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The Benetton (Italy) row with its member retailers over the use of controversial advertising has intensified. Refuting retailer claims that poor Christmas performance was the result not of recession but of advertising policy, Benetton has issued a statement claiming sales are up.

Menzel Nolte, the agency that launched the BMW 318ti model, has been appointed to handle the whole of the BMW account in Germany, replacing Scholz & Friends which retains the catalogue business. Press buying will be handled by Media Plus and TV by MediaCom.

France Tlvision has taken the unusual step of suspending the pitch for its FF30m (£3.75m) corporate advertising account. The company is understood to be unconvinced by any of the proposals submitted by competing agencies Opra/RLC, Alice, Jean & Montmarin and Callegari Berville.

DZT, The German tourist board, is blaming media coverage of the country’s growing problem with neo-nazism for a three per cent drop in tourist visits last year. In response, DZT is to extend its UK campaign promoting Germany as a holiday destination throughout Europe, America and Japan.

DDB Needham’s Agency Providence has been selected by Hermäs to handle the launch of its new fragrance. The agency won the FF40m (£5m) international business after seeing off pitches from Eldorado, BDDP and Callegari Berville.

Finland’s Ministry of Health & Social Affairs has shown its teeth by banning the RJ Reynolds cigarette brand YO on the grounds that its packaging encourages young people to smoke and represents a violation of Finnish advertising laws.

TF1 and Canal + have struck a deal whereby TF1’s all-news channel, LCI, will be carried on CanalSatellite. The agreement is being seen as a first step towards collaboration in new technology and programming.

Operator, the Hungarian telecoms company, has appointed Lintas to handle its advertising during 1995. First work is expected to appear in March.

Newspaper cover prices are on the increase in France. Le Parisien and Aujourd’hui went up by 20 centimes in December and now Info Matin has followed suit, adding 80 centimes to make the price FF3.80. In addition, eight regional titles have raised their prices.

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