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Sun Life awards global ad account to Grey

[toronto] Sun Life Assurance Co. assigned its global account to Grey Canada. The Canadian financial services giant plans a major rebranding at home and abroad. New brand-building creative from Grey could break as early as April, when Sun Life is expected to launch an initial public offering on several international stock exchanges. Grey becomes Sun Life's first international agency of record. Sun Life, with more than $173 billion in assets under management, has operations in Canada, the U.S., the U.K. and several major Asian cities including Beijing, Bombay, Hong Kong and Manila.

P&G's Sunny Delight breaks into France

[paris] Procter & Gamble Co. late this month makes its first entry into France's estimated $8 billion non-alcoholic beverages sector with the launch of orange- flavor Sunny Delight. Grey will create a campaign, targeting "3-to-18-year-old kids and their moms," that will break in March or April, a P&G spokesman said. He wouldn't disclose the budget but said the campaign would use a variety of media nationwide. France becomes Sunny Delight's second European market. P&G has been selling the beverage in the U.K. since 1998.

Exodus to dot-coms also hits India agency world

[bombay] Like so many of their colleagues in the U.S., an increasing number of Indian agency executives are making the jump to dot-com ventures. Among them is R. Sridhar, who has left a position as a director at Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide in India to join contests2win.com, and Andrey Purushottam, leaving his job has head of media for Lowe Lintas & Partners Worldwide to join Hong Kong-based Asiacontent.com. As managing director for India, Mr. Purushottam will oversee Asiacontent.com's entry into India, the Internet content service's eighth Asian market. The Web is starting to take off in India from a small base. Some 4.3 million upper-income homes have had first-hand experience with the Internet, according to a study conducted by the Indian Market Research Bureau. Of this number, about 1.2 million have been on the Internet in the past three months.

South Africa unveils $31 mil tourism effort

[johannesburg] South Africa's minister of environmental affairs and tourism, Mohammed Valli Moosa, unveiled a $31 million tourism marketing campaign to be handled by Skotaville Communications, an agency in the Ogilvy & Mather Rightford group. The campaign targets France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, the U.K. and U.S. with print and outdoor advertising, as well as sponsored visits by travel agents and travel writers. Satour, the South African tourist authority, is coordinating the campaign, which aims to reach more than 60 million people. Ads running in the U.S. portray beautiful scenes with messages conveying spiritual values. A photograph of Cathedral Peak, in the Drakensberg mountain range, carries the headline "A visit to the cathedral will be good for your soul." Another shows wildlife scenes and is captioned, "It's when you feel smallest and most insignificant that you feel most alive." At home, a separate campaign by South African Airways is intended to encourage South Africans to become welcoming hosts. TBWA Hunt Lascaris handles the $2 million effort.

Motley Fool site eyes expansion in Europe

[london] U.S. financial Web site Motley Fool appointed media strategy company Michaelides & Bednash to develop a brand strategy in Europe. The agency will develop branding and communications ideas in the U.K. before a rollout to other European markets, said Graham Bednash, managing partner at M&B. The Motley Fool, which "challenges conventional wisdom" to help individuals build their wealth, was launched in the U.K. (fool.co.uk) three years ago. Entry into other European markets will be decided soon, Mr. Bednash said.

Koreans tackle changes on TV, Web landscapes

[seoul] South Koreans could get a bathroom break from TV programs starting in March, thanks to a new comprehensive broadcasting law, passed in December, that will allow in-program advertising for the first time. Until now, TV advertising has been restricted to a chunk of time in between programs. The 10% of airtime reserved for ads wouldn't increase under the new law. Broadcasters and advertisers have long awaited the change, and TV operators hope it will increase ad revenue. TV spending as a proportion of total ad spending in South Korea is one of the world's lowest. However, with general elections scheduled for April, a rush to implement the law could doom it. In-program ads are unpopular and could become a hot button issue, political observers say. Also in South Korea, a ban on drug advertising on TV and careful regulation of pharmaceutical promotions have led to an unusual effort. Schering Korea is advertising birth control pills in TGI Friday's family restaurants. The Myvla logo is printed on free tampons available in women's restrooms. Schering also had consumer preferences in mind. "Everyone is interested in information on contraception, including oral contraceptives. [But] people want the contraception information given privately, not in an open environment," said Son He Young, product manager at Schering Korea. TGI Friday's provides the space in exchange for the tampons. Meanwhile, U.S. computing and technology news Web site CNET plans to launch a Korean version in March. The site will supply Korean news and product information in English for the main site, and publish articles in Korean translated from the U.S. site.

Upscale magazine targets Chinese-Canadians

[montreal] ChineseWorld Magazine, a new lifestyle title aimed at wealthy Chinese-Canadians, has been launched by Peter Chan, a retired Toronto businessman. The bilingual magazine was created to help bridge the generation gap between older Chinese, who tend to hold onto their ways, and younger Chinese, who tend to adopt Canadian ways, Mr. Chan said. Canada's Chinese number more than 900,000 people in 225,000 households, mainly located in Toronto, Vancouver and Calgary. The consumer group has annual purchasing power of $5.2 billion. ChineseWorld Magazine claims to be the only magazine of its type, though other publications serve the Chinese community, including at least one all-English magazine targeting the Chinese in Toronto (Chinese Today), a bilingual lifestyle and entertainment monthly tabloid (Popular Lifestyle & Entertainment), and several daily, weekly and monthly papers. ChineseWorld will be published six times annually. Of the first issue of 35,000 copies, 30,000 are controlled distribution. The aim is to convert to paid circulation over a 24-month period, and to expand nationally to 75,000 copies.

Software maker Corel opens 3 regional offices

[ottawa] Software marketer Corel Corp. established three new regional offices for Europe, Latin America and Asia-Pacific to better handle marketing and sales of its WordPerfect and CorelDRAW products. Marketing and promotion for Europe will be handled out of London, while Latin American operations will be run from Miami. Asia-Pacific markets will be overseen from Sydney. Canada-based Corel is still deciding how its $48 million ad budget will be allocated to the new offices. "Those [offices] are still being set up," a spokeswoman said. "That will all come in line a little bit later on." Corel handles advertising in-house.

Merrill Lynch invests in Latin music site

[miami] Private-equity fund Merrill Lynch Global Emerging Markets Partners took a minority stake in Latin-music Internet company Eritmo. Eritmo said it would use the money to build up its online digital library and support marketing efforts, as well as to expand its e-commerce capabilities and international operations. Recently, Universal Music Group also invested in the company.

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