[wolfsburg, germany] Volkswagen named three finalists for its $80 million home market assignment: Saatchi & Saatchi Frankfurt, KNSK/ BBDO Hamburg and the incumbent of 30 years, DDB Duesseldorf. Saatchi handles Toyota across Europe, except in Germany, and KNSK/BBDO's major shareholder, BBDO Duesseldorf, holds BMW's literature account globally. Speculation is that DDB will retain the account. A decision is expected from VW by the end of April.
Lowe buys stake in Singapore shop
[london] Lowe Group is taking a majority shareholding in Singapore agency Monsoon Advertising, now renamed Lowe & Partners/Monsoon. Clients at Monsoon, which claimed billings of $12 million for 1996, include Mercedes-Benz, Sanyo, Singapore Telecom and Acer Computer International. Lowe & Partners/Monsoon will be run by existing management, under Managing Director Christopher Foo.
Telstra backs new soccer league
[sydney] Rupert Murdoch's Super League football competition, designed for international pay TV, won a $12 million sponsorship deal from Telstra, Australia's major telecommunications company. The sponsorship involves naming rights for all Australian Super League matches, which will also be broadcast on the Seven Network, owned in part by Mr. Murdoch. Telstra is also a 50% joint partner with Mr. Murdoch's News Corp. in Foxtel, a national pay-TV cable network.
Saatchi launching Virgin clothing
[london] Saatchi & Saatchi, London, won Virgin Clothing Co.'s global-launch business. Saatchi beat fellow U.K. agencies Rainey Kelly Campbell Roalfe, Magic Hat and Leagas Shafron Davis for the business.
British royal family goes on Web
[london] U.K.'s Associated Newspapers, publishers of national paper the Daily Mail and London's Evening Standard, has launched a new World Wide Web site about the British royal family. The site (RoyaltyUK.com), features news, gossip and trivia about the "world's most famous family," along with material from the past 100 years.
Cookie ads on Chinese trash cans
[beijing] United Biscuits (China) Ltd., a subsidiary of the U.K. cookie company, is placing ads on trash cans in the city of Hangzhou to improve the image of its Keebler brand biscuits. The ads say: "Keebler biscuits taste specially good" on one side of the trash can and printed on the other side is the message "Don't Litter." The ads have aroused curiosity and also criticism from some people who consider it improper to publish food ads on trash cans.