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[tokyo] Lowe & Partners Worldwide, New York, Lowe Group's main agency network, is launching an agency in Japan in a partnership Standard Advertising, the country's No. 25 agency. Lowe & Partners/Standard, in which Lowe will hold a minority stake, completes the agency network's global expansion plans. Fumio Sekine moves to president-CEO of Lowe & Partners/Standard from VP at Standard. With an initial staff of 20, the agency launches with estimated billings of $25 million from Standard clients including Fujitsu and Mitsubishi Electric and Lowe clients Hong Kong & Shanghai Banking Corp. and Sun Microsystems.

Nations grapple with ad bans

[brussels and jakarta] Prospects for TV ad bans appear to be strengthening in Europe while suffering a major setback in Asia. The European Commission's legal action begun in 1994 to force Greece to lift its ban against toy ads on TV may be shelved at a July 15 meeting. "According to commission procedures, if a case has been on the books for three years and officials find no new details to the affair to continue, an investigation is dropped," said a spokesman for Greek Commissioner Christos Papoutis. "Greece is not pushing for closure of the case, and it is up to [Commissioner Mario] Monti to decide whether to continue with an investigation or not." If Greece's ban is allowed to continue, there are concerns it could spread to other member countries, particularly in the Nordic region. In Indonesia, the government lifted an almost 20-year-old ad ban on state-run Televisi Republik Indonesia, allowing the national channel to generate more revenue amid a shrinking state budget.

Philippines gets auction Web site

[manila] The first Philippine auction Web site, PhilAuctions.com, has been launched, patterned after the U.S.' eBay. PhilAuctions.com will serve as a venue for Filipinos who want to go online to buy and sell goods, said an official at AK-Asia Services Corp., which runs the Web site. The site is receiving an average of 50,000 hits a day. PhilAuctions.com is planning to launch a major national ad campaign.

Van Swaaij spearheads eBay in Europe

[london] Michael van Swaaij was named to the new post of European VP at eBay, as the auction Web site expands in that region. He comes to eBay from regional managing director of AOL Europe. At eBay, Mr. van Swaaij will be responsible for Belgium, France, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Scandinavia and U.K. He will continue to work closely with AOL Europe as part of the $75 million global strategic

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