quits Apple pitch
[london] Bartle Bogle Hegarty pulled out of the pitch for the $20 million Apple Computer account for Europe following a report in Advertising Age Sept. 8 that TBWA International, the U.S. incumbent, is the leading candidate for the business. Apple's European marketing executives previously had assured Bartle and the other two agencies pitching, Leagas Delaney and BDDP, Paris, that TBWA was not being considered for the European account. After the Ad Age story appeared, Apple executives called the three agencies to confirm the news. Bartle quit the pitch, scheduled for the week of Sept. 22, on the ground's that "the rules of engagement and the brief were changed." Leagas Delaney is also expected to pull out. In Canada, Apple Canada has moved its account to TBWA Chiat/Day, Toronto, ending a 12-year relationship with BBDO Canada, Toronto.
Soft-drink rivals fight India excise tax hike
[bombay] A stiffer excise tax imposed by the Indian government on soft drinks has forced archrivals Coca-Cola Co. and PepsiCo to combine forces in opposing the move, which is expected to stub out growth in this year's sales. The Indian soft-drink market, estimated at more than $500 million, may register zero growth this year from the 20% gain posted in 1996 if the government levies a 50% excise duty on beverages. The marketers and local retailers fear the increase, which translates into a 3 cents to 5 cents price rise, may turn customers away from soft drinks. Chaitra Leo Burnett, New Delhi, handles key Coca-Cola brands, including the Coke and Thums Up flagships. Hindustan Thompson Associates, New Delhi, has the Pepsi assignment.
[toronto] Canada's No. 1 newspaper chain, Southam, could launch its new national newspaper as early as next spring to try to gain a hold in the crowded Toronto market. Southam executives and designers are working on several prototypes of the new six-day-a-week newspaper. Southam owns 33 of Canada's 101 daily newspapers but neither Southam nor parent company Hollinger Inc. has a presence in the Toronto market.
open first units in Peru
[lima] Blimpie has opened its first sandwich restaurant in Peru with the backing of local TV stars and Inca Kola, Peru's top soft drink. Operated by the local company Tierra Nueva, which owns the franchising rights, Blimpie will open six additional restaurants in Lima by the end of the year.
Macedonia to roster
[skopje, macedonia] McDonald's Corp. has opened in Macedonia, the 104th country in the world to host the company's Golden Arches. Skopje is home to nearly a quarter of the country's population, or 500,000 people.
Toys 'R' Us Japan widens
appeal with babies unit
[tokyo] Toys "R" Us in Japan is to develop Babies "R" Us, products for babies from newborn to 3 years old. The company will initially try the concept in the existing Toys "R" Us Shingustore in Kyushu, starting Oct. 12. If successful, the pilot will roll out into other stores. Almost 1,200 square yards of floor space in the Toys "R" Us Shingu store will be given over to 8,000 baby-related products such as clothes and furniture.
P&G to open Chinese
[beijing] Procter & Gamble China next year will open a new research and development center in Beijing with Qinghua University to increase competitiveness of its products in China, Chairman-CEO John Pepper said here. Qinghua is one of China's best known universities. "Scientific research is the guarantee of the superiority of our products," Mr. Pepper said. The center will research products specially for the Chinese market. P&G has 11 joint ventures and solely funded enterprises in China, with a combined investment of $300 million. "The global scientific integration strategy of P&G has ensured China can keep in pace with world development in its technology," he said.
Saatchi pulls out of P&G's
Canadian media pitch
[toronto] Competition for Procter & Gamble Co.'s $50 million TV buying assignment, the largest account in Canada, is down to three agencies after Saatchi & Saatchi Advertising bowed out of the review. Still in the running are Bensimon-Byrne/DMB&B, Leo Burnett Co. and Grey Canada, all incumbent P&G agencies. Only Burnett and Bensimon-Byrne/DMB&B handle P&G's TV business, however. The winner is expected to be announced in December, just one month before P&G in the U.S. is scheduled to announce the new agency for its $1.2 billion TV buying account. But some observers believe P&G in Canada may wait for the U.S. decision and follow its lead across North America.
Kirin eyes health foods
with beer ingredients
[tokyo] Japan's Kirin brewery is to enter the healthfood market, selling products made from the ingredients used in beer production. The company is setting up a joint venture with health food marketer Asupro. Kirin has been developing three health food products using beer yeast and nucleic acid that will now be produced by the new company.
Colgate fails to stop
Macleans in Australia
[sydney] Colgate-Palmolive has failed in an Australian Supreme Court bid to brush Macleans out of the lucrative white-teeth market, with Judge John Cockhart ruling that although Colgate could be vulnerable to disparaging advertising, any step to stop Macleans' marketing strategy would risk damage to the Macleans brand name. Colgate claimed a campaign for Macleans Whitening, launched last year by Macleans SmithKline Beecham, unfairly and deceptively implied that Colgate Baking Soda & Peroxide was unsafe. The segment has proved to be the most dynamic and successful in the Australian toothpaste market and is fiercely contested. Macleans' advertising, handled by Clemenger BBDO, Sydney, emphasizes a new sodium-based ingredient, Triclene, to whiten teeth.
Publicis acquires shops
in S. Africa, London
[paris] Publicis Group has acquired SMI Group, London, a full-service technology agency. It will be renamed Publicis Technology and operate independently. SMI Group Chairman Alex Lett and Managing Director Michael Croft, who will be chief executive and chief operating officer of Publicis Technology, respectively; Michael Conroy, regional chairman of Publicis Group, will be chairman. Also, Publicis is acquiring a majority stake in Partnership in Advertising, Johannesburg, an agency it had a link to via Foote, Cone & Belding's minority stake in the agency. As part of the divorce settlement earlier this year between Publicis and FCB parent True North Communications, the Chicago-based network agreed to sell its interests in South Africa and a handful of other countries to Publicis. Recently, Publicis also acquired Mojo Partners in Australia and New Zealand. Publicis has long been associated with Partnership in Advertising, with projected 1997 billings of $23.5 million.
[hong kong] Hyundai Group has chosen CNBC and NBC channels in Asia and Europe for its first advertising campaign on regional satellite TV. Hyundai Executive Director Young-il Lee said, "We are confident through NBC and CNBC we will reach the upscale Asian and European opinion leaders that we are targeting." Hyundai's advertising campaign, which was placed through in-house agency Diamond Ad, runs through the end of the year. Hyundai Group will sponsor "Tech 2000" on CNBC and "Dateline NBC" on NBC.
FIFA kicks off global
[london] International soccer federation FIFA is mounting a global TV campaign to promote fair play during the FIFA Under-17 World Championships in Egypt this month. ISL, FIFA's marketing agency, teamed up with BMP DDB to produce the