Icon buys Nicholson NY; plans Internet network
[stockholm] Icon Medialab, one of Europe's leading Internet consultancies, acquired New York-based digital consultancy Nicholson NY as part of its plans to build one of the first global networks in the industry. To be initially known as Icon Nicholson, the New York office of Icon Medialab will remain under the co-management of Nicholson NY President-CEO Tom Nicholson and Managing Director Chad Gallant. Nicholson NY, founded in 1987, says it operates profitably and projects 1999 net revenue of $10.5 million. Icon Medialab has projected 1999 net revenue of $50 million; it also has offices in 11 European countries, Asia and San Francisco. Earlier this year, Interpublic Group of Cos. bought a 20% stake in Icon Medialab, and it already owned a minority stake in Nicholson NY.
Yahoo! taps Jump agency for advertising in France
[paris] Internet search engine and portal site Yahoo! selected ad agency Jump to coordinate offline advertising for its French division, Yahoo! France. Also included on the short-list were the Paris offices of Wunderman Cato Johnson (owned by Young & Rubicam), Next Step (a division of WPP Group-owned High Co.) and Vitesse. Incumbent Proximity BBDO, a division of Omnicom Group, wasn't invited to pitch. The first wave of ads for the new campaign will hit in the first quarter. Although France was slow to be bitten by the Internet bug, it has made strides during 1999 toward closing the gap with other countries. France now counts more than 6.5 million Internet users. In September, Yahoo! (yahoo.fr) became the first French site to record more than 100 million pages viewed in a single month.
Zenith in Jan. to open unit specializing in new media
[london] Zenith Media on Jan. 4 will open Zenith Interactive Solutions to provide clients with expertise in e-commerce and new media. Zenith already offers 10 clients a full new-media planning and buying service, but the new unit will offer a wide range of new interactive marketing services. Chris Ketley, until several months ago marketing director of Amazon.co.uk, becomes managing director of Zenith Interactive Solutions. Damian Blackden, who's been overseeing the new-media planning and buying function, will be managing partner.
Deutsche Post turns to BBDO for $30 mil acc't
[bonn, germany] Deutsche Post quietly awarded its $30 million Euro Express courier service account to BBDO Worldwide, Duesseldorf, four months ago, it has been learned. BBDO is running a TV campaign in 17 countries with the tagline "No matter where European clients want to ship packages to, Deutsche Post offers a client-friendly solution from one source." In the majority of European markets, Deutsche Post currently features its Euro Express emblem jointly with its partners, including ASG Scandinavia, MIT Italy and Securo Group GB & Ireland. The next phase is to establish an exclusive Deutsche Post Euro Express brand, which already is rolling out in Germany, Switzerland and the Czech Republic. BBDO already works for Deutsche's corporate literature business.
Henkel to introduce Svit dry-cleaning rival to Dryel
[duesseldorf] Henkel in February will introduce a home dry-cleaning kit under the Svit name in Austria, France, Germany, Switzerland and the Benelux countries. DDB Worldwide is the lead agency for the product. Henkel plans to invest heavily in a TV, print, poster and Internet campaign for the launch. The product is a rival to Dryel, which Procter & Gamble Co. has been feverishly introducing in the U.S. and Europe. Henkel in July formed a joint venture with Dial Corp. and acquired the brand and technological rights for Svit, known in the U.S. as Custom Cleaner. Both Henkel and P&G hope to create an entirely new market for their products. However, the products can only be used in a dryer, and only 36% of German households have that appliance, and not all textiles can be cleaned by Svit or Dryel.
Benckiser launches new dish detergent
[milan] Benckiser is launching a "revolutionary" dishwasher detergent called Calgonit PowerBall that eliminates the need for hand-washing even the most encrusted dishes before putting them in the dishwasher. The European leader in dishwasher detergents assigned the account to Armando Testa here. The TV campaign will feature the existing Calgonit logo descending from outer space and regenerating into the new PowerBall. The campaign will run in Austria, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Spain and Switzerland.
Indian retailer, MTV link to offer clothing line
[bombay] Retailer Jay Gee Group is linking with MTV India to create a youth lifestyle line of apparel, accessories and other merchandise. Jay Gee Group Managing Director Krish Krishnan said the line "will fulfill the five C's that today's youth look for-current, creative, comfortable, comprehensive and cost effective." Sanjeev Hiremath, director network development and licensing at MTV India, added: "The MTV range of merchandise will be designed to fit the lifestyle of the youth in India-global thinking with an Indian soul."
Guinness uncorks bottled draft stout
[dublin] Guinness is introducing in Ireland draft stout in a bottle. HHCL, London, is handling a $2 million TV and outdoor board campaign. The commercial features an audition of amateur dancers. Guinness advertised for dancers, held a Dublin audition and selected 19 for the final tryout. Nine of the candidates ended up in the final ad, which was shot during the audition.
Shaver, cigarette action in Russia
[moscow] Western marketing giants are sharpening their efforts in Russia for shaving products, as U.S. tobacco marketer Philip Morris Cos. plans a local cigarette brand:
* Gillette Co. is breaking one of Russia's largest national ad campaigns of the year to promote its Mach3 razor. BBDO Worldwide's Moscow office handles the advertising, while local promotion agencies Vanguard and UnionLinx are coordinating a consumer competition. BBDO is taking an international TV spot and adding 10 seconds to explain the national lottery promotion. Consumers buying Mach3 get a chance to win a round-the-world trip or 5,000 smaller prizes. A print campaign and new Web site (mach3.ru) also support. Meanwhile, Dutch electronics giant Philips, which hasn't advertised its electric razors in Russia for two years, is spending $900,000 to launch the Philishave Quadra Action. Carat Russia Media is buying airtime for an international campaign adapted by the local office of D'Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles. The launch is aimed at high-income Russians able to pay $170 for an electric razor. Petersburg Products International, which represents Braun in Russia, markets electric shavers for $40 to $70.
* Philip Morris, encouraged by the success its international competitors have had creating local brands in Russia, will launch its first Russian cigarette brand, said Mark Duerst, president of Philip Morris Russia. He said it's too early to divulge when the new brand will launch or which of the agencies currently servicing Philip Morris, Leo Burnett Co. or Young & Rubicam, will handle the introduction. Most foreign tobacco companies operating in Russia have created local brands. Philip Morris imports Marlboro, Parliament and Virginia Slims to Russia, and produces locally international brands Bond Street, Chesterfield and L&M at two Russian factories it bought in 1993. A Philip Morris factory also makes the Soyuz-Appolon cigarette brand, put into production about 20 years ago.
BBDO doubles its stake in Indian shop RK Swamy
[bombay] BBDO Worldwide will increase to 50.1% from 20% its stake in local agency RK Swamy. The share held by the Omnicom Group company in the Bombay agency "will probably get higher in the future," said Allen Rosenshine, chairman-CEO of New York-based BBDO. RK Swamy's clients include Bayer and Henkel.