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[manila] Foreign marketers are finding that "skin whiteners" are big business in the Philippines. Estimates show that skin whiteners are a $500 million industry in the country, Asia's biggest market for this type of product. "I don't [understand] the Filipinos' fascination for white skin. We're not trying to espouse white skin or [suggest] that brown is not beautiful. We're just trying to supply what's in demand in the market," an Estee Lauder official said. U.S.-based Lauder, as well as Swisscare Pour Givenchy and Lancome, recently launched skin whitening products here. The brands are, respectively, Swiss Whitening Protective Foundation, Blanc Parfait and Maquicake UV Fidelite. Avon Products has its own line of skin whiteners, from body/face lotion to pressed powder. Kanebo of Japan also has introduced a skin whitening toner.

PepsiCo taps Aquafina for India

[bombay] PepsiCo and other marketers are introducing their bottled water brands to India, where the need for pure drinking water is increasing. PepsiCo is test-marketing U.S. brand Aquafina. Evian already is available in India, while Britannia and Perrier are close to launching purified water brands. "With Aquafina, we will meet a longstanding consumer need for water they can trust at affordable prices," said P.M. Sinha, chairman of PepsiCo India Holdings.

Raisio tests anti-cholesterol cereal

[helsinki] Raisio, one of Europe's leading producers of functional foods, is test-marketing a new grain-based breakfast cereal in its home market of Finland, ahead of a decision for a European or global launch. Elovena Plus Porridge combines oat flakes and high-fiber oat bran. The cereal is rich in beta-glucan, a fiber that reduces cholesterol levels, according to Raisio's research. In 1997, the U.S. Food & Drug Administration approved the use of health claims associating beta-glucan fiber in oats with cholesterol-lowering benefits. Raisio already markets internationally the cholesterol-lowering Benecol margarine spread.

Mr. Pinhead makes point for papers

[toronto] The Canadian Newspaper Association is using a pinhead to promote newspapers to young people. In a campaign created by Ranscombe & Co., a cartoon character called Mr. Pinhead spews catchy but ridiculous one-liners, including his observations on euthanasia ("It's important for kids to travel") and the Internet ("I hate fishing"). The goal is to illustrate humorously the importance of keeping up with the news and to prompt young people to start reading daily

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