AOL READIES FREE SERVICE FOR U.K.

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[london] America Online unveiled plans to offer a free Internet service, targeted to businesses, called Netscape Online in the U.K. starting next month. Rival Freeserve, the world's first commercially successful free ISP, has taken the market by storm, snapping up more than 1 million subscribers in its first six months. That growth rate has prompted a spate of local fee-based ISPs to stop charging subscribers. In response, the U.K. has become Europe's fastest growing Internet market.

Starbucks ads roll in London

[london] Starbucks Coffee Co. on July 15 launched a print and subway poster campaign here, promoting Frappuccino iced coffee. The advertising was created by the London office of Fallon McElligott, whose parent has the U.S.Starbucks account. The campaign forms a new marketing strategy spearheaded by Helen Benedict, Starbucks' new U.K. marketing director.

Butterfinger pulled; Greenpeace crows

[frankfurt] Greenpeace is claiming victory after Nestle Germany announced plans to stop selling U.S.-imported Butterfinger candy bars that contain genetically modified corn. A Nestle spokesman, however, countered: "We did not take Butterfinger off the market because of protests but because sales figures were pretty low." Nestle Germany last September began importing Butterfinger and tried to create a cult status for the pricey bars, with advertising from J. Walter Thompson Co., Frankfurt. Greenpeace responded by sending protesters to supermarkets to warn shoppers about genetically modified foods. A few major retailers in Germany, the U.K. and France have announced plans not to stock foods containing genetically modified ingredients.

Coke unveils new diet cola in Japan

[tokyo] Coca-Cola (Japan) Co. is launching a new no-calorie cola in Japan. Diet Coca-Cola replaces Coca-Cola Light in the market. The new product uses a different sweetener, aspartame, and comes in a larger can. TV ad support from Leo Burnett Co.'s Japan office broke July 25.

Dial/Henkel to acquire dry cleaning kit

[duesseldorf] The Dial/Henkel venture between Dial Corp. and Henkel said it will acquire the Custom Cleaner Home Dry Cleaning Kit from Creative Products Resource. Dial plans to restage and roll out the product nationally this fall in the U.S., as Procter & Gamble Co. launches its competing Dryel globally. The Custom Cleaner kit will make its European debut this fall in Germany. Ad plans

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