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[toronto] Wolf Group is looking to buy another U.S. agency, just seven months after acquiring Cleveland's Meldrum & Fewsmith. Wolf Group has made a $69 million offer for Arnold Communications, Boston. Wolf Chairman Larry Wolf said both agencies have signed a letter of intent but are still working on specifics of a final deal. Arnold's clients include Volkswagen, Ocean Spray Cranberries and Century 21 real estate. Separately, there was industry talk last week that Arnold CEO Ed Eskandarian was in talks to buy Houston Herstek Favat, Boston. Mr. Eskandarian could not be reached at press time for comment on either situation.

Diesel launching

milk-based fragrance

[milan] BBF Cosmetiques of Lodi is mounting a global print campaign to support the launch of Diesel Plus Plus, a new fragrance duo from Diesel Fragrances. Plus Plus which contains an unusual ingredient, milk, and is also unisex. Produced and distributed by BBF, the products were introduced in the U.K. in September and are rolling out into Austria, Germany, Holland, Italy and Scandinavia. German ad agency Pickl created the global print campaign that broke in the German edition of Vogue in October; it will be rolled out to other European markets. A March 1998 debut is scheduled for the U.S. in Diesel Superstores and department stores, including Bloomingdale's and Macy's.

'The Economist' airs

first European TV spot

[london] The Economist has broken its first TV commercial in continental Europe. Created by London-based Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO, the 60-second spot focuses on the publication's exposes of corruption in various countries. Footage shows copies of The Economist being seized and burnt by government authorities. Voice-over says: "Refused entry into Egypt for exposing police brutality. Snatched from the streets of Nigeria for uncovering misuse of oil revenue." If viewers want to discover the truth about companies and countries, "Get your hands on The Economist-if you can," the voice-over adds. The commercial is airing on CNN Europe, BBC World, European Business News, NBC, CNBC and in-flight on Iberia Air Lines of Spain.

Continental consolidates European media at Zenith

[hanover, germany] Tire producer Continental here has moved its entire pan-European media account, estimated at $22 million, to Zenith Media. Previously, the account had been at 13 agencies across Europe. The business encompasses the company's three brands-Continental, Uniroyal and Semperit. Zenith Media's Frankfurt office will co-ordinate the account.

France eyes levying tax

on direct marketing

[paris] French Socialist MP Jean-Marie Le Guen has proposed an amendment to the Law on Communication to levy a 1% tax on below-the-line print and use the money raised to subsidize the daily and weekly national and regional press. Catherine Trautmann, the minister responsible for communication, is supportive of the proposal, which is now to be presented to the Assemblee Nationale. Direct marketing accounted for 31%, or $7.9 billion, of the total spent on advertising in France in 1996, according to a study by Havas Media Communication. Of the total direct marketing sector, the print portion that would be subject to the new tax accounts for some $7.4 billion.

Frito-Lay Australia promo puts money in packaging

[sydney] Frito-Lay Australia is putting $250,000 in cash into packs of Lay's Thins potato chips as part of a $2 million summer promotion, the first of its kind in Australia. The "Get Cashed Up by the Sun" promotion will be supported by a TV campaign via Young & Rubicam, Sydney, which started Nov. 1. A branding campaign is expected to follow early next year consolidating the Lay's name here as well as a new Thins cheese and onion flavor. Frito-Lay Australia Marketing Manager Jenni Dill said $5, $10 and $20 bills will be inserted, along with a number of $1,000 checks. There will also be a second-chance drawing that will award $20,000.

Australian retailer gives Zenith $75M account

[melbourne] Zenith Media here has won retailing giant Coles Myer's $75 million media buying business following a two-month review. Contenders included four other Melbourne shops: Mitchell & Partners, J. Walter Thompson Co. , Clemenger BBDO and AIS Media. Coles Myer is Australia's biggest advertiser with 13 separate business divisions across a broad range of retailing categories. Coles Myer's size makes it one of the most powerful players in media negotiations. "We, or any company, would be prepared to do it for not a lot of profit because of the value it gives you," said Zenith Managing Director Peter Davey. He added that the win vindicated Zenith's decision to establish its specialist media buying operation in Australia last year.

Canadians marketers

to ban junk e-mail

[toronto] Direct marketers in Canada have introduced new rules to ban junk e-mail and protect consumer privacy on the Internet. New online marketing policies from the Canadian Direct Marketing Association (www.cdma.

org) take effect in January. Under the new industry guidelines, marketers must have consumer consent in order to send unsolicited marketing e-mail, except to their current customers. Also, marketers must tell consumers what information they are gathering and how it will be used. With the opportunities of the Internet come new responsibilities "to ensure consumer acceptance of online marketing," said CDMA President John Gustavson. These "strong and practical standards" are mandatory for the national association's 650 corporate members, which account for 80% of Canada's $8 billion direct marketing industry. The standards "will benefit consumers and help guide the growth of Internet commerce in an effective and responsible way," Mr. Gustavson said.

Mediacom opening up shop in Puerto Rico

[san juan, puerto rico] Grey Advertising has launched MediaCom, its branded media planning and buying service, at its San Juan shop, West Indies & Grey. The agency will immediately implement MaXis, its proprietary media research, strategic planning and reach optimization application developed at MediaCom, New York. In June, MediaCom highlighted its increased regional presence by appointing I.J. Lacayo managing director, Mexico, from the same title at Foote, Cone & Belding, Mexico City. At the same time, it named Michele Votta strategic planning director with MediaCom, Buenos Aires. Ms. Votta was previously a senior account manager with media independent CIA, London. Grey currently handles more than $600 million in regional, media-only billings, and plans to double that figure within the next few years by positioning the company as media agency of record, said Jim Bell, managing director of MediaCom's New York office. Currently, Latin American media clients include Procter & Gamble Co., B.A.T Industries, M&M/Mars and SmithKline Beecham. To date, the only media independents to open Latin American offices are Ammirati Puris Lintas' Initiative Media and Madrid-based media specialist Media Planning.

DMB&B to open Mediavest center in Mexico

[mexico city] D'Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles has made a series of management and operational changes that reflect an increased emphasis on the Mexican and Latin American markets by the U.S.-based network. Santiago Hinojosa, former head of Mexican agency Noble DMB&B, has been promoted to regional director of DMB&B Americas, based in Mexico City. A second regional office will be opened in Sao Paulo. Replacing Mr. Hinojosa as president-CEO of Noble DMB&B is Mark Schaeffer. He rejoins DMB&B from Bromley, Aguilar & Associates, San Antonio, an agency specializing in Hispanic markets, where he was VP-director of client services. Mr. Schaeffer previously worked for DMB&B as the director of DMB&B, Prague. Within the next few weeks, DMB&B will finalize plans for its branded media buying division Mediavest in Mexico City. "We're investing over $1 million in information technology and human resources in Mediavest," Mr. Schaeffer said. " Our only other [international] office is London; this is recognition of the potential of Latin America." The media company will have a staff of 29 people, some of whom are Noble DMB&B media personnel who will be folded into Mediavest.

Weather Channel offers local ads in Latin America

[miami] The Weather Channel Latin America launches a new system that allows its telecasts to offer localized weather forecasts and advertising to individual Latin American cities. The proprietary Weather Star XL system offers advertisers the chance to segment markets geographically within a regional feed. Audiences throughout Latin America will receive up-to-the minute weather information for their city and region, as well as regional and global forecasts. The company said it's the first time a regional telecaster has been able to offer cable operators in Latin America such a localized product. "Agencies and businesses targeting specific cities, or desiring interconnect capabilities, will be able to make advertising buys and place commercials directly with our sales representatives," said Isidro Gonzalez, director of advertising sales for Weather Channel Latin America. In addition, cable operators can insert a crawl of ad text at the bottom of TV screens during local forecasts.

Grand Met, Guinness

to be called Diageo

[london] Guinness and Grand Metropolitan said the new name for their merged company will be Diageo. Tony Greener, Guinness chairman, and George Bull, GrandMet chairman, said, "Every day, all over the world, millions of people enjoy our brands. Based on the Latin word for 'day' and the Greek word for 'world,' Diageo captures what this company is all about." Diageo will comprise four international food and drinks units: UDV, Pillsbury, Guinness Brewing Worldwide and Burger King Corp.

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