FYI 7.14.2010

SpongeBob SquarePants Goes Mobile With CCTV; Cartoon Network Launches Virtual Playground in Asia; Charm Hires May Zhang; VW's First Half Sales Rise 45.7%; JWT Will Relocate Peter Rentschler to Shanghai to Run Ford advertising in Asia.

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Viacom's MTV Networks has expanded its agreement with CCTV to provide episodes of Nickelodeon's animated series, "SpongeBob SquarePants," to mobile users in China via the CCTV mobile phone channel. MTV is the first international media company to provide access to content via Chinese government-owned CCTV's television, online and mobile portals. The content is available to the channel's customers with 3G phones.

"Providing viewers the three-screen option to view Nickelodeon's best-known property not only allows us to deliver the world of Bikini Bottom to more Chinese fans, but also marks a significant development in our long-term relationship with CCTV," said Mei Yan, MTV's managing director, China.

"SpongeBob SquarePants" is a top-rated animated program in China reaching over 300 million homes on CCTV1 and CCTV's children's channel, CCTV14. In February 2010, MTV Networks and CCTV launched, a co-branded website offering online streaming of "SpongeBob SquarePants" segments and other content.

Turner's Cartoon Network has launched a virtual playground with its new Cartoon Network Club in Asia/Pacific at the website, The club features include virtual currency in the form of colorful beans that can be redeemed to preview shows, play games and receive discounts on merchandise offered by the Hong Kong-based regional broadcaster.

The club is free and the channel's 2.5 million registered website users get automatic membership, including 300 beans. Kids can earn more beans by finding hidden codes in the TV toon world, entering contests or downloading Cartoon Network games. They can also create a free toon avatar with accessories.

Charm Communications, a joint venture partner of Aegis Media in China, has appointed May Zhang as VP, integrated communication solutions. Previously, she was general manager of McCann Erickson's healthcare marketing division in China. She has also worked at Grey Group and Ogilvy & Mather.
Volkswagen Group and its two joint ventures in China, Shanghai Volkswagen and FAW-Volkswagen, sold 950,278 cars in mainland China and Hong Kong during the first half of 2010, a 45.7% increase from its sales from January to June, 2009.

First-half sales of Volkswagen brand vehicles reached 755,739 units, up by 40.2%, including 21,760 imported vehicles. Audi sold 109,887 vehicles, up 64.3%, including 15,894 imported units. Skoda sold 84,135 cars, up 82.3%. Sales for Bentley and Lamborghini reached 410 and 107 respectively during this period.

JWT will relocate Peter Rentschler to Shanghai, starting Aug. 1, as president, Asia/Pacific and Africa of its Ford business. He is currently exec VP for the agency's Ford business in Detroit. In his new role, Mr. Rentschler will jointly report to JWT President Michael Maedel in Singapore and George Rogers, WPP's global client leader for Ford Motor Co. Mr. Rentschler will succeed Doug Molloy, VP, international account director on Ford, who will return to Detroit as exec VP, director of communications to run retail marketing for Ford, Lincoln and Mercury dealer groups in the U.S.

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