McCann-Erickson has added an agency specialising in the financial sector, Valefi, to its French operations. It will be headed by Philippe Meilhan and Marie-France Alexandre, who join from EURO RSCG Finances and Omnium respectively.

Abbey National, the British bank, has launched a campaign in France to sell home loans direct. A 20-minute video cassette is being sent to the 20,000 people who have replied to the company’s press ads since February. Abbey National’s above-the-line account in the country was recently awarded to BL/LB.

Euroquest, the international research network, is launching Youth TGI Europe, a single-source tool offering agencies and advertisers marketing information about 11 to 19-year-olds in France, the UK, Germany, Holland and Italy.

BBDO has taken a 40 per cent stake in Leonhardt & Kern, a Stuttgart agency. Majority ownership remains with the agency’s founders and the name will be retained.

Orion, the European media buying network, is to be dissolved following the management buyout of Debis Marketing Services, the network’s key member.

Lee Jeans (right), Philip Morris and Bayer are among the companies said to be showing interest in ‘Trimage’, a new technique devel-oped in Italy which allows 3D poster and print advertising to be produced and viewed without the need for special glasses.

Danone has signed a deal with the organising committee of football’s World Cup 1998, to become an official supplier. The list of partners, Crédit Agricole, EDS, France Telecom, Hewlett-Packard, Manpower, La Poste and Sybase, is now complete.

Telepi£, the private pay-per-view TV station, is to install 20,000 decoders in restaurants and other public places in Italy. The move will facilitate a quick uptake of Telepi£’s digital TV programming, which includes exclusive live rights to Serie-A soccer matches.

Germany’s edition of Wired, the Internet magazine, has hit problems. Partners Wired Ventures, Spiegel and Gruner & Jahr cannot reach agreement over content, and the latter two may now develop their own concept.

Simons Palmer Clemmow Johnson, the UK agency, has opened offices in Frankfurt and Paris to service the Sony PlayStation account, won last year in partnership with Ogilvy & Mather.

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