EURO RSCG has bought The Sales Machine in France, an agency specialising in sales promotion, and merged its existing direct marketing and promotion agencies into one operation based around The Sales Machine. It is called ‘la Machine a Vendre’.

Footix, a cartoon representation of ‘Le Coq Gaulois’, one of France’s national military and sporting mascots, has been voted official symbol of the 1998 football World Cup after a poll conducted on TV station TF1.

Start, Wieden & Kennedy, Weber Hodel Schmid and Segarra Cuesta Puig Fernández remain in the running to handle advertising for the launch of Smart (right), the micro compact car developed jointly by Mercedes-Benz and Swatch.

Account losses and problems in securing payment forced two German ad agencies – Sydow & Partner and Damm Swensson – to close at the end of last year.

Carrefour, the French hypermarket chain, is to see presentations from eight agencies – among them Saatchi & Saatchi, McCann-Erickson and Grey – before deciding which will handle its corporate advertising. A decision is due in March.

Fun Radio, the youth-targeted French FM station, has been added to the new TPS digital TV offer and may soon also appear on cable. The new channel, called Fun TV, relays live images of the station’s existing radio programmes.

German retailers have been criticised for failing to use advertising to build their image and relying instead on price promotion in a new study by MGM MediaGruppe, Munich.

Baumax, the Austrian DIY chain, is to spend Sch1bn (5.3m) this year on building nine new stores. Three of the openings will be in Austria, others will be in the Czech and Slovak Republics.

DMB&B has been awarded the Melitta advertising account in France after seeing off competition from Lintas, which handles the brand in Germany, and the former incumbent Grey. A new TV campaign will appear during the first half of this year.

Axel Springer, the publisher, is including an online supermarket as part of its Go-on Internet service. Shoppers in Hamburg and Berlin can select from up to 2,500 food and non-food items, which are delivered locally by partners such as Reichelt and Karstadt.

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