[wiesbaden, germany] Bertelsmann-owned TV stations RTS and Super RTL awarded an estimated $110 million in media buying to Carat. MindShare and MediaCom also pitched. Carat already handled a small portion of the RTS business. The win brings Alexander Ruzicka, CEO of Carat since last September, one step closer to fulfilling his ambition of grabbing Bertelsmann's entire worldwide media budget, estimated at $1 billion. Last December, Carat won the $60 million budget for BMG Entertainment, and it also handles Bertelsmann's online bookseller BOL.com. Carat next has its eyes on the Gruner & Jahr magazine subsidiary, with a worldwide budget of $250 million.
Springer's London office wins wine Web site
[london] Online wine merchant Madaboutwine.com appointed Springer & Jacoby International to handle its ad launch campaign in the U.K., with a view to a future rollout in Europe. The appointment followed a pitch that also included two unnamed London-based agencies. CIA is handling media planning and buying. The win is the second account for Springer & Jacoby's London office, which last year picked up Jobsite.co.uk.
Martha Stewart looking Down Under
[sydney] Martha Stewart is setting her sights on Australia. The U.S. queen of homemaking and handy hints said she could arrive here within a year, and she called Australia an ideal market because it's an English-speaking country where products could easily be adapted to local market conditions. Ms. Stewart, an unknown to the Australian public, was in Sydney to address the Magazine Publishers Association and meet potential business partners. In the U.S., Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia has grown into a media and merchandising conglomerate. "It's weird when you wake up one day and realize you are a brand," Ms. Stewart said. "You have to learn how to cope with that. You have to learn how to be the brand and be yourself. I try to be natural about it. There isn't much difference between the public Martha and the private one."
Sunkist quickly squeezes citrus products into China
[shanghai] Sunkist Growers moved quickly to reap a cash crop out of last month's decision by the Chinese government to loosen controls over imports of citrus and other agricultural products from the U.S. Senior officials from Sunkist, which represents some 6,500 citrus farmers in California and Arizona, were in Shanghai to welcome the first sample shipment of Sunkist oranges. They also met with FCB Worldwide to plan a marketing effort. The campaign will "push quality and the U.S. origin," said Senior Account Director Julia Lim. Ms. Lim said the ad buy will be skewed to TV in Shanghai, Beijing and Guangzhou, and begin in the next month or two.
Fila kicks off its first consolidated global push
[biella, italy] Fila Holding kicked off its first consolidated global campaign via BDDP/ TBWA, Paris, and Merkley Newman Harty, New York. The choice of a single global advertising structure comes as Fila seeks to relaunch its brand worldwide. Fila previously tailored its brand advertising to national tastes through the use of a variety of local agencies, but decided last December to consolidate its estimated $70 million to $80 million global ad budget with the two Omnicom Group agencies. The "Sport life Fila" slogan and ad images will seek to point out that "there is sport in life, but there is not only sport in life," said BDDP/TBWA Fila Account Manager Emmanuelle Levaux. U.S. spots now breaking star Fila endorsers Grant Hill of the NBA's Detroit Pistons, U.S. women's soccer team captain Carla Overbeck and Chicago Cubs slugger Sammy Sosa. The ads depict the sports stars in action but also make reference to their "human side." The European TV campaign, which rolled out in late March and early April, works along similar lines. "What we are trying to show is that these athletes are not just people who wear the shoes, but that they have a life outside sport as well," Ms. Levaux said.
Starbucks adds Shanghai to its Asian markets
[shanghai] Starbucks Coffee International will begin to brew in Shanghai next month, opening the first of 10 shops planned for this year and 50 within the next five years. The Shanghai move follows last year's beachhead on the mainland, with nine stores in Beijing. Starbucks recently signed a joint venture to set up operations in Hong Kong, and it's already entrenched in Taiwan. Starbucks partners here are Shanghai President Coffee Corp., part of Taiwan's President Group, and Shanghai Tobacco Group's Luwan Tobacco Sugar & Wine Co. The conversion from tea to coffee will come primarily via word-of mouth, aided by promotions surrounding the opening of new shops, said Jason Hong, President's Shanghai marketing manager. An affinity for tea isn't the only cultural characteristic challenging Starbucks. Like other Asians, Shanghainese are heavy smokers, but Starbucks has a strict no-smoking policy.
DaimlerChrysler gears up for Mercedes C Class
[stuttgart] DaimlerChrysler on May 12 will formally launch the redesigned Mercedes-Benz C Class, backed by heavy advertising. The successor to the 1993 C Class will debut initially in all European countries except the U.K., where it will arrive a few months later. Its entry in the other critical markets of the U.S. and Japan is set for September, when the car also will move into the rest of Asia. The company's $1.4 billion investment in the car's production will be reflected in its marketing. In Germany, Springer & Jacoby, Hamburg, has the launch account and OMD the media business. In all other countries, Mercedes-Benz agencies will handle advertising at a local level.
Also . . .
Antony Young, 36, founding CEO of Zenith Media's operations in Asia, will become CEO of digital media specialist start-up AdXplorer. Starting later this month, the new Hong Kong-based independent will provide online ad strategies for dot-coms and traditional marketers. AdXplorer (adxplorer.com) is 60% owned by management and staff, and the rest is held by private and institutional investors. . . . Paul Heath is moving to Internet Gratis (Portuguese for "Free Internet") as international president of Brazil's first free online access service. Mr. Heath moves from Young & Rubicam, Sao Paulo, where he was managing director. At Internet Gratis, he will be responsible for recruiting subscribers outside Brazil. Less than four months since its launch, IG has garnered $10 million in ad revenue, a third of all Internet ad spending last year, according to figures released by research institute IBOPE. With 1.4 million subscribers to date, IG also is Brazil's No. 2 Web portal. . . . Procter & Gamble Co. is launching Fixodent denture adhesive in France, part of its strategy to direct new products at the booming senior citizens sector. D'Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles, Paris, handles. . . . Bouygues Telecom launched France's first ad-driven mobile phone service. Users of its new Spot service can place free calls that are intermittently interrupted by short commercial messages. Bouygues, the No. 3 mobile operator in France with more than 3.6 customers, hopes the new service will help it meet a yearend goal of 5 million subscribers. A $6 million campaign from DDB, Paris, supports. . . . Blockbuster Entertainment this month starts rolling out a global campaign themed "Blockbuster: Bringing entertainment home." The brand-building and revenue-driv-ing campaign is the first creative by Doner Cardwell Hawkins, London, part of the Doner network, since it won Blockbuster's ad business outside the U.S. in January. Ads will feature remodeled Blockbuster outlets, Blockbusters customers at home and vignettes from leading rental releases.