Europe's car industry is not a great place for women. Gerrit Huy, a Daimler-Benz exec, has been named the first Woman of the Year by Automotive News Europe, a sister magazine to Ad Age International. Ms. Huy, 43, was senior VP for advanced development and strategic product planning until May at Mercedes-Benz, where she propelled the German luxury car marketer into new segments like smaller cars. Now, she's in charge of telematics at Daimler's Debis subsidiary, including telecommunications and media services such as plans for in-car entertainment and Internet access. Ms. Huy clearly has a bright future, but she's a rarity. Volkswagen Group, Fiat Group, BMW, Porsche AG and Saab all said they couldn't nominate any top women for the Automotive News award because they haven't got any; Renault and Peugeot didn't respond.
The Chinese are developing their own version of a market economy. Observing that store traffic varies throughout the day, Shanghai department stores have come up with this novel solution: Change the prices as the day goes on. Now prices drop in the morning, to lure more shoppers, and rise in the afternoon and evening when stores are crowded.
French Resistance. Anyone doing business in France or with the French should read this aptly titled new book. As a Francophile American, Michael Johnson expected to love his new job running one of French publisher Groupe Tests' computer magazines in Paris. Then he encountered the adversarial relationships between hostile, suspicious employees and distant, elitist management ("Tell me exactly what you want me to do-and I'll do it if I feel like it") and those long French business lunches when "each movement is scrutinized for signs of a possible personality disorder." And that was just the beginning of the problems.
It's hard sometimes for members of the British Royal Family, not a real career-oriented bunch, to figure out how to earn a living. So the current big boom among luxury goods marketers is a boon for James Ogilvy, a hard-working cousin of the Queen (his mother is Princess Alexandra) who has launched monthly U.K. publication Luxury Briefing. "We're halfway between a newsletter and a magazine, offering an overview of the luxury goods industry, with intelligent comment," he says. With more experience in luxury than in publishing, Mr. Ogilvy is off to a good start: Luxury Briefing's launch party was held at posh silver store Asprey's and lavishly covered in British Vogue. He doesn't take ads.
The battle over cricket bats is raging in Australia, where they aren't kidding when they say tobacco advertising is against the law. Little did Pakistan's cricket team, setting off to play a series of matches in Australia, realize they were breaking the law by sporting bats emblazoned with the name and logo of Wills Kings, a British American Tobacco cigarette brand. In a controversial compromise to avoid landing the Australian Cricket Board with a $48,000 fine for breaching the ad ban, the Pakistanis put tape on their bats to cover the Wills Kings name. The logo, however, was still visible, and the Pakistanis may indeed have the last word: Team manager Yawar Saeed threatens that Australian cricketers might not be allowed to drink alcohol when they come to play in this abstemious country.