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European publishers

fight 5% tax on print

[brussels] European Publishers Council, which represents 27 publishers in Europe, is calling on the European Parliament to support moves to set the value-added tax at 0% on magazines, newspapers, books, new electronic educational and informational CD-ROMs and online services. VAT rates on newspapers, CD-ROMs and magazines currently differ widely-from 0% to 25%. EPC Chairman Frank Rogers says: "We cannot afford a tax on literacy and education-the European Parliament's proposal to impose a 5% VAT on printed publications is a major step backwards in Europe's attempt to educate its workforce."

Cartoon Network eyes Sept. launch in Japan

tokyo] Japan's first 24-hour animation network, Cartoon Network Japan, is being launched on Sept. 1 by Turner Broadcasting System Asia Pacific, trading conglomerate Itochu and Time Warner Entertainment Japan. The channel will be in Japanese and will showcase Japanese and Western animation, including cartoons from Time Warner's animation library.

`Economist' to charge

for Web site access

[london] The Economist is one of the first major European publications to charge visitors to its Web site, launched June 13. The full contents of each week's Economist and a two-year searchable archive of articles are available ( Access will be free to subscribers of the print edition of the paper during 1997. Non-subscribers can buy an annual subscription for $48. The new site will contain advertising from Citibank and IBM Corp.

Saatchi forms unit

for cause-related work

[london] Saatchi & Saatchi Advertising is launching what it claims is the U.K.'s first cause-related marketing unit. Saatchi & Saatchi Cause Connection will be headed by Marjorie Thompson, who joins the agency from Commission for Racial Equality, a Saatchi client. The new unit's brief is to find and establish profitable links between charities and business.

China to ban high-proof

spirits spots from TV

[beijing] A new regulation governing TV commercials for liquor with a high alcohol content is expected to be announced this month, according to Beijing Youth Daily. The new rule will ban TV spots for spirits containing a 40% or greater alcohol content. Commercials for liquor containing less than 40% alcohol will have to get approval from China Distillery Association and China Food Industry Association before they can be broadcast. There will be no changes to liquor ads published in newspapers and magazines. For three years, liquor producers have been the highest bidders for commercial airtime during prime-time TV.

Planned Molson spot

features lesbian kiss

[toronto] Molson Breweries is seeking government approval to air a new TV spot, the first beer commercial to feature a lesbian kiss. In the spot, created by BBDO Canada, a man tries to get the attention of an attractive woman sitting at the bar of an upscale establishment, and has the bartender give her a bottle of Molson Dry. They make eye contact, and as he crosses the floor to join her, she is joined by another woman with whom she shares a lingering kiss. The man sends over a second bottle of beer and the three exchange glances-which could be interpreted to mean the man might have a chance with both of them or that he acknowledges their close relationship. There is no dialogue or voice-over, just music. Theme line at the end of the spot says, "It's not just beer. It's Dry."

IPG's Western buys

stake in Dutch agency

[london] Western International Media Europe-the partnership formed earlier this year involving Interpublic Group of Cos.-owned Lowe Group, Initiative Media Worldwide and Western International Media of the U.S.-has established operations in the Netherlands via the acquisition of a minority share in the Amsterdam-based media specialist, Media Independent. To be renamed Western International Media (Netherlands), the unit becomes Western's second operation, after London. The company employs 22 and has annual billings of $53 million. Clients include Mercedes-Benz (Netherlands) and Hasbro Benelux.

Euro RSCG joins Sara Lee

for Wonderbra, Playtex

[paris] Euro RSCG Worldwide has won the pan-European Playtex and Wonderbra accounts, thereby gaining a major place on Sara Lee Corp.'s roster in Europe. The Wonderbra account was previously led by TBWA/Simons Palmer in London while Saatchi & Saatchi, Rome, handled Playtex. The Playtex account is worth an estimated $17 million, based on Advertising Age calculations. The Wonderbra "Hello boys" ad featuring supermodel Eva Herzigova is one of the most well-known European ads of the 1990s.

Korea's LG Group tries

rural strategy in India

[bombay] South Korean conglomerate LG Group said it will follow a tack different from other multinationals and target India's rural market for its home appliances. LG Electronics India plans to exploit the untapped potential of India's rural economy for its refrigerators, TV sets and washing machines, said Rajeev Karwal, VP-sales and marketing. A plant near Delhi will produce annually 30,000 videocassette recorders, 100,000 air conditioners, 200,000 washing machines, 220,000 audio systems, 400,000 refrigerators and 800,000 color TVs. Handled by Madison DMB&B, Bombay, LG is currently running a print campaign in The Times of India.

Wella tries to break

Chinese of 2-in-1 habit

[beijing] German haircare company Wella is launching a new campaign in beijing to promote its Wella Balsam shampoo and conditioner products. In recent years, combined 2-in-1 shampoo and conditioners such as Procter & Gamble Corp.'s Pantene have become popular in Beijing. Ad asks: "Can you open and close the door at the same time? The answer is clear. Opening and closing the door are two opposite processes, how can they be completed at the same time?"

Argentine ad tax

to fund teachers' pay

[buenos aires] The Argentine government is proposing to introduce a 7% tax on mass-media advertising to boost teachers' salaries. The proposed law would collect an estimated $225 million a year for three years. But the bill is being opposed by various press associations. Argentine Association of Technical & Specialized Press called the plan an attempt to quash freedom of expression, saying, "Once again there are attempts being made to inhibit press freedoms with a tax measure that would have serious effects on the communications industry."

Media independent Carat

pumps up India staffing

[bombay] European media buying specialist Carat Group's newly opened Indian arm is hiring staff from agencies like Ogilvy & Mather and Ammirati Puris Lintas, consulting company KPMG Peat Marwick and Hindustani-language satellite broadcaster Zee Network. The 2-month-old agency next month opens a second office in New Delhi. Owned 75% by London-based Carat Group and 25% by two Indian industrialists, Carat India hopes to break even its second year.

Sports group ISL

opens Beijing office

[hong kong] Global sports event and media marketing company ISL has opened a representative office in Beijing. It will focus on the development of Chinese sporting events and media properties. The office also will promote the group's worldwide sponsorship sales as well as ISL Television sales. David Cantalupo has been named chief representative of ISL Beijing. "In sport after sport we shall witness an increasing commitment on the part of the Chinese sports authorities to restructure the sports system, tap sponsorship, professionalization and commercialization for the resources necessary to raise China's overall competitiveness," he said

McCann adds agency

in western China

[new york] McCann-Erickson Guangming has opened an agency in Chengdu, China. With this new office, McCann claims to be the first international agency to open an office in China beyond Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou. Chengdu is the capital of Sichuan province, which, with a population of 110 million people, is the most densely populated province in China. Among McCann clients that are expanding their marketing efforts in Sichuan are Nestle, Cerebos and Johnson & Johnson.

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