[helsinki] Swedish fashion retailer Hennes & Mauritz awarded its $100 million global account to creative hot shop Hasan & Partners here. The Finnish agency is owned by McCann-Erickson Worldwide. H&M ended its eight-year run with Ronnberg-McCann-Erickson in April. The low-cost, trendy fashion retailer also has used Swedish agency Hollingworth Mehrotra on its Rocky brand. Hasan's first international assignment consists of planning a communications strategy and developing the brand across 14 international markets.
BBDO charges ahead with Visa, Whiskas wins
[singapore] Visa International awarded its estimated $20 million Asia-Pacific business to BBDO Worldwide and Omnicom Group sibling Optimum Media Direction. The account excludes Australia and Japan. The appointment followed a three-way pitch that also included incumbent Saatchi & Saatchi/ Zenith Media and Euro RSCG Worldwide/Motivator. BBDO already handles the credit card business in the U.S., while Saatchi has the account in Europe. Meanwhile in Germany, Mars Inc.'s Effem pet food subsidiary awarded more Whiskas work to BBDO's Duesseldorf office. BBDO has handled Whiskas in Argentina, Brazil, Chile and throughout Europe (including Russia). Starting Sept. 1, Mars is rolling out the brand in 13 additional markets: Albania, Cyprus, Bosnia, Bulgaria, Croatia, Gibraltar, Iceland, Israel, Macedonia, Malta, Slovenia, Turkey and Yugoslavia. Responsible for the new business at BBDO is Christine Thyssen, European account director for Whiskas.
TAG Heuer: Time to use BDDP as agency again
[paris] Swiss luxury sports watchmaker TAG Heuer moved its global account to BDDP@ TBWA here from Bartle Bogle Hegarty, London. The appointment renews a longstanding relationship between BDDP and TAG Heuer, owned by France's LVMH luxury goods group. BDDP managed TAG Heuer advertising from 1990 to 1997. Bartle snagged the account from BDDP in 1997, accompanying TAG Heuer on a brisk international expansion effort that now sees the brand distributed in 100 countries.
Singapore's Tiger beer is down to 5 finalists
[singapore] Asia-Pacific Breweries short-listed five agencies for Tiger beer's Singapore business. The contenders are believed to include incumbent Saatchi & Saatchi; Leo Burnett Co., which handles Tiger in Vietnam; and Batey Ads, which has APB's lower-end Anchor lager. Tiger is a powerhouse brand in Singapore. According to data from Omnicom Group-owned Interbrand, Tiger is one of Singapore's best internationally recognized brands. The beer has 60% of the country's higher-end lager market and posted sales of $765 million in the region last year.
Tempus acquires ICM; paves way to Japan
[tokyo] Tempus Group, the U.K.-based holding company for media buying and planning specialist CIA, acquired an 80% stake in International Creative Marketing, a 20-year-old Japanese market research company. ICM serves blue-chip clients such as Coca-Cola Co., Kirin, Nike and Nippon Lever. The acquisition will serve as a foundation for a Tempus presence in Japan, said Mark Austin, a Tempus director and regional managing director of CIA Asia-Pacific in Singapore. Currently, no Tempus division operates in the world's No. 2 ad market, but Mr. Austin hopes CIA and brand consultancy Added Value will launch there within the next 12 months, using ICM as a "platform." Media buying in Japan is dominated by major domestic agencies such as Dentsu and Hakuhodo.
P&G sells off German detergents Rei, Sanso
[schwalbach, germany] In the latest example of Procter & Gamble Co. winnowing out local brands to focus on global ones, the marketer sold off two German detergent: Rei, for delicate fabrics, and Sanso, for woolens. The buyer is Fit, a household cleaners and detergents company. P&G broke into the German detergent market in 1965 through the acquisition of the Rei-Werke company in Koblenz, and the U.S. giant's success in Germany can be traced back to the nurturing of these two brands. Separately, though P&G recently announced it's considering the sale of its Clearasil line, the company's German subsidiary on Sept. 1 launched a TV commercial for the skincare brand. The spot by Grey Worldwide, Duesseldorf, also will air in Belgium, France, the Netherlands, Scandinavia and the U.K.
Amazon.com opens French e-tail site
[paris] Amazon.com on Aug. 31 launched its long-awaited French-language Web site. The site (amazon.fr) is the online bookseller's third European venture. It launched U.K. and German sites in 1998 after acquiring local booksellers Telebook in Germany and Bookpages in the U.K. Analysts say the launch of the French site was slowed down by Amazon's failure to purchase local booksellers that could provide book databases, forcing Amazon to build a database on its own. Amazon faces tough competition in France from existing online bookstores. Its U.S. strategy to expand product lines and include CDs, videos and other entertainment merchandise may prove especially important in France, where the law prohibits discounting books by more than 5%. Marketing and strategic planning for Amazon.fr is headed by Cecile Moulard, who joined from French media conglomerate Vivendi, where she was director of corporate Internet strategy.
Europe's Autogrill to land in U.S. at L.A. airport
[rome] Autogrill, Europe's largest restaurant group catering to travelers, will make its first foray into the U.S. with four outlets at Los Angeles International Airport opening in November. If successful, the company said further expansion could be in the cards. Autogrill subsidiary HMSHost, which already manages several small restaurant chains in the U.S, will manage the new restaurants. Autogrill has worked with local marketing specialists on themes for the four U.S. outlets, but hasn't decided whether to use an ad agency. Clothing designer and retailer Benetton owns a controlling stake in Autogrill.
NewMonday jobs site gets gov't OK in Europe
[brussels] The European Commission gave the go-ahead to a recruitment Web site co-owned by Dutch companies VNU and Randstad Holding. NewMonday.com will carry job ads and operate across the European Union. The commission said the site's market share of the European online recruitment sector will be less than 15%, and given the stiff competition, the linkup poses "no threat of dominance in any of the national markets."
Doepfner heading to top at Axel Springer Verlag
[hamburg] Mathias Doepfner, 38, was named vice chairman at German publishing house Axel Springer Verlag and will succeed Chairman August Fischer on Jan. 1, 2002. As vice chairman, Mr. Doepfner succeeds Claus Larass, 55, who resigned. Mr. Doepfner, already a board member, was editor in chief of daily paper Die Welt. An indication that Mr. Larass had lost favor in the bid to rise to chairman was when Mr. Fischer's contract was extended for a another two years last December. Vice chairman since January 1998, Mr. Larass will leave the publisher in November and join Kirch's new Pro Sieben Sat 1 Media, where he will take charge of information, news and political programs. Interestingly, Mr. Larass' new employer, Kirch, owns 40% of Axel Springer's shares.