Starmedia forced to drop slogan in Brazil

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RIO DE JANEIRO--StarMedia, the Spanish- and Portuguese-language Internet content service, has been prohibited by the Brazilian advertising self-regulatory council CONAR from using the slogan "The number one Internet community in Brazil."

The complaint was initiated by Universo Online, a portal/Internet access provider belonging to the Abril Group. Universo Online backed its claim to the top slot citing numbers audited for it by Ernst & Young showing 450,000 subscribers and 14 million pages accessed a day. Universo Online also claims 70% of the chat audience in the country.

Although StarMedia executives declined to comment on the case, the company issued a statement saying the ruling would be challenged. An appeal is allowed because CONAR's decision was not based on a unanimous decision.

Copyright August 1999, Crain Communications Inc.

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