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BBC launches morning radio show in U.S.

[london] BBC World Service is producing a new global news program for Americans driving to work to air on public radio stations. Starting in July, the 50-minute program will be available to more than 500 affiliated stations of Public Radio International. The program, broadcast daily from Bush House in London, will draw on the BBC's worldwide network of correspondents and news bureaus, as well as its existing co-production partnership with PRI and WGBH in Boston, which last year launched the afternoon drive-time program "The World." "About a third of Americans wake up before 6 a.m. each day, including many leaders in government, business and journalism. Public radio reaches these opinion leaders with their first news of the day," said Stephen Salyer, president-CEO of PRI. Stations in New York and Boston have already committed to the program.

DDB pulls out of Optimum Media

[melbourne] DDB has pulled out of fledgling media specialist Optimum Media Direction, leaving Clemenger BBDO as sole owner of the business after legal difficulties with rigid media guidelines over "joint ownership," which prevented some TV networks from extending credit terms to OMD. "We've had to make modifications to the ownership of OMD to accommodate our ability to establish lines of credit with the media," said Ron Bartlett, OMD's chief executive.

JWT Europe forms unit to take Kellogg's $250 mil

[london] J. Walter Thompson Co. is setting up a separate media-buying unit for another major client. Kellogg Europe Media will be a wholly owned subsidiary of JWT, exclusively staffed as agency of record for Kellogg Europe. The breakfast cereal marketer has consolidated its media buying previously held by six companies into a single account worth an estimated $250 million. Kellogg Europe Media will be responsible for media buying and implementation planning. Strategic media planning will continue to be managed at the country level and will be shared by Kellogg's two creative agencies, Leo Burnett Co. and JWT. In April, JWT created Ford Motor Media to handle $1.1 billion in U.S. media buying across the Ford Motor Co. car brands: Ford, Lincoln, Mercury, Jaguar and Mazda. JWT already handled media buying for the Ford brand, and the holding company gave the new 40-person JWT media unit the business for the other car brands. Kellogg Media Europe is expected to be fully operational in 90 days. Carat, which handled about 20% of the business, is hardest hit by the change.

Saudi prince takes stake in Cordiant

[london] The Saudi investor who helped Euro Disney avoid bankruptcy has acquired a 3% stake in Cordiant, the group that owns Saatchi & Saatchi Advertising Worldwide and Bates Worldwide. Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud's shares in Cordiant, valued at about $27.5 million, are a major vote of confidence in Cordiant's ambitions to split into three operations. The break-up will lead to stock exchange listings in London and New York for Saatchi & Saatchi and Bates. Both will jointly own Zenith Media Worldwide, Cordiant's media-buying operation.

Kellogg brings Frosties cereal to India

[bombay] Kellogg Co. has expanded its product line in India with the launch of Frosties, its fifth introduction in 21/2 years. The sugar-frosted corn flakes, identified by Kellogg's Tony the Tiger mascot, will target youths ages 11 to 19. Kellogg will "continue efforts to strengthen the [Indian] breakfast cereal market and raise awareness of the benefits of eating a healthy breakfast every day," Denis Avronsart, managing director of Kellogg India, said. Hindustan Thompson Associates, Bombay, handles.

Bensimon Byrne links to DMB&B in Toronto

[toronto]D'Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles is merging its office here with independent agency Bensimon Byrne to form Bensimon Byrne/DMB&B. Jack Bensimon becomes president and Peter Byrne becomes chief creative officer of the new agency.

India's Internet back accepting users

[bombay]India's international telecommunications monopoly is to accept new subscribers to its Internet service once again, months after it closed its books due to the system's inability to cope with increased traffic. Bombay-based Videsh Sanchar Nigam, a state-run enterprise, said its Gateway Internet Access Services will offer connections to its text-only and graphics accounts. The marketer will follow the international standard of allocating one phone line for 15 subscribers to its Net service. The revamped set up is expected to avoid the frequent system shutdowns experienced by Gateway due to inadequate phone lines and the main server's inability to cope. The Internet, however, has failed to excite Indians. For a country with 17 million phone lines, India boasts only 30,000 Net users via the Gateway service, currently the sole Net access provider.

Saatchi & Saatchi pokes fun at M&C U.K. defeat

[london]Saatchi & Saatchi Advertising took advantage of the landslide defeat of the Conservative Party in the U.K.'s general election to parade an ad around London poking fun at rival M&C Saatchi. The poster showed John Major, the former prime minister who lost the election, with his head in his hands and the caption: "John. Look what happens when you change advertising agencies."

Clothing empire plan falls apart at seams

[milan]The Marzotto and Gemina HPI merger to create a clothing and textile colossus has been canceled due to "irreconcilable differences." Marzotto's board voted unanimously to call off the deal to form Gruppo Industriale Marzotto, a company that would have had sales of more than $4.7 billion and a stable of top names including Hugo Boss, Giorgio Armani, Valentino, Calvin Klein and Gianfranco Ferre.

Disney operations expanding in India

[bombay] Walt Disney Co. is looking to expand its Indian operations and is negotiating to increase its stake in local joint venture Walt Disney Consumer Products India. Disney seeks to increase its current 51% interest in the Indian joint venture with K.K. Modi Group, a 49% shareholder. A wholly owned subsidiary may be considered, too. The entertainment giant also plans to launch the Disney Channel in India, beaming round the clock to the subcontinent via a satellite uplink from Singapore.

China consumers reject exec-presenter ads

[beijing] Chinese consumers don't like ads that use company bosses to promote their products, according to a new report. Guangzhou Dameng Information Industry Co.'s survey of 2,411 families (6,408 people) in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Shenzhen found that the highest number of people-29.9%-believe ads that demonstrate consumers recognizing the products. Ads that promise a refund if the products are not as described convince 27.4% of those surveyed. But a mere 2.2% find ads that use company bosses as the focus persuasive.

Court upsets plan for Sri Lanka media

[colombo, sri lanka] The Sri Lankan government's attempt to tighten control over local radio and TV networks has been thwarted by an adverse ruling from the South Asian island nation's Supreme Court. The court ruled parts of the Broadcast Authority bill were inconsistent with the freedoms granted by the country's constitution. Parliament was told to muster a two-thirds majority approval, followed by a nationwide referendum on the issue. The bill sought to empower the government with the right to issue one-year licenses to broadcasters that were renewable only at the state's discretion. Besides angering the media, which said this was a reversal of the government's 1994 promise to free media from state curbs, the move also upset opposition political parties.

Spanish fast-food chain to enter U.S., U.K.

[barcelona] Spanish Agrolimen is to double the number of its Pans & Co. 'Bocadillo' (filled rolls) fast-food units to 200 over the next three years, with expansion planned into the U.S., the U.K. and Germany. Agrolimen said it is in negotiations with potential local partners to introduce the chain to the U.S., U.K. and German markets.

Toyota Australia moves account to Media Shop

[sydney]Toyota Australia has moved its $16 million-plus media account and promotional work from Mojopartners to a new independent agency, Media Shop, wholly owned by Warren Hill, a former Mojo partner who handled Toyota's media business for 10 years. Mojopartners will continue to handle rate negotiations through its buying arm. Nicholas Davie, Mojopartners managing director, said that Toyota and Mr. Hill want to be perceived in the marketplace as an

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