FYI 09.24.08

CCTV Will Raise Rates; H&K Hires Gu Lufeng, Former Head Of ESPN Star Sports; Tudou Launches High-Definition Programming; GroupM appoints CCTV veteran Sharon Shen; L.L.Bean Opens First Chinese store in Beijing

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The economic crisis affecting the U.S. hasn't fazed China's state-run national broadcaster. China Central Television will raise its rates slightly in 2009, according to R3, a media and marketing consultancy based in Beijing.

Advertising time on CCTV-1 will increase 5%-10%, but other CCTV channels will increase up to 30%, said Xia Hongbo, the director of CCTV's advertising department, at an information meeting attended by media buyers on on Sept. 19.
CCTV's advertising auction is held every year on Nov. 18 at the broadcaster's headquarters in Beijing
CCTV's advertising auction is held every year on Nov. 18 at the broadcaster's headquarters in Beijing Credit: Normandy Madden
The higher rates will go into effect at this year's annual auction for advertising time on CCTV's stable of channels, which is held every year on Nov. 18, in Beijing.

This November, CCTV will sell prime time advertising time for the 2009 calendar year. The new ad rates will be go into effect on Jan. 1, 2009.

CCTV will offer product placement opportunities as part of the auction for the first time, said Emma Zhao, an R3 consultant in Beijing. CCTV will create content on each channel that is specially made for particular marketers, called "contracted media resources."
Hill & Knowlton has appointed the former managing director of ESPN Star Sports in China, Gu Lufeng, as deputy general manager.

Gu Lufeng
Gu Lufeng
He will oversee the operations of the PR company's Shanghai office, spearhead new business development and act as a strategic media counselor to marketers in China.

Before Mr. Gu joined ESPN Star Sports, a joint venture between ESPN and News Corp.'s Star Group in Asia, he was a VP at Viacom's MTV China.

He began his career in journalism at the English news department of Radio Shanghai in 1987, and later served as deputy news director of the Shanghai Broadcasting Network.
The Shanghai-based online video publisher,, has released a beta version of Hei Dou (which means black bean in Chinese] at Hei Dou provides a high-definition version of entertainment programming on three channels for TV series, movies, and variety shows, respectively.

Hei Dou's content portfolio, which currently has over 10,000 programs, is broadcast with full copyright permission, said Dan Brody, Tudou's VP, business development, and does not require additional software by the user.

Tudou's founder and CEO, Gary Wang, said the name Hei Dou has two meanings. First, the site's page design uses a black background to make it appear more like a movie theater experience. Hei Dou also has the same initials as high-definition.
GroupM has hired Sharon Shen in Beijing as national managing director of its Maxus media buying division in China. Ms. Shen has spent the last 14 years at China Central Television (CCTV), most recently as national account director, specializing in financial services, insurance and automotive brands.
The U.S. retailer L.L.Bean will open its first Chinese store in Beijing's Solana Mall at the end of this month. It will be operated through a joint venture between L.L.Bean and South Korea's Youngone Corp. Solana Mall is an open-air lifestyle shopping center located in Chaoyang Park.

The store's opening will mark the first time products made by L.L.Bean, a leading retailer of quality outdoor gear and apparel, will be available directly to consumers in China. The Beijing shop measures about 3,000 sq. ft. and is the first of five L.L.Bean stores scheduled to open this year in the mainland.

"Throughout China there is a growing interest in participating in outdoor and recreational activities," said Chris McCormick, president-CEO of L.L.Bean in Freeport, ME. "This is an area we have been studying for some time as we've considered ways to expand our international presence and diversify our business."

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