How'd he do that? Coca-Cola should have had a sacred place at last week's Victory in Europe celebrations as the soft drink the Coca-Cola Co. sent around the world with U.S. troops during World War II. Instead, Richard Branson's upstart Virgin Cola was the "official soft drink" during the three-day commemorative event in London's Hyde Park.
Hungarian entrepreneur Gyorgy Klapka is launching Ordinary Detergent, to be followed by Ordinary cigarettes, candy and dishwashing liquid. This isn't just dumb branding-Mr. Klapka hopes to exploit a Hungarian law against comparative ads. He intends to contact companies that refer to ordinary products in their ads, hoping they'll buy him off to avoid litigation.
Violent and crime-ridden, Russia has been given the seal of approval for .... Good Housekeeping magazine. Hearst's Cosmopolitan, its other joint-venture Russian title with Dutch entrepreneur Derk Sauer is already the top women's magazine thanks to serious research findings like: Russian women demand more sex.
Away from America, people are less politically correct. Actor Charlie Sheen, as he happily endorses Parliament cigarettes in Argentina, says: "Morally, I was torn for ....about half a second."
French fashion targets China. Matthew Farrar international ad director for Madame Figaro magazine and Le Figaro newspaper, moves to Hong Kong for six months in May to ready the September launch of Madame Figaro in China, where Elle has been the only international fashion title. Matthew's fear: Someone will find out he's fluent in Russian and send him to Moscow next.
Getting even. In his monthly advertising column in Tatler magazine, Robin Wight lambasts Dominic Owens, ad manager of Prudential Insurance, for boasting about the popularity of Prudential's current ad campaign when the previous agency's work was much better. Robin should know: he's chairman of WCRS, the London agency Mr. Owens fired last year. It is less clear what Robin has against Cordiant Chief Executive Charlie Scott, who he predicts will be replaced this summer.M
Deputy Editor/International Laurel Wentz welcomes contributions for GlobalVillage. Correspondents contributing: Steven Gutterman in Moscow, Mike Galetto in Buenos Aires.