The World: Wal-Mart Sells Ads in Mexico Stores

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MEXICO CITY (AdAge.com) -- Wal-Mart Mexico is partnering with Mexican media giant Televisa to install and sell advertising space on 5,000 TV screens at 300 Wal-Mart-owned stores, starting in Mexico City in October.

Wal-Mart will also begin putting ads in other places like store parking lots, shopping carts and bag dispensers, said Demetrio Ruiz Moysen, Wal-Mart Mexico's VP-marketing.

Televisa will invest $20 million in the TV project and expects to earn about $36 million a year in ad revenue, of which 25% will go to Wal-Mart. The TV screens will go in Wal-Mart Supercenter and Bodega Aurrera stores, which together account for 58% of Wal-Mart's sales in Mexico, where Wal-Mart is the country's largest retailer. The company also owns Sam's Club, Superama, Suburbia and Vips cafeterias.

Mr. Ruiz said three food companies have signed ad deals. About 25% of airtime will be devoted to 20-second educational, cooking and entertainment clips, and the rest to ads. In the U.S., Wal-Mart operates an instore TV network through Premier Retail Networks, better known as PRN.

-from crain's mexico

Hair-salon ads rile Catholic clergy in Canada

[montreal] Amen-Epoxy, a local Canadian ad agency based in Montreal, is in the bad books of some members of the local Catholic clergy for ads it produced for Hed, a hair salon.

The reason: Newspaper ads and posters depict Jesus, Mary and Joseph as they might appear if they lived in today's world. All deviate from what is seen in religious books and paintings, with Jesus sporting a Mohawk, Mary with punk pink hair and Joseph with dreadlocks. Ad copy reads "May your will be done," a take on the Lord's Prayer.

"It's a solid creative idea," said Nicolas Massey, the agency's 30-year-old creative director. "Jesus hung out with common people, including prostitutes. We wanted to modernize him, show him the way people of my generation might see him."

Client Luc Gagnon had used the campaign for his salon earlier with a few complaints from the public, but was happy with the awareness that it brought. The combination of the advertising and the timing-during the Easter period-drew more attention, however, disgusting some priests who spoke out publicly.

Despite this, Hed Salon is continuing to use the ads.

-gail chiasson

U.K. marketers pour money into digital media

[london] U.K. marketers continue to shift budgets into digital media and away from traditional media. Internet advertising was the only U.K. media to increase budgets in the first quarter of 2006, according to the latest Bellwether Report by the U.K.'s agency association, the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising. Traditional media budgets were cut for the sixth quarter in a row and have slipped from 37% of total marketing expenditure in 2004 to 33% in 2005. Internet advertising makes up 4% of total U.K. spend. TV and print advertising is expected to pick up strongly-if temporarily-during the World Cup this summer.

David Pattison, chief executive of PHD and president of the IPA, said, "The trend continues of spend moving away from the traditional media areas towards the consumer engagement media of direct marketing and the Internet. Whilst overall growth is predicted for 2006, this growth is at its lowest level since 2002. Consumer spending is slowing and this directly affects our industry." -emma hall

Benatti ends bid for control of FullSix

[rome] Marco Benatti, WPP Group's one-time country manager who was unceremoniously fired in January, has concluded his public offer for control of media company FullSix with a 46.37% stake, leaving him in an uneasy partnership with his former employer. WPP, which retains 26.21% of FullSix shares, could still elect to sell out or challenge Mr. Benatti for control of the company. WPP continues to investigate Mr. Benatti, charging him with using his influence as country manager for personal gain. Mr. Benatti and WPP Group Chief Executive Martin Sorrell have so far this year filed five lawsuits against each other.

Mr. Benatti's stake is large enough to give him control of the company, but not at the 50% threshold that would assure that WPP or another party could not mount a hostile takeover bid. The next deadline to watch: June 30, when FullSix will unveil its board of directors. As the two largest shareholders, Mr. Benatti and WPP will battle to determine each side's representation on the board.

-eric j. lyman

FYI...

publicis groupe confirmed the company is in talks with Duval Guillaume, Belgium's biggest independent ad agency. The Belgian shop, whose clients include Richard Branson's European low-cost airline Virgin Express, Carlsberg beer, Harley-Davidson and Zazoo condoms, opened a New York office in June 2005. On its Web site, Duval Guillaume says it is named after its founders, with no "fruit-scented amphibians, or highly volatile explosives, or yellow cabs with meters," a dig at the StrawberryFrog, Nitro and Taxi agencies from Amsterdam, Shanghai and Toronto respectively that have recently opened U.S. offices.
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