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Unilever is ranked top ad spender in Vietnam

[hanoi] Unilever tops the list of advertisers in Vietnam, spending more than $14 million in 1999 and more than doubling its ad budget from the previous year, ACNielsen said. Unilever's top-selling brands -- Omo, Sunsilk, Clear, Viso and P/S toothpaste -- made up half of the country's top 10 most advertised brands. Rival Procter & Gamble Co. ranked second on the Adex list, spending $4.1 million on advertising in '99; Coca-Cola Co., upping its spending by 46%, was third. The top 10 buyers in 1999 spent $31 million on advertising, one-third of the country's total ad expenditure for TV and print media.

Burnett regains McD's account in Argentina

[buenos aires] McDonald's Corp. returned its Argentine branding and product account to Leo Burnett Co. Burnett lost the work two years ago to DDB Worldwide. This time, Grey Advertising and Agulla & Baccetti/ Lowe also pitched for the account. Burnett staged its pitch in a conference room redecorated as a world championship boxing match complete with a boxing ring and a popular local TV boxing announcer, who touted Burnett's strengths over the competition. The agency is immediately unveiling a new campaign for a premium McDonald's sandwich. A larger branding campaign will follow.

P&G to back Dryel debut with $15 mil in France

[cincinnati] Procter & Gamble Co. plans a $15 million campaign for the mid-April launch of home dry-cleaning product Dryel in France. The campaign, from Leo Burnett Co., Paris, will be one of P&G's largest ever in the country. Dryel is challenging Svit, recently launched by German rival Henkel. P&G debuted Dryel in the U.S. late last year, and it has since entered Austria, Germany and Switzerland. Further European expansion is likely.

Unicef taps TBWA for ads pushing children's rights

[london] Unicef awarded TBWA GGT Simons Palmer the global task of pushing children's rights to the top of the international agenda. The appointment for this new project followed a pitch including M&C Saatchi, New York. TBWA's assignment is to create a coherent brand identity for the international initiative in anticipation of a U.N. conference next year on children's rights, said Neil Christie, agency chief operating officer. Advertising will target a broad section of governments, non-governmental organizations, corporations, media, academics and young people themselves. A budget figure is "difficult to quantify," Mr. Christie said, referring to the figure of $320 million quoted by U.K. trade reports as "spurious."

DDB in Hong Kong snares Windows 2000, airline

[hong kong] Just weeks after McCann-Erickson Worldwide debuted Windows 2000 ads for Microsoft Corp. in the U.S., the software giant unveiled its campaign via DDB Worldwide here for Windows 2000 in Asia. DDB won the assignment without a pitch. Separately, DDB next month takes over the account of Dragon Air, following a pitch against Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide, M&C Saatchi and Saatchi & Saatchi. The Hong Kong-based regional airline's previous agency, Euro RSCG Worldwide, didn't participate. The carrier spent between $4 million and $5 million last year in key markets such as China, Hong Kong, Japan and Taiwan and Hong Kong. Dragon Air is now expanding into China and other Asian destinations with a new brand campaign due out by June.

Publicis acquires German agency Boebel/Adam

[frankfurt] Publicis' office here acquired Boebel/Adam, which recently severed ties with Omnicom Group's BBDO Worldwide and was looking for a new international partner. Boebel/Adam posted gross income of $6 million last year. The agency will be renamed Publicis.

BK joins fast-feeders' bulgogi boom in So. Korea

[seoul] Burger King Corp. introduced a Korean version of its burger -- the Bulgogi Whopper -- in what a spokesman dubbed "fast fusion food." Bulgogi is a traditional dish in Korea: barbecued beef with rice, raw garlic and spicy bean paste wrapped in a lettuce shell. The new Bulgogi Whopper isn't so adventurous. It's a regular Whopper plus a little "bulgogi sauce." But it's a necessary item to compete with other fast-food chains selling their own pseudotraditional dishes. For example, McDonald's Corp. has a bulgogi burger and KFC a chicken bulgogi burger.

India ad awards canceled because of bogus entries

[bombay] The Advertising Agencies Association of India shelved its annual awards competition this year after entries flouted the rules. Some agencies submitted showcase ads for bogus clients and brands that never made it to market, industry insiders said. The AAAI's Triple A awards stipulate that advertising entered must be run over a reasonable amount of time, must be in keeping with the brief and must enhance the image of the product or service being advertised. AAAI officials said the awards for 1999 work were canceled because "an abnormally high amount of entries were received that [the AAAI] believes do not strictly adhere to the spirit behind the awards." The AAAI plans to reinstate the awards next year.

Dot-com dash spans world's markets

France's answer to Amazon.com picked its first agency, while on the other side of the world, Ogilvy & Mather is creating an Asian consultancy focusing on the convergence of mobile phones and the Internet. Among recent developments worldwide in online marketing:

* French e-tailer Alapage.com tapped Ammirati Puris Lintas, Paris, to handle its account. The up-and-coming online bookseller, a subsidiary of France Telecom, recently diversified into household appliances. Alapage.com will launch its initial media campaign in the coming month in a bid to raise name awareness before the expected entry into the French market of Amazon.com, a spokesman said. "We may decide to use television, if that medium is available to the retail distribution sector," he said. France's top audio-visual regulator decided last month to allow TV advertising for dot-coms in a host of sectors, including retail, all of which previously have been prohibited from broadcast advertising. But the decision has come under wide attack and is currently being reviewed by the regulator (AA, March 13).

* Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide is establishing what's being called the Asia-Pacific's first communications consultancy devoted to advising clients on using technology that allows people to access the Internet via phones and other mobile wireless devices. The new m.Ogilvy unit will be part of OgilvyInteractive. "We believe that m.communication and m.commerce will grow faster, and to a larger size, in Asia than in any other part of the world. They will be driven by mobile-phone penetration, which will become the major source of Internet access," said Miles Young, Asia-Pacific chairman of Ogilvy. "The phone, with a range of `anytime, anywhere' services, will offer marketers a whole set of new ways of connecting with consumers." The Japanese mobile wireless market, for example, is expected to be worth $100 billion by 2003 vs. $18 billion in 1999, according to estimates by the Mobile Office Promotion Association.

* Chello Broadband assigned its global account to Publicis, London. Amsterdam-based Chello uses high-speed Internet access to deliver text, sound and video through local-language portals. Chello offers broadband Internet access to residential and business subscribers in Australia, Austria, Belgium, France, Netherlands, Norway and Sweden, and it plans to expand into Latin America.

* America Online Latin America's forthcoming campaign in Mexico is likely to include enticing new customers with free software. "We're planning a very big launch," said Jose Alberto Teran, director general of Mexico City agency Teran, which is handling the campaign. Advertising will include outdoor, print and TV. AOL Latin America is a joint venture of America Online and Venezuelan media giant Cisneros Group.

* CNN Interactive next month will launch a Japanese-language Web site in Japan. The site (cnn.co.jp) will be CNN's first fully localized Asian-language Web site, said to Scott Woelfel, senior VP-general manager and editor in chief of CNN Interactive in Atlanta. It will be CNN's seventh non-English-language Web site, "featuring news specific to Japan in addition to the full scope of global news and information available to CNN.com users worldwide," Mr. Woelfel said. CNN Interactive also formed an alliance with Asahi.com that allows for that site and CNN.co.jp to share Japanese-language news content.

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