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[london] McCann-Erickson Worldwide landed Microsoft Corp.'s $50 million pan-European account to run a business solutions campaign. The account will be lead by McCann's London office, coordinating with other McCann offices in Europe. In June, Microsoft consolidated its U.S. account with McCann-Erickson/ A&L, San Francisco.

Ericsson calls Publicis for global ad work

[stockholm] Swedish telecom giant Ericsson appointed Publicis as a lead agency on its global ad business. Grant Duncan, managing director of Publicis in London, and Joanna Baldwin, the network's VP-international development, led the Ericsson pitch. Publicis has worked with Ericsson in Sweden since 1980. The agency's global mission will be to raise awareness of Ericsson among international company chiefs as a leading provider of network operator services and enterprise business solutions. Ericsson said it will continue to work with local agencies on ongoing projects but new projects will be started with Publicis.

Mercedes drives A Class into Latin America

[miami] Mercedes-Benz launched a multimillion-dollar Latin and Caribbean campaign for its A Class, as the lower-price auto line enters its second regional market after being introduced in Europe last year. The TV and print campaign from Bates USA South Worldwide is aimed at an aspirational young market, using the theme "A dream come true." The campaign will break on regional cable channels such as CNN International and ESPN, and on local TV in the main markets. The TV campaign will be supported by print and cinema ads in some markets.

Shiseido to acquire salon brands of Bristol-Myers

[tokyo] Shiseido plans to acquire nine salon brands from U.S.-based Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. The brands being acquired include DeAge, Salon Formula and Waves. Shiseido will use the deal to strengthen its salon business in the hair-coloring field, and Bristol-Myers Squibb will focus on its other consumer business in Japan. The Japanese cosmetics marketer will focus on cultivating DeAge, the main business pillar of the Bristol-Myers Squibb salon business. The DeAge brand mainly consists of hair-color products. Currently, Shiseido's Salon Business Division markets numerous products for professional use and retail sale, mainly in Japan, but it has had no strong, main brand for salon-use hair coloring.

DreamWorks' French push for 'Prince' hits $6.5 mil

[paris] Steven Spielberg's DreamWorks studio planned the largest videocassette release campaign in French history around the Oct. 20 launch of its first animated feature, "The Prince of Egypt." The $6.5 million campaign, handled by Amazonie for distributor CIC Video France, tops the $6 million push that accompanied the launch of "Titanic" on video last year. Industry sources say the campaign also will outpace the ongoing effort surrounding the recent French video release of Walt Disney Co.'s "Mulan." DreamWorks hopes the wide-ranging ad campaign -- which includes outdoor, print, radio and TV -- will push the French video release toward its eventual goal: 1.5 million cassettes sold, for total revenue of $25 million by yearend.

Pasteur Institute gives approval to Mr. Clean

[paris] Procter & Gamble Co. relaunched an anti-bacteria version of its top-selling Mr. Clean brand that now bears a mark of approval from France's world-renowned Pasteur Institute. The relaunch, via Mr. Clean agency Grey Advertising, marks the first time P&G has used a Pasteur Institute endorsement in product advertising. The institute, famous for developing the polio vaccine among other scientific discoveries, agreed last August to work with P&G for the next five years on research projects aimed at improving the safety of cleansers, detergents and other products, as well as in the creation of new products. The new Mr. Clean, initially launched this summer, is now billed as the first cleaning product capable of cleaning and disinfecting a surface and then keeping it free of bacteria for up to 24 hours. A Pasteur Institute "seal of approval" figures prominently on new Mr. Clean product packaging, and the institute's scientists declare in a 10-second TV spot that the new Mr. Clean was "tested with success" in its Paris laboratories.

NTV channel reaches Russian speakers in U.S.

[moscow] NTV, Russia's second-largest national TV channel, and sister company NTV Plus are targeting Russian-speaking viewers in the U.S. with the launch of their Echostaress satellites. "U.S. Russians will now have a universal outlet to get objective and balanced information in their language about what's happening in their home country and around the world," said Andrei Kolossovsky, vice chairman of Media Most, the Russian media company affiliated with NTV. NTV also will "keep them in touch with history, modern trends, culture and the arts in Russia." NTV is targeting almost a million Russian-speaking households in the U.S. Customers will be charged $25 a month for a combined NTV and NTV Plus package broadcast from Russia. No advertising will be carried in the first few weeks.

Coke ties marketing to Indian festival

[mumbia, india] Coca-Cola Co. is launching an aggressive multimedia campaign in India in time for the Diwali festival season. Called "Coca Cola Hum Saath Saatch Hain" ("We're Together"), the campaign revolves around Diwali themes such as family, togetherness, gift giving and shopping. The campaign includes a new TV commercial promoting family togetherness. There's also a promotion in which all Coke bottle caps will carry a scrambled message that can only be read through a magic window encoder to be distributed with every bottle. Some caps will carry prizes.

Octagon's stake in RTA boosts Asian presence

[london] Octagon, the sports marketing consultancy owned by Interpublic Group of Cos., struck its first partnership in Southeast Asia with Singaporean sports marketing and public relations consultancy RTA. Octagon took a substantial minority stake in the company, which will be renamed Octagon RTA. Founded in 1991 by Managing Director Rose Tan, RTA will continue to operate under its existing management. RTA represents regional events such as the ATP tour, Heineken Open and Tiger Cup (the FIFA-sanctioned soccer tournament in Asia). The agency has also worked with a number of international sports federations and local government affiliates.

Carat opens in Taiwan through joint venture

[taipei, taiwan] Carat Asia Pacific opened an office in Taiwan through a joint venture with United Advertising, part of United Communications Group, the country's largest diversified communication services company. Carat United will provide an extended range of media services to all United Advertising companies as well as other local agency groups. The joint venture in Taiwan represents a major step in Carat's efforts to expand across Asia. Carat now has equity operations in seven Asian markets -- Australia, Hong Kong, India, Malaysia, Philippines, Taiwan and Thailand -- with billings of more than $370 million. Carat will open additional offices by yearend in China, Japan, New Zealand and Singapore, said Carat Regional Director Alex Abplanalp in Hong Kong.

Grey beefs up marketing prowess in Mexico

[mexico city] Grey Mexico added three new businesses -- Grey Direct, Grey Interactive and G2 -- to its family of integrated marketing services. "This decision reflects what the market wants: integration of services, specialization and consistent strategy," said Grey Mexico President Rodolfo Rubio. Grey Advertising, public relations arm Group GCI and media buying group MediaCom already operate in Mexico. G2 is the company's promotions arm and will focus on

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