GLOBAL VILLAGE

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Free ride: South Korean automaker Daewoo is offering 200 free cars for a year to U.K. drivers willing to take part in market research. Charlie Dawson, account director at Duckworth, Finn, Grubb, Waters, London, says that after a print and TV campaign explaining the offer, 45,000 calls jammed toll-free phone lines in a single hour. So far, 20,000 hopeful drivers and persistent dialers have gotten through to sign up.

How do they pick these brand names? Bombay's Videocon has just launched a "very powerful" new TV set called Bazooka and there's a South Korean cigarette brand called Fitnesse. Coca-Cola's local bottler has a new listing on the Tokyo stock exchange-under the name Kinki Coca-Cola.

Tales from the crypt: Spurning trendy clubs, Dow Jones' European Business News (due to telecast Feb. 27) Managing Director Michael Connor is introducing EBN's rate card to potential advertisers tomorrow night at The Crypt under London's Ely Palace. EBN says Henry VIII used to entertain there, too, serving swans stuffed with larks stuffed with sparrows, a dish now banned by European Union catering rules.

The French never stop trying to outlaw English words but Germans just make them up. The hottest item in Germany now is the "handy." Germans think that is English slang for mobile phone, but the English have no clue to what a "handy" is. Nevertheless, Andreas Mengele has the title, account manager for the D-1 "handy" account at Springer & Jacoby.

Commercials going commercial: You sang along with the TV commercial, now buy the CD. In France, 70,000 compact discs and cassettes of songs from Levi's French spots just went on sale. Even more ambitiously, Warner Music and Brazil's Washington Olivetto hope to sell 100,000 CDs of W/Hits, taken from his agency W/Brasil's catchiest commercials. Performances range from the best of Brazilian music to Carlos Moreno, star of Bombril's household cleaner spots for the last 10 years.

How do you follow up the current Pirelli ad in which Carl Lewis, the U.S. Olympic Gold medalist and sprinter, appears at the starting line in a pair of red stiletto heels? Young & Rubicam and Pirelli are about to unveil a new global ad for Pirelli using the athlete even more dramatically.

Home is where the vcr is: Leo Burnett's Donald Gunn, the man who watches TV commercials for a living, moved his vcr back to Europe last month after about 10 years in Chicago, to give his three kids a more European upbringing (he's Scottish). The job will be the same: senior VP-director of creative resources worldwide.

Correspondents contributing to this report: Dagmar Mussey in Dusseldorf, Judith Sullivan in Paris, Claudia Penteado in Rio de Janeiro and Charles Siler in London.

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