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[munich] Bertelsmann's BMG Entertainment International invited three agencies to pitch for the $50 million to $80 million pan-European media account of its record labels. Two of the contenders are London-based Carat and OMD Media. The account previously was handled by up to 12 agencies. BMG Entertainment's offices in London and Munich will make a joint decision by mid-October. BMG Entertainment is the second-strongest unit within the $16 billion media giant, with sales of $4.5 billion.

Hong Kong tourism account goes to FCB

[hong kong] The Hong Kong Tourist Association awarded its $12 million global account to FCB Worldwide. The appointment follows a three-way pitch that also included Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide and Euro RSCG Worldwide. The incumbent was BBDO Worldwide. FCB proposed developing the tourist association's existing "City of Life" campaign by including Internet marketing, direct marketing, and joint marketing efforts with airlines, credit card companies and hotels.

Ford campaign touts its French heritage

[paris] Ford Motor Co. launched a major print campaign to boost its image in the staunchly chauvinistic French auto market. "A major player in French industry" is the main slogan of the $800,000 effort created by Euro RSCG Worldwide. The spreads, running in five daily national newspapers, feature Ford employees describing the company's century-old history in France, its environmental record and its contribution to French industrial development. The campaign resembles a "Made in France" campaign recently launched by McDonald's Corp. in response to anti-U.S. protests by French farmers. Although Ford hasn't suffered similar protests, it did come under attack earlier this year after it dramatically lowered prices to win a contract to supply vehicles to the French government in the first tender ever opened to foreign carmakers.

Indonesia plans campaign to promote tourism

[jakarta] The government of Indonesia, stained by the violence in neighboring East Timor, plans to launch an estimated $1 million tourism marketing campaign to counter negative perceptions about the country. Gede Ardika, director general for tourism, said the country will adopt a "rescue program" early next year. That plan will include a "Come to Indonesia" travel campaign. The basic strategy, Mr. Ardika said, is to isolate the East Timor problem. "East Timor is not the whole of Indonesia," he said. "This country has so many islands. We still have our traditional attractions such as Bali, Lombok and Sulawesi." The government also plans to develop other tourist destinations.

U.S. gum, cigarette, magazine roll on in Russia

[moscow] U.S. corporate giants Wm. Wrigley Jr. Co. and Philip Morris Cos. are taking a bigger stake in the Russian market, as Weider Publications prepares to get Russian women in shape:

* Wrigley is targeting 18-to-25-year-olds with the launch of breath-freshening Air Waves gum. The brand, with a strong aroma of menthol and eucalyptus, is being produced at a newly opened $15 million factory in St. Petersburg. Air Waves hit the U.K. in 1998 and reached Eastern Europe earlier this year. BBDO here is adapting international creative work for an ad campaign.

* Philip Morris Russia and agency Leo Burnett & Moradpour are readying a major campaign to alert Russians that Marlboro will no longer be a foreign-made brand following the opening in December of a $330 million factory in Izhora. Russian production of Marlboro will begin at yearend, said Mark Duerst, president of Philip Morris Russia, and the marketer's other two premium brands, Parliament and Virginia Slims, will be "localized" next year. Anton Molodzov, account manager at the Burnett shop, said Philip Morris will launch a massive promotional campaign at the end of this year. Philip Morris also is grabbing customers' attention with a 20% price reduction, Mr. Duerst said. The price reduction will bring Marlboro in line with local brands, such as B.A.T's Java or R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co.'s Petr1.

* Weider in mid-October is expected to start testing a Russian edition of Shape. The magazine will be aimed at women ages 18-35 who are middle-class consumers with an average monthly income from $500. The plan is for a 96-page magazine with 40 ad pages, but the first issue will contain 20 pages of ads. A page ad is $5,900. Ad contracts have already been signed by Beiersdorf's Nivea, Du Pont Co., Gillette Co., L'Oreal, Reebok International, Unilever and Wm. Wrigley Jr. Co.

Kellogg breaks its first cereal ads in Israel

[tel aviv] Kellogg Co. is launching its first-ever ad campaign in Israel. The cereal giant will put $3 million into the first phase of a multimedia push that broke Oct. 2 through Tamir Cohen. Young TV entertainer Gil Sasover stars in the campaign alongside internationally recognized cereal spokescreature Tony the Tiger. Alexander Jacobs is the sole importer of Kellogg products to Israel. With annual sales of $68.7 million, Kellogg has a 27.5% share of the Israeli breakfast cereal market. Local marketer Telma dominates with 63.5% of the market, and Nestle accounts for the rest. Telma recently launched a campaign using local basketball star Oded Katash to promote Telma corn flakes.

Paris Bourse wants French to take stock

[paris] The French stock market next month will run a $3 million TV campaign to attract individual investors. Created by local agency Alice, the effort is tagged "Yes to individual shareholding." The Paris Bourse, which operates the stock exchange, is masterminding the campaign, to be financed by six of the stock market's top blue-chip companies: services supplier Alstom, chemical giant Rhone Poulenc, utility Suez Lyonnaise des Eaux and banking leaders CCF, Cortal and Credit Agricole. The campaign aims to raise the profile of the stock market and to end what Bourse President Jean-Francois Theodore called a "French cultural rejection" of stock market investments. A follow-up campaign is likely to break next year.

AOL venture brings service to Hong Kong

[hong kong] America Online made its first foray into China through a joint venture with, a struggling Chinese-language portal run by Peter Yip in Hong Kong. The launch of AOL Hong Kong comes on the heels of statements made by China's top telecom official last month supporting a ban on foreign investments in Internet companies in the People's Republic of China. But AOL's first Chinese-language site was designed for Hong Kong customers.

Yu rises in Asian operation of Bates

[hong kong] Jeffrey Yu was named regional president of Bates Asia, from CEO of Bates Hong Kong and regional director of Greater China. Mr. Yu was the first Asian to be appointed managing director at Bates Hong Kong seven years ago, and now is the first Asian to be named president of Bates Asia. He will be responsible for all of Asia except Japan and Korea, which are still under the supervision of David Meredith, regional director of North Asia. The appointment is one of several senior management changes following the decision of Alex Hamill, chairman of Bates Asia-Pacific, to retire from full-time duty next March and the departure of Tony Taylor, regional director-South Asia, to take a senior global account management post at Bates Europe.

Shiseido expands pricey skincare line to Germany

[duesseldorf] Shiseido this month rolls out its premium Cle de Peau Beaute (Key to Beautiful Skin) brand in Germany, three years after it launched in Japan and Taiwan. The products also will be introduced in Italy, South Korea and the U.S. In Germany, the line will be available only in 20 special perfume shops located in big cities, in accordance with Shiseido's marketing strategy to focus on service and trust. Ads will be created in-house and adapted in the various languages.

Coke relies on aliens in Venezuela promotion

[caracas] Coca-Cola Co. is counting on a horde of friendly aliens called Hielocos (Crazy Ice Beings) to boost sales in Venezuela by 10% during September, October and November over the same period last year, said Marketing Manager Maria Ximena Rodriguez. The target audience of 5-to-12-year-olds can trade bottle caps for their favorite Hielocos at 6,000 exchange centers. Leo Burnett Co. handles a $1.5 million, eight-week TV, radio and print campaign backing the promotion. Coca-Cola looks upon the Hielocos, which children avidly swap with friends, not only as an immediate sales incentive but as a way to strengthen the

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