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[brussels] Toyota Europe is planning to invite agencies to pitch for an estimated $40 million account for its Lexus prestige marque. Agency sources say that Toyota has been talking to the Paris and London offices of FCB Worldwide, Leo Burnett Co., Paris, and the London and Paris offices of Saatchi & Saatchi. It is understood that Wensauer & Partner, which has opened an office in Brussels exclusively for Lexus, will also be invited to pitch. Toyota Europe did not return calls to comment.

Unilever launching lighter Dove in Brazil

[rio de janeiro] Unilever has chosen Brazil as its global launch market for the light version of its Dove soap. The new version, containing more moisturizer, will be backed by an ad campaign through Standard/ Ogilvy & Mather, Sao Paulo. The ads, to be adapted in future markets, feature men talking about their partners' soft skin. The state of Parana in the south of Brazil will be the launch market.

France bans spot for Amnesty Int'l

[paris] French advertising watchdog BVP (Bureau de Verification de la Publicite) has banned a TV spot from human rights organization Amnesty International arguing that the 60-second ad could harm U.S.-French relations. The banned ad, created free of charge by the French arm of Bates Worldwide, uses a conventional advertising icon -- a pair of jeans -- to highlight police brutality and prison conditions in the U.S. The main French TV stations and the two main cinema advertising networks have agreed to comply with the ruling. But officials from France's Supreme Audiovisual Council, which has final control over the nation's airwaves, have condemned the censorship, pointing out that there is nothing in French media law to back BVP's decision.

Chinese TV stations still must address Y2K

[hong kong] A big question mark hangs over the ability of TV stations in the People's Republic of China to function effectively in the new millennium, according to a survey by Zenith Media. A significant number of TV stations have not sufficiently tested for Y2K compliance, according to interviews with managers of 177 mainland stations. Severe disruptions to advertising schedules potentially await marketers after Jan. 1. According to the survey, a third of respondents have not yet tested for Y2K computer bugs.

JWT joins finalists for Euro bank account

[paris] J. Walter Thompson Co. has joined the final pitch for the European Central Bank's $30 million-to-$50 million account to explain the new euro currency in the European Union and eastern Europe. JWT, alongside its WPP Group-owned partner, PR network Hill & Knowlton, made final presentations to the European Central Bank in competition with Publicis Conseil/Publicis Consultants, and Young & Rubicam/Burson-Marsteller, according to a spokeswoman at JWT in Paris.

Bozell parts with Labatt Breweries

[toronto] True North Communications' Bozell, Toronto, has ended an eight-year relationship with Labatt Breweries North America, losing two pieces of business to Lowe Lintas & Partners, Toronto, and sister Interpublic Group of Cos. agency Palmer Jarvis DDB, Toronto and Vancouver. Lowe Lintas adds the Carlsberg account to its existing Labatt Blue business, while Palmer Jarvis DDB picks up the Budweiser business. Bozell lost the business following the recent merging of parts of Bozell into FCB Worldwide. FCB handles the Coors beer brand in the U.S.

Ford returns to advertising in Russia

[moscow] Following a virtual halt in advertising this year in Russia, Ford Motor Co. is preparing to launch two separate campaigns through Young & Rubicam, Moscow. Ford's advertising this year has been minimal, according to researcher Gallup AdFact. The first campaign to break on Nov. 15 is for the Focus marque, according to a spokeswoman for the U.S. auto company. A corporate campaign is likely to break at the end of December.

Lego gives Euro biz to BMZ/FCA unit

[munich] Lego is moving its central European media account to BMZ/FCA's More Media, Munich, from MediaVest, the media specialist owned by MacManus Group. Lego has not confirmed whether it will also review its western Europe media business. Earlier this year, the Danish toy company moved its creative account in Germany from D'Arcy Hamburg to TBWA International, Munich.

Modem adapts U.S. ads for debut in Asia

[hong kong] Modem Media-Poppe Tyson, an e-commerce specialist, is planning to roll out a local adaptation of its U.S. campaign across Asia in early 2000. Advertising will target e-business decisionmakers, particularly in companies with a strong customer focus. "We have not yet settled on the media schedule, but our main focus would be on Hong Kong, Singapore, Taiwan, Japan and maybe China," said G.M. O'Connell, chairman-CEO of Modem Media-Poppe Tyson.

P&G India expands cause marketing

[bombay] Even as it faces tough times in key categories here, Procter & Gamble Co. continues to roll out initiatives in cause-related marketing. From November through January, P&G will operate its "Open Minds" program in tandem with Unicef in an effort to bring working children into school. For every purchase of a large pack of Vicks Vaporub, Whisper, Ariel Power Compact detergent, Head & Shoulders and Pantene shampoos, P&G will donate the cost of one day's education for a working child.

U.K. publishers cheer stay of tobacco ad ban

[london] The U.K.'s Periodical Publishers' Association has welcomed the High Court's decision to suspend a proposed tobacco advertising ban until a ruling by the European Court of Justice next year. The U.K. health department was planning to introduce a blanket ban on print and outdoor tobacco advertising from Dec. 10, well ahead of the European Union deadline of July 2001.

Coca-Cola partners with ISP for Hong Kong promo

[hong kong] Swire Coca-Cola HK has partnered with Hong Kong's second largest Internet service provider, City Telecom, to promote Yeung Gwong among the local youth market. Yeung Gwong, the Cantonese name for Hi-C, is the brand name for a range of products, including teas, juice drinks and soya milks. Through the instant-win promotion, purchasers of a six-pack of Yeung Gwong lemon tea drink, a popular drink among teen-agers, can win prizes ranging from iMac computers to free Internet access through Dec. 15.

M&C Saatchi opens online consultancy

[london] M&C Saatchi is rolling out a new e-commerce service to clients. EMCSaatchi will include Web and platform design, back-end development, distribution advice and consultancy. Nick Hurrell, joint chief executive of M&C Saatchi, will be the consultancy's new chairman.

Toyota will launch Soling in Philippines

[manila] Toyota Motor Corp. is to roll out in 2000 a major ad campaign for the launch of its Soling model in the Philippines. Ace Saatchi & Saatchi will handle

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