FYI 6.24.2009

Unilever Support Rural Children; Pro Ya Cosmetics Appoints Grey; Taobao and Youku Partner for Video Gallery; Taiwan Beer Hires Bates 141; Ford Launches Driver's Ed Program

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Unilever has partnered with the All-China Women's Federation (ACWF) to support education for Chinese children in rural areas who have been left behind in rural areas by migrant workers. About 58 million children live with grandparents or other relatives because their parents have taken jobs in more industrialized areas like Guangdong, and more than 40 million of them are below age 14.

Unilever and ACWF are organizing family education campaigns for children in ten provinces -- Sichuan, Jiangxi, Guangxi, Hubei, Guizhou, Jiangsu, Guangdong, Hunan, and Anhui. The program will benefit 600,000 families with children, according to Unilever executives in China.

The program includes distribution of telephone cards printed with practical guidance for families, such as encouraging parents make at least one telephone call each week to their child, mail at least one letter per month, send at least one inspiring book every three months, mail a gift on special occasions such as the child's birthday or around examination periods and to return home for a visit at least once per year.

The move is part of Unilever's efforts to expand its business and brands in China's smaller cities and towns, an ambition shared by other multinationals such as Procter & Gamble Co., Kraft Foods, L'Oreal and McDonald's Corp.

Unilever's sales growth has topped 20% since 2005, to 10 billion RMB ($1.47 billion) last year. The company plans to double its sales in China by 2015, according to Alan Jope, who relocated to Shanghai as UnileverÃ…fs chairman, Greater China in April 2009.
Hangzhou Pro Ya Cosmetics Co. has appointed Grey Group's Shanghai office to handle creative for a new brand currently in development. The WPP agency won the business after a credentials presentation and two months of strategic and creative discussions with the Hangzhou-based skin care and cosmetics company about its business.

"Skincare and cosmetics are a growing and promising category in China. Pro Ya is a young and upcoming company in China," said Danny Mok, CEO of Grey's business in Shanghai and Hong Kong. The new product will be marketed in TV, print, outdoor and digital media as well as retail and shopper marketing, but he declined to disclose further information about the new brand's launch.

Established in 2003, Pro Ya sells mid-priced products for Chinese women, particularly in second-tier cities. It has research and development and manufacturing centers in China as well as a national distribution network. Pro Ya is one of the mainland's fastest growing skincare and cosmetic companies, although it has faced allegations in the past about unfair competition and intellectual property protection from foreign marketers such as Japan's Shiseido Co.
The online video-sharing site has created a video gallery feature for merchants on, Alibaba Corp.'s business-to-consumer e-commerce division. The two companies will share revenues generated from this service.

Using Youku's application programming interface, Taobao retailers will be able to showcase their products through an embedded Youku video player in their online stores. When adding new merchandise to the online store, retailers who use the new service will be able to upload video through Taobao's platform, allowing anyone browsing their online stores to watch the video directly on Taobao's product pages.

Online merchants can choose from five, ten, or an unlimited number of video clips on Taobao product pages. The packages range in price from $1.46 to $24.58 per month, respectively.

"Video clips are much more detailed and persuasive than static pictures and text. It's time for us to move to the new stage of online shopping," said Taobao VP Zhang Yu.
Taiwan Tobacco and Liquor Corp., a state-owned manufacturer and distributor of cigarettes and alcohol in Taiwan, has appointed Bates 141 in Taipei to handle strategy, creative, digital and activation for its main brand, Taiwan Beer. Formerly called Takasago Beer, Taiwan Beer is the Taiwan's best-selling beer and a national icon. The win follows a pitch involving 13 agencies including the incumbent, a local agency. Bates 141 works with other local advertisers in Taiwan, such as Uni-President Enterprises Corp., Lian Hwa Foods Corp. and Cosmos Bank.
Ford Motor Co. and its Chinese joint venture, Changan Ford Mazda Automobile Co., have launched Ford's global Driving Skills for Life driver education program in the mainland. Training sessions will be conducted through the end of August at 62 Ford dealerships in 22 Chinese cities, including Beijing, Shanghai, Chongqing and Nanjing. Ford hopes more than 3,000 drivers will participate this year.

The program has been customized for China to reflect the local driving environment and road conditions, and will mix classroom learning and practical training to help increase awareness of safe driving techniques and teach skills to help drivers improve fuel efficiency. As one of the world's fastest growing but newest auto markets, China has a high percentage of first-time car-buyers -- and drivers -- on its roads.

"Road safety is becoming a serious issue in China, and it's one that is very relevant to our business. It's our goal to help cultivate a driving culture that values road safety and environmental protection behind the wheel," said Jeffrey Shen, president of Changan Ford Mazda Auto.

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