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Siemens gives Wieden $100 mil phone account

[duesseldorf] Siemens selected Wieden & Kennedy, Amsterdam, to handle the $50 million to $100 million global account for its mobile phones division. Other contenders included incumbent J. Walter Thompson Co., Frankfurt; Die Brut, Offenbach, Germany; and TBWA Worldwide and D'Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles Worldwide, both Singapore. WPP Group-owned JWT will continue in a role for Siemens, adapting Wieden & Kennedy's ads for local markets.

Unilever's Thai review may shake up ad industry

[bangkok] Unilever Thai Holdings is reviewing its media business and has invited some of the country's largest agencies to bid in what insiders believe could turn out to be a major shake-up of the local ad industry. "Whoever wins this business, worth some $40 million, will invariably become Thailand's largest agency," said an agency executive who asked not to be named. For years, Unilever has been the country's biggest advertiser, spending up to $47 million a year, while rival Procter & Gamble Co. comes in a distant second. Agencies pitching include WPP Group-owned MindShare; Publicis Groupe's Optimedia; Universal McCann, owned by Interpublic Group of Cos.; and independent media shop CIA. The incumbent is Interpublic's Initiative Media Worldwide. A decision is expected early next year.

McDonald's to consolidate English ads in Canada

[toronto] McDonald's Corp., ending months of speculation, confirmed it will consolidate its $35 million in English-language Canadian advertising at one agency. McDonald's has had longstanding relationships with three shops: Cossette Communication-Marketing, Toronto and Halifax; Palmer Jarvis DDB, Vancouver; and Vickers & Benson here. The three incumbents will be the only participants in the review, set for Nov. 16 with a decision expected shortly after. The review won't affect McDonald's relationship with Cossette Communication-Marketing of Montreal, which handles the French-language business.

BA's portal launch assigned to TBWA

[london] British Airways awarded TBWA Worldwide the $9 million launch business for an Internet portal aimed at BA club cardholders. TBWA beat out the U.K. flag carrier's lead agency, M&C Saatchi, for the business. Other agencies pitching included Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide and HHCL & Partners. Media planning goes to London-based independent shop Unity. Called Project Quicksilver, the Web site will cover a range of lifestyle issues including travel, leisure and home information. The account marks TBWA's second British Airways win this year; earlier it grabbed the $2.4 million Air Miles account.

Coca-Cola seeks agency for new Web site in Brazil

[rio de janeiro] Coca-Cola Co. is seeking an agency to handle its Brazilian Web site, yet to be officially launched. Competing for the account are AgenciaClick and Thunderhouse, part of McCann-Erickson Worldwide.

French postal service taps JWT for Illiclic portal site

[paris] French postal monopoly La Poste appointed J. Walter Thompson Co. to handle the launch of its new portal site (illiclic.com). The national campaign will be tagged "Illiclic: Hey, but that rhymes with practique!" The new Web site will significantly boost La Poste's free e-mail service. The site also will provide a window on services traditionally offered at La Poste's 17,000 bricks-and-mortar outlets nationwide, including mail, legal advice, social services and tax form distribution. In addition, Illiclic will display the wide range of financial services offered by La Poste, one of France's largest banks, and offer a host of non-traditional services ranging from classified ads to cinema listings, horoscopes, recipes and translation assistance.

Germany's T-Online links with ATP tennis series

[darmstadt, germany] Deutsche Telecom's T-Online International signed a three-year sponsorship deal with the ATP Tour's Tennis Masters Series, a nine-tournament men's series. The deal, arranged by Swiss marketing company ISL Worldwide, is aimed at boosting tennis content on T-Online's portal site and driving more traffic to ATP Tour Web properties. T-Online hopes the ATP deal will have a positive impact on its stock, which dropped this month to an all-time low of $17.50. The plummet comes as investors await the appointment of a new chairman.

`Int'l Herald Tribune' joins forces with Korean paper

[seoul] The International Herald Tribune and JoongAng Ilbo, South Korea's largest daily newspaper, launched a publishing partnership in Korea that includes development of an English-language Web site with news from JoongAng Ilbo, while selected IHT articles will be translated into Korean and published on JoongAng Ilbo's site. JoongAng Ilbo produces an eight-page English-language section in Korea covering news, economy, business, culture and sports, which is inserted into the IHT as a second section and sold as a joint newspaper. The recent arrangement has pushed IHT sales to 7,900 from 1,600 through strong newsstand performance and a 35% increase in subscriptions. The deal is a first for IHT in Asia, but the Paris-based newspaper has implemented four such partnerships in the Western Hemisphere during the past three years, in Austria and Germany, Greece, Israel and Italy.

P&G plans to launch German toothpaste

[schwalbach, germany] "Show the world your nicest smile" is the slogan that will next month launch Procter & Gamble Co.'s new premium-price toothpaste in Germany. Complete Plus, part of the Blend-a-med toothpaste line, claims to combine protection against tartar and decay with freshness and whitening agents. D'Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles, Frankfurt, is handling the campaign, kicking off with TV. The launch coincides with the withdrawal of P&G's Blend-a-med Synergy brand. Synergy debuted last year in a two-way dispenser. "Blend-a-med Complete Plus has all the ingredients that Synergy had and is easier use," said Christel Karesch, public relations director at P&G's headquarters here.

Hebert ends online gig; returns to Grey France

[paris] Jacques Hebert has returned to the agency world after a brief, high-profile foray into the Internet. Mr. Hebert has returned to Grey Global Group in a soon-to-be-defined management position at Grey Interactive France, the online agency he helped launch with Grey Interactive France President Marco Tinelli in 1997. Mr. Hebert, 56, sent shock waves through the French ad industry last June when he resigned as president of Grey France to take over pan-European communications and marketing at one of the agency's top dot-com clients, fast-growing online travel agency Travelprice.com. Mr. Hebert had helped land the Travelprice.com account late last year. Mr. Hebert now says he never fully adapted to being the client, rather than the outside consultant. "There were also a lot of things that I found I missed from agency work -- the variety of subjects handled on a daily basis, the stress of a deadline, the challenge of a competition," he said.

WPP resumes search for non-exec chairman

[london] WPP Group is renewing its search for a non-executive chairman following shareholders' hostile reaction to the candidacy of Sir Christopher Lewinton, chairman of the U.K.'s TI engineering group, who was previously being touted as the favorite for the post, executives close to the company said. Sir Christopher, 68, emerged as front-runner early this month from among four members of Young & Rubicam's former board to succeed Hamish Maxwell, 72, who has been WPP's non-executive chairman since October 1998. However, local reports suggested shareholders grew nervous about the growing criticism of Sir Christopher's generous pay package at TI when the company's share price was sagging. It's now thought the search is being widened beyond former Y&R board members. WPP is expected to make a decision by yearend.

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