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French retailer starts $90 mil review

[paris] Leading French retailer Pinault-Printemps-Redoute is reviewing its $90 million global media account. The short-list includes Omnicom Group-owned Optimum Media Direction, which has held the account since 1993, and WPP Group-owned MindShare and Publicis-owned Optimedia. About 90% of the budget up for grabs is spent in France with the remaining 10% going toward international media, a company spokeswoman said.

Eurostar tunnel train reviews account

[london] Eurostar, the English Channel tunnel train linking London, Brussels and Paris, is reviewing its European ad business. Incumbent Young & Rubicam has been invited to pitch. The account, split among the U.K., France and Belgium, is believed to be worth $37.5 million, industry analysts say. Eurostar wouldn't confirm the budget. The media side is unaffected. Media currently is handled in the U.K. by Manning Gottlieb Media, in France by Mediapolis and in Belgium by Y&R's Media Edge.

AOL France launches $25 mil review

[paris] America Online France is asking five agencies to pitch for its $25 million account, handled by Havas Advertising-owned Euro RSCG BETC since 1998. Competing are Havas' Enjoy Scher Lafarge, DDB Worldwide, Grey Worldwide, Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide and local independent Jean & Montmarin. AOL France is conducting the review as part of a radical overhaul of its ad strategy. Although it's a strong second on the French ISP chart, with more than 600,000 paying subscribers, AOL is facing increasing competition from local upstarts and the rapid growth of so-called "free ISPs," which rely on ad revenue and charge no access fee. AOL also has had a difficult time catching up to France Telecom's Wanadoo ISP, which has more than twice as many local subscribers.

Fujitsu taps Strategic Planners

[tokyo] Information technology company Fujitsu named Strategic Planners International to manage strategic media planning for a new TV corporate brand campaign. Strategic Planners has handled several smaller assignments from a number of divisions within Fujitsu during the past 12 months. In Japan's highly structured business environment, the latest appointment is notable because it involves such a large domestic company. Acknowledging the absolute media buying power of major Japanese agencies, Strategic Planners has achieved success by focusing on accountable, objective media planning. Strategic Partners was founded in August 1995 as Japan's first media specialist company. It doesn't buy media, but instead creates media plans, and then large Japanese domestic agencies buy ad space and time in local media.

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