo Burnett entered into a five-year business cooperation contract in Vietnam, said Matthew Crawford, new managing director of the Chicago-based agency's Vietnam subsidiary. "The BCC between Vietnam's M&T and Leo Burnett is the first legal joining of an international agency with a Vietnamese agency," he said. "It has set us apart in the market because we are the only foreign advertising company allowed to conduct business in our own right." Some rivals have privately criticized Burnett for entering into a BCC rather joining the lobby for laws allowing agencies to develop more substantial joint ventures.
India with 2 offices
[hong kong] Young & Rubicam's Wunderman Cato Johnson opened its first operations in India, in Chennai and Bangalore. Wunderman starts out as India's third-largest direct marketing agency, with annual capitalized billings of $6 million. The Chennai agency will work initially on Citibank business; the Bangalore office's charter client is IBM Corp.
Allen heads MediaCom
in Asia-Pacific region
[bombay] MediaCom Worldwide named Andrew Allen to the new post of managing director of Asia-Pacific operations. He makes the move as MediaCom, Grey Advertising's media planning and buying arm with more than $8 billion in billings, is spreading its wings globally in tandem with an industry trend. Mr. Allen was previously managing director of MediaCom Australasia.