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[belgrade, yugoslavia] Bates Saatchi & Saatchi Balkans plans to launch an agency in Kosovo in the next few months, making it the first international network to open a shop in the ravaged Yugoslav province. Though Saatchi and Bates Worldwide are separate networks in most of the world, in some Central and Eastern European countries they operate as a joint agency. The new shop is likely to be based in the Kosovo capital of Pristina. Bates Saatchi & Saatchi Balkans currently handles some communications work for NATO's SFOR military unit in Bosnia, and said it hopes to do work in a similar vein for KFOR in Kosovo. Asked whether Kosovo could support an ad agency, Bates Saatchi & Saatchi Vice Chairman Ivan Stankovic referred to an old marketing fable in which two people are sent to Africa to look for business prospects: "One comes back saying, 'There's no business -- everyone is barefoot,' and the other says, 'There's great potential -- nobody has shoes.' . . . We see Kosovo as having that potential."

Toyota enlists Ammirati for Euro role

[brussels] Toyota Motor Europe Marketing & Engineering named Ammirati Puris Lintas, Paris, as its agency for central creative communications, a newly created role. At the strategic level, Ammirati will work on brand strategy, and on the product level, it may handle the launches of niche, non-core products. The appointment won't affect the relationships national Toyota distributors have with local agencies. Saatchi & Saatchi works with distributors in the U.K., France and several central European markets. Worldwide, Saatchi works with Toyota in 31 countries, and the Japanese carmaker is Saatchi's second-biggest client. Previously, Toyota Europe worked informally with a number of agencies centrally on Europewide assignments, including Saatchi, London. Asked whether the assignment is a move toward consolidating all Toyota advertising in Europe, Andy Pfeiffenberger, general manager for brand communications, said: "At this stage it's not being considered."

'South Park' soars Down Under

[sydney] "South Park" condoms will be the next product line to spring from the animated TV series, which has sparked a merchandising boom in Australia. A deal with a major condom marketer is expected by mid-August, said Haven Licensing General Manager Yvonne King. The deal would be one of 30 contracts brokered by Haven Licensing, which sells rights to "South Park" on behalf of U.S. creator Comedy Central. Other "South Park" products range from mobile-phone voice-mail from Vodaphone to Snack Brands Australia's Cheesy Poofs. "South Park" merchandise hit Australian shelves last year, selling $50 million worth of

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