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Chinese Catch-22. To get a publishing license in China, a state-owned partner helps. Then the partner destroys the magazine. Elle rival Madame Figaro pulled the plug on a new Chinese edition after three issues when its local partner insisted the maleChinese finance minister grace the front cover of the women's fashion book. Despite ad pages sold through mid-96, Madame Figaro's Matthew Farrar says, "We couldn't do that to our international advertisers."

A tip for speakers: when giving a speech being translated into Arabic, DON'T throw in slang like "licking his lips in anticipation" of market growth. International Data Corp.'s Doug McLeod did-and unexpectedly got a big laugh in Cairo. The Arabic-speaking audience heard "sucking his moustache."

Chimps, the sequel. After PepsiCo's global commercial featuring chimps in a lab testing Pepsi and Coca-Cola started a craze in Brazil for chimp-studded soft drink spots, Pepsi's local marketing director Flavio Maria created a sequel for Brazil alone. In the new spot, the Coke-drinking chimp performs dexterity tests competently, while the life-of-the-party Pepsi chimp sambas through carnival, enjoying success with young women.

International Data Group is finally plugging the biggest gap in its global PC World product line by buying U.K. magazine PC Advisor, a runaway success started seven months ago by Steve Bennett, owner of leading U.K. direct mail software company Software Warehouse, and his sister Jaine, who stays on as ad sales director. IDG has been slow to compete in the overcrowded U.K. computer publishing market, which has more PC titles per information technology user than any other country.

Non-smokers should stay out of South Korea, home of the world's heaviest smokers. South Koreans each puff an average 2,216 cigarettes a year, according to U.K. research company Euromonitor. Taiwan, Singapore and the Philippines rank next, when Singaporeans can spare time from shopping for TV sets to light up. They buy 180 TV sets and 167 VCRs per 1,000 people a year, compared to only 1 TV set sold per 1,000 Pakistanis.

Salomon Bros. is entering the hot field of European media research, poaching Merrill Lynch & Co.'s top team of Richard Dale, David Forster and Ivor Jones, whose work experience includes running a toy factory in Sri Lanka.

Germans have rules for everything, including how much a TV listings magazine can cost. Gruner & Jahr fell afoul of Germany's odd don't-cut-prices-temporarily rule when its ailing TV Today magazine slashed its cover price from $1.65 to 70 to boost circulation. The story so far: one local German court has issued an injunction and another local court has rejected the injunction.

Latest tacky publicity stunt from cable TV: Live TV, the U.K. cable channel that airs a daily program called Topless Darts (featuring women in bikini bottoms) shot on an Australian beach, has one of its staffers, the News Bunny, running for Parliament. The newsroom employee, who only appears on camera in a rabbit costume, is changing his name legally to News Bunny.

From the people who bring you guns: Italian arms maker Beretta has named Bates Worldwide in Milan to an international campaign for a line of clothing to wear while shooting things.M

Contributing to this column: Dagmar Mussey, Dusseldorf; Claudia Penteado, Rio de Janeiro.

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