[tokyo-feb. 4] NEC Corp., the $44 billion Japanese information technology company, is underscoring its multimedia capabilities in a new corporate image campaign with the slogan "Just imagine NEC multimedia." The new slogan will be used by all NEC subsidiary companies around the world in advertising and promotional materials. NEC said it's the only company in the world to be ranked among the top five companies in the industries that are core to multimedia (semiconductors, information technology/computers and telecommunications). NEC lays claim to that leadership in the new advertising. NEC is using four agencies: Dentsu and Hakuhodo in Japan; Travis Sennett Sully Ross, a Dentsu subsidiary in London; and Hampel/
Stefanides in the U.S.
TIGER WOODS' THAILAND MATCH RAISES EYEBROWS
[bangkok-feb. 6] Interest in golf phenom Tiger Woods is high as he plays in Thailand this week in the Asian Honda Classic golf tournament. The price of a 60-second commercial is $6,800 during delayed broadcasts of the four-day event each night at 11 p.m. Channel 3 usually charges $4,800 during the time slot. The network believes Mr. Woods will attract housewives and teen-agers in addition to golf fans. But the superstar has a minor PR problem: Reports in the local press say Asian Honda Motor Co. of Bangkok is paying Mr. Woods a whopping appearance fee, which some reports give as about $500,000. Colin Dunjohn, managing director of IMG (Thailand)-the local representative of the Cleveland-based International Management Group-says the reports are exaggerated.
AUSTRALIA BANS BACARDI SCENTED BUS STOPS
[melbourne-feb. 6] An aromatic poster for Bacardi Lemon designed for bus shelters has been banned by the Victorian and South Australian governments because of concerns over its effects on children and people with drinking problems. The poster emits the scent of the new lemon-flavor rum drink when sensors detect the presence of people. The ban so far applies only to shelters owned by the state-run transport systems, but the New South Wales government has spoken to Bacardi-Martini Asia Pacific, the drink's marketer, "expressing concern." Bacardi-Martini says it will place the posters in other, less contentious locations. Executive director of Sydney's Youth Action Association, Mike Morey, said the ads show "just how irresponsible liquor companies have become toward young people."
PUBLICIS SCORES ADIDAS PR ROLE FOR WORLD CUP
[herzogenarach, germany-feb. 6] Adidas, the German sportswear marketer, has appointed Publicis as its PR partner on a global basis for the 1998 World Cup in Paris. Adidas is both a sponsor and an official sponsor for the international soccer championship. Publicis-owned Idees Dialogue Conseil won in a pitch against Hill & Knowlton. The appointment does not affect the global creative account, handled by Leagas Delaney, London.
WELLA CONNECTS IN U.K. WITH `FRIENDS' AIRINGS
[london-feb. 7] German haircare marketer Wella has signed a sponsorship deal worth $8 million this year with the U.K.'s Channel Four TV network to sponsor the U.S. series "Friends," starting March 11. David Charlesworth, Channel 4's sponsorship manager, said the deal includes credits at the beginning and end of each episode and around ad breaks as well as off-air promotions to publicize the program and Wella's Experience brand of shampoo and conditioner, launched last year in the U.K. Mr. Charlesworth said the deal does not include access to the "Friends" cast or the show's logo but Channel Four is discussing that possibility with Warner Bros.
FINANCING SHORTFALL UNPLUGS U.K. `WIRED'
[london-feb. 7] Wired Ventures is closing the U.K. edition of Wired with the March issue after failing to find a local partner for the 2-year-old title, which has a circulation of 40,000. A Wired Ventures spokesman in San Francisco said the company had tried to raise up to $60 million last year but was only able to come up with $21.5 million in a private offering.
CANADA ADVERTISERS LINK TO FIGHT TOBACCO AD BAN
[toronto-feb. 6] Institute of Canadian Advertising has formed the Coalition for Commercial Freedom of Speech to combat Bill C-71, the anti-tobacco bill that would severely restrict tobacco advertising and sponsorships. The House of Commons will debate the issue later this week as it goes through its third and final reading. ICA's position is that "our industry cannot tolerate legislation that would be an effective ban on advertising of a product which can be legally manufactured, distributed, sold and consumed in this country." In a separate initiative, Outdoor Advertising Association of Canada has launched a national transit shelter and board campaign this week calling for amendments to Bill C-71. OAAC says there is no research linking advertising and tobacco consumption.
SHAKEUP AT EURO RSCG'S GERMAN OPERATIONS
[duesseldorf-feb. 5] Andreas Danyliuk is leaving the German operation of French network Euro RSCG because of a difference of opinion about the agency's future strategy in Germany, according to Nick Baum, CEO of Euro RSCG Europe. Gerhard Schoeps will take over as German office chairman and CEO. Mr. Schoeps is the former president of brand management and communications at Lufthansa German Airlines.
SATELLITE TV BEGINS IN INDONESIA
[jakarta, indonesia-feb. 5] Asia's first tiered digital direct broadcast satellite TV service launched in Indonesia Feb. 4, offering a package of 19 mainly international channels. The Indovision platform, managed by Rupert Murdoch's Hong Kong-based Star TV, includes three regional movie channels-HBO, Star Movies and MGM Gold-as well as the world's first Bahasa-language film channel, Film Indonesia. Other programming includes Star Sports; ESPN; CNN International; NBC Asia's business channel; NBC and CNBC; BBC World; and Discovery Channel.
`BEANZ MEANZ HEINZ' RETURNS TO AUSTRALIA
[melbourne-feb. 5] H.J. Heinz Co. has revived its 25-year-old "Beanz meanz Heinz," tagline created by Young & Rubicam, London, in an initial $1 million campaign to boost stagnant sales of its baked beans in Australia. The new campaign, from Foote, Cone & Belding here, features a precocious young boy promoting the merits of Heinz beans in non-traditional ways, such as a salad ingredient. In a second commercial an elderly man talks about baked beans' nutritional value. Flat growth reflects Heinz's lack of advertising in the last four years. To increase volume, Heinz is now pushing variations of traditional baked beans, such as baked beans and sausages and baked beans and meatballs.
DENTSU TO BUILD TOKYO CORPORATE HQ
[tokyo-feb. 5] Dentsu, Japan's largest advertising agency, has announced plans to build a new headquarters following its successful bid for a plot of land in Tokyo. Dentsu's current headquarters was built in 1967 to house 2,156 employees out of a total workforce of 4,317. Today, 4,500 work in the headquarters building, out of a total staff of 5,820. Current space is spread out over 10 buildings, eight of which are leased. By the year 2002, Dentsu plans to build a new headquarters on the site of Shio-dome Cargo Terminal A Plot, which it bought this week from the Japanese National Railways Settlement Corp.
SYDNEY 2000 GAMES TAKE TO THE AIR
[sydney-feb. 5] Ansett, Australia's second airline network, jointly owned by Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. and Air New Zealand, rolled out an electric blue Airbus A320 emblazoned with the Olympics logo to launch the $40 million, seven-member Global Airline Team sponsorship of the Sydney 2000 Olympics. Select GAT partner planes-from United Airlines, Air New Zealand, Lufthansa, Malaysia Airlines, South African Airways and Thai Airways International-also will carry the logo, featuring Olympic rings over billowing clouds.
CHINESE DISTILLER SLAMMED FOR TV SPOTS
[beijing-feb. 4] A long article on the opinion page of China Daily criticizes the number of liquor ads bombarding Chinese TV programs. The backlash against alcohol advertising on TV began when Qinchi Distillery Co. recently won the bidding for a prime-time commercial slot on China Central Television. China
Daily, the Chinese government's only national English-language daily newspaper, said in the opinion piece that CCTV, which has about 1 billion regular viewers, should not earn the "outrageous sum" of $38.6 million by using liquor ads. The newspaper said the government should control liquor production. Until it advertised on television, Qinchi was an obscure distillery in a rural area of Shandong province that made a white liquor called baijiu.