[stockholm] Swedish car manufacturer Volvo has set up an internal team to examine whether it should appoint a lead agency from among its roster agencies worldwide to take charge of a new account, tentatively named the Volvo Global Image Account. "We are talking to agencies, but first we must sit down and work out the direction such a future strategy should take. We do not have concrete plans, just proposals," says Ulf Nord, the Swedish auto group's senior international marketing executive, based in Brussels. The brain-storming, coordinated by the company's international marketing division in Brussels and group-marketing unit in Gothenburg, Sweden, is aimed at developing a more consistent approach to the launch of new series cars and at creating more cohesive global campaigns. Currently, the company runs its advertising on a country-by-country basis. It assigned Abbott Mead Vickers/ BBDO, London, to manage a pan-European campaign for the launch of the S40 and V40 in 1996, and Volvo officials are known to have been pleased with the results of this project.
DISTRACTING BOARDS IN ARGENTINA HIT
[buenos aires] A citizens' group is appealing the legality of 300 outdoor board concessions granted by Buenos Aires along a four-lane highway through central Buenos Aires on the grounds that the publicity poses a potential danger to drivers. The group, Relatives of Victims of Traffic Accidents, maintains the concessions are "unconstitutional" because of the distracting effect on drivers of some of the boards, which include three-dimensional dinosaurs and life-size human figures. In September the municipal government announced it would begin a visual cleanup of the city but because of contradictory zoning bylaws, the legality of the ads remains ambiguous.
FIFTY CHINESE AD AGENCIES CLOSED DOWN
[beijing] Fifty ad agencies found to be acting against consumers' interests have been closed down in a swoop in Xi'an, capital of Northwest China's Shaanxi Province, China Daily reports. A monthlong investigation and crackdown found the 50 agencies were paying commissions to clients to secure business or acting as "briefcase firms" without capital, offices and skilled personnel. Rapid development of the advertising industry means that Xi'an had 576 ad agencies employing more than 5,000 employees by the end of 1996. The industry's total annual business was worth $30 million, according to Bai Shuyou, an official with Xi'an Municipal Industrial & Commercial Administration.