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Interpublic taps Lowe for sports

[new york] Frank Lowe, chairman-CEO of U.K.-based ad agency network Lowe Group, has been named to the additional post of chairman-chief executive of Octagon, the new sports marketing arm of Interpublic Group of Cos. Interpublic bought Advantage International and 60% of API Associates last April.

Guinness shifts to AMV BBDO

[london] Guinness has moved its high-profile $20 million U.K. ad account for its bitter-tasting black stout drink to Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO. The pitch included London agencies HHCL, TBWA Simons Palmer and incumbent Ogilvy & Mather. The move does not affect O&M -- Hong Kong's hold on the Guinness brand in the Asia-Pacific region. However, U.K. observers claim the move was partly due to a deterioration in client-agency relationships in the U.K. where some of the most recent ads caused controversy for the brewer.

Saatchi snares German GM work

[frankfurt] General Motors Corp.'s Adam Opel unit assigned non-roster shop Saatchi & Saatchi Worldwide, Frankfurt, to handle the crucial $50 million Astra relaunch in the German market. In Europe, GM normally relies on two Interpublic networks, Lowe Group in Germany and the U.K. and McCann-Erickson Worldwide in the rest of Europe. In December, however, GM assigned the European Astra relaunch (except for Germany) to small London agency Rainey Kelly Campbell Roalfe.

Pepsi turns profit in Philippines

[manila] Pepsi-Cola Co. increased its market share in the Philippines to 22% from 13% at the end of 1997 after posting record sales in the fourth quarter. The company said Pepsi Philippines, which has perennially lagged Coca-Cola in market share, sold 27 million cases in the three-month period. Pepsi rolled back prices by 40%, launched an aggressive campaign with new Generation X TV commercials and improved distribution. The result was described as a "decent" profit in the second half of 1997, the first in 10 years.

Wieden picks Perry for London office

[london] Wieden & Kennedy has named Mike Perry as the managing director of the London office opening in April. Mr. Perry was previously managing director of Simons Palmer Clemmow Johnson, the London agency that handled Nike's U.K. business which lost the account after merging with TBWA in the U.K. Wieden's London office opens with the $14 million Nike account.

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