ITALY MAY CREATE SUPER AD DEPARTMENT; RUSSIA PROPOSES TV, RADIO AD LIMITS; ISRAEL STOPS ILLEGAL CABLE; AMWAY OPENS IN CZECH REPUBLIC; HACHETTE BRINGS TITLES TO CHINA, THAILAND; 'ASIA WEEK' NOT FOR SALE, TIME SAYS; MASTERCARD SIGNS WITH GEMS TV; PERU COMBATS TAX EVASION; PEPSI SPOTS BANNED IN ASIA; J& J WANTS LINTAS OVER SAATCHI; MTV ASIA MAY LEAVE STAR TV; IN REVIEW; ACCOUNT ACTION; COMINGS AND GOINGS

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Italy may create super ad department

ROME-Italy is considering setting up an advertising department that will coordinate government ministries' social campaigns, estimated at $100 million annually, and get involved in ad pitches and agency selection. Stefano Rolando, head of Italy's Department of Information and Publishing, will present a proposal to Parliament this spring.

Russia proposes TV, radio ad limits

MOSCOW-The Russian government is considering a bill that would limit TV and radio advertising to 9 minutes each hour-considerably less than the unregulated time now devoted to ads. The bill would also restrict newspaper and magazine ads to 25% of pages, but no publications approach that percentage now. The State Duma, Russia's new parliament, is slated to vote on the final version next month.

Israel stops illegal cable ads

TEL AVIV-Israel's Ministry of Communications has instructed local cable operators to stop running a modified version of Lebanon's broadcast channel Middle East Television, which has Hebrew subtitles and commercials targeting Israelis. Local advertisers have used it to circumvent Israel's cable ad ban that expires next year.

Amway opens in Czech Republic

PRAGUE-Direct marketer Amway Corp. signed up 25,000 Czechs as distributors and sold 40,000 starter kits at $83 each in its first two weeks of business in March. The introduction was supported by a direct marketing program in which thousands of personalized letters were mailed to potential distributors. Australian marketing company Global Distribution Services handles.

Hachette brings titles to China, Thailand

PARIS-Hachette Filipacchi Presse formed a joint-venture with Chinese publisher Management World Magazine Group to introduce a Chinese-language Woman's Day in October, with a circulation of 100,000. In September, Hachette will introduce a Chinese-language sports monthly, The Sporting Event, in a joint-venture with Chinese publisher New Sports Magazine, also with 100,000 circulation. Also, Hachette signed Bangkok's Post Publishing to publish monthly Elle as a joint-venture in Thailand, starting in June.

`Asiaweek' not for sale, Time says

HONG KONG-Time Inc. International denies industry reports that it plans to sell Asiaweek newsweekly, suffering from lagging revenues. Time sold Asiaweek stablemate Yazhou Zhoukan, Chinese-language newsweekly, in January.

MasterCard signs with Gems TV

MIAMI-MasterCard has become the first major sponsor of Gems Television, a 24-hour channel aimed at Latin women and reaching 2.5 million households in Latin America, the Caribbean, Mexico and the U.S. with a buy estimated at under $1 million.

Peru combats tax evasion

LIMA-Peru's national taxation bureau SUNAT is urging citizens to pay taxes in a $3 million print, TV and radio campaign, featuring children expressing their hopes for the future. Peru's income tax collection rate is less than 10% of the gross domestic product. The campaign, from Interandina Publicity, will run through Tax Day, April 8.

Pepsi spots banned in Asia HONG KONG-Regulations banning comparative advertising prevented PepsiCo's recent irreverent TV spots, showing chimps choosing Pepsi over Coke, from airing on most terrestrial channels in Asia. Only spots using the term "the leading cola" have been accepted and only in the Philippines and on Star TV. BBDO Worldwide, New York, created the spots although Ogilvy & Mather handles Pepsi in Hong Kong, Thailand and China.

J&J wants Lintas over Saatchi

SYDNEY-Johnson & Johnson Australia is sticking with Lintas rather than moving to the new international alignment agency, Saatchi & Saatchi Advertising, for sanitary products, baby and suncare brands. The troubled Saatchi, Sydney, office won only Tylenol, a fraction of J&J's $15 million Australian ad budget.

MTV Asia may leave Star

TVMTV may abandon Rupert Murdoch's satellite station Star TV following a contract dispute, according to Star. Reports say MTV owner Viacom believes revenues have not been divided properly and has threatened to break its six-year contract signed in 1994. MTV did not comment. This follows reports that five-channel Star may also jettison BBC World Television to free satellite space for Sky News or Fox Broadcasting's news.

IN REVIEW

German publisher Axel Springer is reviewing its $4 million to $6 million account for daily Die Welt. KM Wolff, Hamburg; Michael Conrad & Leo Burnett, Frankfurt; TBWA, Dusseldorf; and incumbent Wensauer DDB Needham, Dusseldorf, are pitching. ... Hoover Australia invited incumbent Mojo Australia and three unidentified Sydney agencies to pitch for its $3 million appliance account. ... Nike's new South African distributor Odyssey Sports is choosing among The White House, Greenshields Fisher Jackson, Media Graphics and McCann-Erickson, all Johannesburg, for its $725,000 account.

ACCOUNT ACTION

Italian marketer Peroni's $10 million Nastro Azzurro beer account to Show Up, Milan, from BDDP. ... DowBrands Europe's $10 million pan-European account to TBWA, Paris, from BDDP. ... Jujo Kimberly-Clark has consolidated its $9 million Japanese account with Dentsu Young & Rubicam, Tokyo, from Hakuhodo. ... Safica's $8 million Nostromo tuna account to Ata Tonic, Milan, from Pirella Gottsche Lowe. ... Britannia Building Society's $7.5 million account to BDH Advertising, Manchester, England, from Brookes & Vernons Advertising, Uttoxeter, England. ... Citibank's $6 million Peruvian account for its private pension fund, Profuturo, to McCann-Erickson Peru, Lima, from Causa Publicidad. ... U.K.'s Ministry of Defense's $6 million multimedia reserve recruitment campaign to Saatchi & Saatchi Advertising, London, from DFSD Bozell and Collett Dickenson Pearce & Partners. ... Star TV's $5 million Asian regional account to McCann-Erickson Worldwide, Hong Kong, from DDB Needham. ... Clementoni's new $5 million Italian toy account to TBWA, Milan. ... Lowe Opta's $4 million audio account to Leonhardt & Kern, Stuttgart, from Lowe & Partners, Frankfurt (see Accounts in Review, P. I-4). ... Powers Brewing's $3 million Australian account to George Patterson Advertising, Brisbane, from Kelly Gee Advertising. ... Mitsubishi's $2.5 million Brazilian account to DM9 Publicidade, SÌo Paulo, from AG & Associados. ... Vitana's $2 million Czech soup and dumpling account to Leo Burnett, Prague, from Creative Communication. ... The Economist's $1.5 million continental Europe account to Still Price Lintas, London, from The Park Company. ... ESPN to Ogilvy & Mather Asia, Hong Kong, for a new regional media, creative and promotional campaign in a three-way pitch.

COMINGS & GOINGS

Mark Hollinger to acting general manager, until a permanent manager is named, at The Discovery Channel Asia, Hong Kong, while remaining VP and deputy counsel of Discovery Networks.

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