Viable future for interactive ads

Dutch retailers have strengthened their grip on the Spanish market with the acquisition by Ahold of two regional supermarket chains, Castillo del Barrio and Guerrero. Previously, Unigro announced its purchase of 100 Disa supermarkets in south-western Spain.

Aldi is to ban all branded goods from its German stores. The move is designed to end fierce, loss-leading price competition, typically on chocolate and confectionery brands made by companies such as Nestlé, Stollwerck, Ritter and Haribo.

Danone has merged its biscuit operations in Germany and Austria with Griesson GmbH. The new company, named Griesson-de Beukelaer, ranks second on the German market with a 16 per cent share, behind Bahlsen, which has 18 per cent.

Tout Faire, the French DIY chain, is to double the number of stores it operates in Belgium from 15 to 30 by the end of the year. In addition to its own branded outlets, Tout Faire operates as a buying collective for independent DIY centres.

Nestlé is to centralise its media buying in the Netherlands into Kobalt. The account is worth Fl60m (27m) to the agency, which is jointly owned by Heineken, Ahold, Laurus, ABN-AMRO and Vendex KBB.

Tabacalera, the Spanish tobacco group, has licensed the name of its leading cigarette brand Ducados to Restaurantes Latinos. The company will use the name to develop Ducados Cafés, the first of which will open in Madrid in February.

Campbell is reported to be in talks with Star, the Italian soup and packaged goods group, about taking over the stake owned in the company by Danone. Previous deals between Campbell and Danone include the acquisition by Campbell, in 1997, of Liebig soups in France.

Deutsche Bank España has been confirmed as the new retail banking partner for Correos, Spain’s post office. The two will now jointly market a full range of financial services through Correos’ 1,800 outlets. Deutsche Bank already operates 300 branches in Spain under its own name.

Advertising for Austria’s state railway network, BB, promoting rail as an alternative to road for the movement of goods, has been given the all-clear by the country’s self-regulatory complaints commission. Truck operators had complained that the ads depicted their industry unfairly.

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