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Readers Digest calling. In a new strategic alliance, Avon ladies will offer Reader's Digest with lipstick and moisturizer. Avon has just started adding its personal touch to magazine sales in Canada, with Brazil, Australia, New Zealand and France to follow in the coming months. Avon gets to use the huge Reader's Digest database to direct mail Avon brochures.

Cuba invites invaders over. The Cuban government, an advertiser with a sense of humor, is promoting tourism with irreverent print and radio ads in Brazil by DM9 in SÌo Paulo. Says DM9 art director Tomas Lorente: "People have ideas about Cuba that are mostly full of prejudice and ignorance." Ad slogans include "Do what eight [U.S.] presidents were not able to: Invade Cuba" and "Catholics and Protestants: Visit the godless." Right, Tomas, that's the way to end prejudice and ignorance.

India is not PepsiCo Foods International's lucky market. After a nationalist campaign against its division's two Indian outlets shuttered one store temporarily, plans to spend $40 million to open 30 Pizza Huts in India by 2000 are stalled in a court battle with a local company called ....Pizza Hut. Undeterred, rival McDonald's still plans to take on India-with a culturally sensitive McVeggie burger instead of beef.

Will 1996 be the year London agency Bartle Bogle Hegarty has to open its first office outside the U.K.? By June 1996, BBH's group development director Charles Garland estimates international business will account for 46% of BBH's revenue, up from 34% a year earlier and 7% five years ago.

Before paying for an airline ticket, try winning one. First the International Herald Tribune sent Paddy Douneen, group head at media buyer Mediastar, on a round-the-world business-class trip for guessing the countries of origin of six food-laden breakfast tables. This month Reader's Digest is quizzing a mailing list of 2,600 advertising decision-makers in Europe on fun facts about Reader's Digest; the winner flies to New York. And mobile phone giant Nokia, sponsor of "The Tonight Show With Jay Leno" on NBC Super Channel, has logged 14,000 responses-including 4,000 e-mails-to its Dream Call competition. The winner joins Jay's studio audience-in Los Angeles.

The James Bond of advertising? In a new creative espionage service, World Writers' Simon Anholt is offering international marketers creative audits of their advertising. Marketers are signing up to double-check their ad agencies' creative processes and snoop on rivals' creative strategies.

When are cookies homemade? A French court heeded rival Danone's complaint and ruled that consumers are being misled by Campbell Biscuits Europe's cookie brand name Biscuit Maison Delacre into believing that packaged, supermarket cookies are really homemade. A defiant Olivier Lecoeur, CBE's French marketing director, says CBE is appealing last month's ruling and launching more Maison cookies in early 1996. If anyone needs a name change, we think it's Danone, whose cookies sell under the unappetizing brand name Boogy.

Contributing to this column: Mir Maqbool Alam Khan, Bombay; Paul Meller, Brussels; Claudia Penteado, Rio de Janeiro.

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